“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.” – Bethany Hamilton.
This an inspirational meme about courage and fear and how to conquer self-doubt. If you are interested in learning about an exercise I use to push past fear, see my post Learn How to Overcome Fear and Self-Doubt.
I would love to hear your comments on this uplifting message below.
A few weeks back I wrote a post stating that I had neglected my painting skills for almost twenty years and I finally felt the inspiration to bring out the canvas and paint. The reality was, I had wanted to paint for a very long time, but deep down I was afraid. The fear portrayed itself as excuses of “not enough time” or “I just don’t know what to paint,” but the truth was that I was afraid that I had lost the skills I so deeply connected with in myself. (I was just hoping it was like riding a bike!) I had to take a step back and identify that fear was holding me back in order to take the step forward. If you have a goal or dream that you want to accomplish and you catch yourself making excuses or putting it off, this three-step process may help you overcome fear and self-doubt.
1 – Specify your goal in one simple sentence:
Here is Mine:
“I want to be recognized again for my artistic ability as a painter.”
Don’t get overwhelmed with too large of a goal as at will just derail you. Try to take what you want to accomplish all the way to its core. For example, if your dream is to meet a significant other, fall in love and start a family but you are too shy to even date, then your goal might be: Learn to meet and interact with new people.
2 – Create a 3 Part Fear List
Write down 3 things that trigger fear and self-doubt
Here is Mine:
I was afraid I no longer knew how to draw and paint
I was afraid that my friends or family would not like my subject matter
I am afraid that I will end up with a stack of paintings that no one sees
This is a “no-excuse” zone. Look deep down and list what is truly holding you back. Peel back the layers of excuses by asking “why?” each time. If you use the 5 Whys Technique, you will get to the heart of the issue. Another tip is that this list should not include any doubt that comes from other people. “My boyfriend says I …” or “my boss told me…” do not count. What is inside YOU that is causing the fear.
One thing I have learned recently is that taking photos of flowers is easy. OK yes, I know you are thinking “Thank you, Captain Obvious”. But seriously, taking photos of nature that are conventionally beautiful is easy. Humans are already drawn to a flower’s beauty, so throw in some good lighting and an interesting composition and BAM, you get plenty of likes on Instagram.
That’s the same with most things. Comedy sitcoms have a formula, the fashion industry has a “type” to showcase clothing, song writers have a template … I actually heard the other day that all the Disney movies are the same movie, they just have different characters. ? Humans in general are drawn to similar things, so to follow these conventions is easy.
What is harder? … Showcasing unconventional beauty.
How do you find the parts of nature that are not considered conventionally beautiful and showcase the beauty within? How do you make something that is considered “ordinary” stand out? Will people respond to anything outside of the standard “perfect” flower? This was the study I took on for a few days this week.
I looked for plants or flowers which would never show up in a florist shop due to being over-bloomed, broken, “weeds” or otherwise not perfect. I then looked for ways to make the shot look interesting and give it unconventional beauty. It took a bit more effort, but it was fun! And, even more exciting was that these images received as much, if not more, engagement than the conventional shots! People CAN see beauty in unconventional ways.
While out walking with a friend, I came across a flower bed with a few interesting arrangements. I quickly took a photo and we went on our way. I had no expectations of the photo and I actually forgot I took the shot… Until I looked through my camera and saw the vibrant colors. I loved it, but I also saw was it was a bit fuzzy. I tried to post it to my Instagram account three times, but chickened out each time. I will admit, this image sent me on a journey of managing my emotions as my perfectionism nearly held me back.
This image is not quite in focus. I tried to fix it with filters. I tried to crop it and hide the flaw. I even drove back hours later to try to recreate the shot, but unfortunately the lighting was no longer cooperating. I pondered… Do I dare share this image despite the flaw? Or do I discard it because it is not 100% perfect.
Why was Perfectionism Holding Me Back?
With today’s world of perfectly polished “life” showing up on our social media feeds, it is easy to feel held to an unrealistic standard. Is your table perfectly set? Dinner plates garnished? Does your yard look like a magazine? Are your children professionally photographed for each milestone? No!? Then you must doing something wrong …