Back in December of 2017, I was gathering courage to start my pattern business. I was beginning to seek out inspiring voices and ideas. Books and profiles of people who said, “You just have to try,” and “you’ll definitely fail if you never start.” I listened to Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and was reintroduced to the idea of questioning my fears. While Gilbert rattled off a long list of fears I felt myself respond to each one, ‘yeah I’m afraid of that and that and that.’ She challenged her listeners to question each fear, to turn them over to see if they’re logically something to fear. I’ve picked one of those fears, fear of being unoriginal, and done just that. My personal argument against it is as follows:
"The fear that everything has been done before or that I can’t come up with anything original to create could be proved false by acknowledging that there could still be people out there who haven’t seen, who do not know what I have to offer. With such a large population of uniquely minded people I can’t possible claim that everything has been done, that everyone has seen it all. I get inspired and see new approaches to things in my life all the time for the simple reason that they are new to me. So its possible that my creative ideas will be/seem/feel new to someone just as they also might not to another.
The same ideas coming from many peoples experiences, forming ‘collective ideas,’ can speak louder, can amplify and remind us of the things that really spoke to us. In our distracting world, in our distracted minds, we might need to hear or see something many times to get and feel the full impact. Even the point of this argument has been stated before, shouted from rooftops even. How many times does it need to be said to be truly heard? Probably as many times as fearful thoughts enter our minds. We don’t always know when we need to hear it again, that’s how insidious fear can be.
So often an outside voice reminds me of what I thought I believed but haven’t been acting on. And until I am able to fight the negative stories/spirit/voices/ideas of fear on my own day to day, I look to others for reminders, guidance, encouragement and inspiration. It may all have been done before but even if it has does that matter?"
As I publish patterns, start my website and blog, the faster the fear-based and anxious stories rush at me. I know that reminding myself of more realistic, logical versions of the these stories is a huge relief. The fear I addressed above has been at me a lot in the last month. So I still need to reread my own ‘wise’ words to keep the fears in their rightful place. Not in the foreground, keeping me from making progress, but nicely in the backseat. There they can quietly remind me that I don’t know what the future holds. Then I can turn my head, just slightly, and remind those fears, ‘that’s how it always is, nothing I can do about it.’