I am in a deep pit of fear right now.
There are a lot of things that are uncertain, causing fear.
There are a lot of things that will change, causing fear.
The fear has left me unable keep on top of what needs to be done. I am frozen.
I have been working hard to keep myself together. Be strong and happy. The worry eats away at me daily. I know it does my spouse as well.
I have tried getting the assistance that we all pay into. However, we have no children and are not disabled. We do not qualify for most programs. The best we get is food stamps. Of course, something is better than nothing right now.
I am lost at what else I can do. I have filled out so many forms, and they all get rejected or denied. I have applied for so many jobs I do not even remember most of them. I did have one call me back, but told me the position was quite a ways out of my travel zone.
I have slowly, so slowly, been selling my services. A few people have purchased my art. I have also done a few portrait commissions. I try to keep creating through all the uncertainty.
I have had a few companies contact me about my art, that makes me happy. Then I find out they want me to pay to be in their magazine or event. I understand their need to ensure they make money on their product. I do not understand why the fees are so high for most of them. You are going to be selling the product and generating income off that. Paying for the “exposure,” the doom of artists.
Otherwise most of the interst is not of the paying variety. I am happy that people like my art, but it does not help me much if it does not leave my possession. $10 is not a lot of money to a lot of people. $10 is something to me.
I feel like a deer in a meadow. Everything looks great and safe, yet there are predators on one side of the woods and a company cutting down the trees on the other.
Where am I supposed to go?
What am I supposed to do?
For now I will just keep applying for jobs.
Keep sharing my art for sale. Keep creating art.
Keep applying for assistance.
Keep looking for others who might help out.
Do my best not to be bitter.
Work on keep a positive outlook.
I like to do research into things. Sometimes the research is for a project. Sometimes the research is prep for something I plan on doing. Research and planning are ways I deal with the fear of doing something.
In my research I have read several “self-help” books. “Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers, is one of them. I have also just finished “Guerrilla Marketing for Artists” by Barney Davey. I have read quite a few more, but these two are stuck with me right now.
Both these books, and most of the other self help books, have at least one piece of advice in common. You have to do things you do not like. You have to go out and meet people. You have to go new places. You have to do things outside of your comfort zone. However you want to put it, it is the same. Do stuff you do not want to do.
I started my “do stuff I do not want to do” last year. I went some place new by myself every month. This may not seem like much to some, but I am a serious “home body.” I do not like to leave my comfortable and familiar home.
This small change in my routine, created tons of new art ideas for me. I filled three sketchbooks and created many illustrations that I would never have thought to create before. I used mediums that I had not use. I used old mediums in new (to me) ways. It is exciting, how just going to a new park alone changed my mind.
I was afraid of doing it, but I did it anyway. Thank you Susan Jeffers, for that lovely phrase.
This year I am going to try to do a few more things that I do not want to do. Most of them involve talking to people. Talking to people about my art. Something I have down played most of my life.
HOWEVER if I want my art to become self sufficient I need to get people to buy it. The only way to do that is talk to people, about my art. So says Barney Davey.
Ms. Jeffers and Mr. Davey are both right. If you want to reach your goals, see your plans succeed and do that thing you want to do, you have to put yourself out there. Feel your fear, figure it out, get over it, and succeed! No matter how much you do not want to do that thing that stops you.
May 2016 be the year you take those steps to make your dreams reality!
I love Friday. It is even better when it falls on the 13th. This year I am extra happy because there are three Friday’s that will fall on the 13th. The next on is in November.
There are many people out there that do not like Friday the 13ths. I am not one of them.
“Why?” You may ask.
I work in customer service. The superstitious people usually stay home and do not venture out when bad luck is around. This means fewer customers with questions, better parking and you know who the “cool” people are. They are enjoying the day with you.
Here is my doodle to support those who choose to stay home on Friday the 13th. Thank you for making my day better.
Some days are better than others. Some days the Fear stays in its corner, no peep to be heard. Many days it only stands close, whispering. Then there are the days it touches me, caresses me like a lover and paralyzes my mind.
I have things that I fear just like anyone else. I know most of the things that cause my Fear to move into action. What amazes me are the things that are completely unrelated to my known triggers that suddenly cause Fear to spring into motion, sliding towards me, eager to cause a panic.
Being a visual person, I want to visualize what Fear looks like, just like I did for Jealousy. Fear, to me, is shadow. It has eyes to see connections between things that we do not. It has sharp claw like nails used inject paralytics into your body, mind or soul at a touch. Teeth that gnaw and prick, getting under your skin.
