Seriously. I’m curious.
Think of something, just one thing, right now. Something that you’ve always wanted to do but never found the time. This urge deep, deep inside you that just wants out. It just screams to be shared to the world. But it didn’t get to.
What is it that’s holding you back? That’s making you hesitate to take the first step? That no matter how many times you’ve replayed Shia Labeouf’s iconic (and probably now a classic) motivation clip, you STILL didn’t do it?
Is it your need for perfection? Or is it procrastination? Is it maybe because you feel guilty? Or you have more important things to do? Or you feel like you’re not ready for it? That you’re not good enough?
I like to think there’s one word for it, whatever it is that’s holding you back:
I mean… perfectionism? That’s fear. Procrastination? Fear. Guilt? Busy-ness? Insecurity? F E A R.
Me + Fear = Self-doubt
At the start of the year, I planned this monthly creative thing. During each month, I was supposed to work on one huge illustration. It was supposed to be my 2017 creative project where I could improve on anatomy, get out of my creative comfort zone, practice putting more details on my work.
Now that I think about it, they’re all ambitious shenanigans.
Three months into it, I was still okay. I got to create illustrations that I was proud of, even now. But March was also the last month of our school year. Things got hectic and busy. I was meeting project deadlines. At the same time, deep inside me, doubt was starting to grow. Doubt on myself, mostly. On my art.
Utterly overwhelmed, I ran towards and hid behind the protection the busy-ness of school life provided. I had more important things to do, I reasoned out. I needed to make a priority. Funny thing, this was exactly what happened to me last year. I threw out everything not related to school.
My art, my blog, and *chokes* books.
That was hell, I tell you. And I regretted not having enough time for my hobbies.
I promised myself I wasn’t going to be like that this year. But, surprise surprise, I went back into that rabbit hole. Less than a year later.
Here’s another example:
I am a World-class Procrastinator™. Most times, I procrastinate because I’m lazy (especially in things like, you know, school). But sometimes I procrastinate in creating a blog post or doing this illustration that I’ve been planning in my head for a while now. And I constantly beat myself up over it.
Fear manifests into your life in so many ways
You might take a look at what’s holding you back and think, “Pssh, nah. That ain’t fear.” But if you look real close and think about it real hard, you’d realize that yes it is fear.
My refuge to busy-ness? That’s me avoiding the challenge I’ve set myself up because of self-doubt. Because I was afraid of failing that challenge. Being a creative procrastinator? That’s me fearing I won’t do what I imagined in my mind justice.
Like, you know how boggarts transform into that very thing you’re afraid of? How it turned into a giant spider for Ron and a dementor for Harry? That is the very essence of fear.
It morphs and takes different shapes, depending on the person that encounters it.
Now, I’m facing another encounter with fear. And it’s holding me back again. But this time’s different. I refuse to let it hold me back. I don’t want to feel awful at myself because I didn’t try to step away from my fear. Not anymore. And if you’re in a similar position as me right now, neither should you.
So what can we do about it?
Really, the first step to all this is knowing you’re afraid of something. And that fear is holding you back.
Sometimes we like to be in denial even with ourselves. I get it. My gosh, it can be sooo hard to be honest with yourself. Because truth is supposedly simple but it also hurts, which makes it so difficult to confront, let alone acknowledge.
So I always take the phrase “reflect on your actions” to heart. I try to give myself time and space alone to reflect on what I did and why I did it. Sometimes I reflect while doodling. Sometimes I’m just staring at my ceiling while the Hamilton soundtrack is playing in the background. I couldn’t care less, so long as I’m reflecting and acknowledging my flaws and fears.
If pure, staring-blankly-into-space reflection is hard for you, here are other ways you can reflect:
<3 Talk with someone—whether it’s a friend, or a confidante, or a professional
<3 Write an entry in your journal
<3 Meditate or do yoga
<3 Read books in a genre you rarely read
<3 Cook or bake
<3 Do pottery or other crafty activities
<3 Listen to relaxing music
When you’re at that point where you’re frustrated at yourself because you are not doing the thing that ignites your passion, it’s time to reflect. Ask yourself, “What is it that’s holding me back? What am I afraid of?”
Awareness is always the first step. The moment you are aware of your emotions and fears, the moment you acknowledge their existence, the rest is a little bit easier to deal with. At least that’s what I think 🙂
Check back here again next Wednesday for part two of this… Post? Impromptu series? Whatever you call it. 😉 I will talk about the rest of the steps you could take to step out of fear’s grasp and start doing what you’ve always wanted to do. For now, take the first step. And tell me:
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but never got to? What’s holding you back? Is it fear just like mine? Do you take time for self-reflection? How do you reflect on your day?
I’d love to hear your stories and thoughts! 🙂