Fear can hide so completely that you think it is gone, only to show up at the most inopportune time. Fear can stop you with a look, touch or sound. Fear wants you to know that it is in control.
But it is not really in control. Fear lies. Fear is a victim of itself. Fear is afraid to be ignored, forgotten and left behind. It does everything it can to make sure you stay with it.
Fear wants to keep you in the dark about how powerful you are. Fear wants to monopolize you, like a bad friend. Hide you in a closet and keep the world from seeing your greatness. The great things you can accomplish if you just ignored it or moved on.
The proverbial Dawn comes and Fear retreats back to its hiding place. Waiting for the day it can be with you again. Waiting for the day that you let your guard down and it can caress you once again.
To many times have we let Fear monopolize our talents. We hid behind meaningless words. “No time…” “No money…” “Not ____ enough.” These all just mean AFRAID.
We need leave our bad friend, Fear. Find some friends that will support you. Take Joy for example. Joy hangs out waiting patiently for you to notice that it is there. It does not haunt you, whispering false promises. Joy likes to share your talents with others and gets stronger when others see and relate to your work. Joy spreads like the sun cresting over a hill at dawn, filling all the hidden indents and illuminating them.
Be friends with Joy. Tell Fear to take a hike.
… and Fear whispers “Easier said than done.”
I hope that it is Merry and Bright for everyone. If it is not looking like it will be for you, I hope that something stands out as good. Focus on that and you will make it.
When I graduated from University I was not prepared for the career I paid (lots) to learn about. That is my fault for choosing the wrong school, wrong course and not questioning things as much as I should have. That left this year as a quest to get over my fear of change and failure. Fear of not being “good enough” to graduate (some how I did,) not being able to get a job (still at my old one,) and not being able to do what I want to do (Web Designer!) This year I failed to do a lot of things that would have made it easier to do what I wanted to do. I got the wrong internship, I did not keep up with my studies, and I did not ask questions or look hard at what was going on. Only when I got frustrated and angry did I start making changes.
I am not saying that this year was a waste or all bad. I had tons of great things happen. I DID graduate from a reputable University. I DID get an internship. I DID create some websites (no matter how basic.) I DID quite my internship when I realized that it was not going where I needed it to. My spouse and I made the move to home ownership (that was stressful.) I have a new internship lined up and I have plans on making next year good. All in all the good outweighs the bad since I learned things that enabled me to move on.
One of the tools I used to get over my fears is Planning. I find that making a rough outline helps keep me on track and keeps the fear of change at bay. Whenever I HAVE to do anything (that I don’t want to do or am afraid to do) I plan. I actually plan the fun out of it and cover pretty much every contingency (I have no idea why I did not go into project management.) Plans allow for the greatest amount of light to shine on something that you are afraid of. Especially if it is something new.
My rough plan for 2014 is pretty basic right now. Do some follow up education so I can understand Web Design and Development better. There are many things that make no sense to me and in order to get a job I feel that I should understand them and be able to work with them. As I learn more I want to rebuild my website (down for financial purposes – darn house) and the others I have built, practice, practice. I also want to start building demo sites and templates for some of the various content managers out there. I think if I can learn enough about those I can secure a decent internship (paying?) or start charging for my services (freelance.) This means reducing the number of hours I spend on graphic design. While it is fun I need to spend that time coding and expanding my Web Designer skills.
I have other personal plans too. I plan on spending more time off my butt and walking around. Exercise is important and I can use the time to plan out other things. I can also increase my collection of photos so I have things to use when I need to make a graphic for a site. I plan on encouraging my spouse to blog and finish his degree. I plan on seeing a doctor on a regular basis (that is really scary in my mind.) I also plan on taking a vacation this year. I has been a while and I am feeling the need to take a break. That means saving up some green and paid time off. I should probably spend some time with my friends too.
Fear is natural. I think almost everyone is afraid of new things. Things that they cannot fathom or understand. I find planning helps reduce the fear. Fear will never go away until you deal with its cause, but you can lessen it to the point where you can deal with it. All it takes is some planning and research. I need to research my medical plan and learn about finding a provider and paying the bills. I need to learn how to use my insurance and so many other things. I am worried that I will put it off again this year (it was a goal for 2012.) I know that if I do research and ask questions I can over come this and help other co-workers figure it out. Once I figure it out I know the fear of it will be gone and I can spend that energy fearing something new. The process repeats.
Have a great holiday season!
Do what you need to do, even if it is scary. The fear will go away once you do it.