There is NEVER a perfect time...
I heard that quote years ago, one of my mentors and inspirations, Brooke Shaden, has it tattooed on her wrist, I am not 100% sure whose quote it is, but it is true. We often never do what we set out to do in life, fear paralyses us into nothingness. I spent so many years of my life wandering from thing to thing and never settled down, perhaps my time was not right. Don’t get me wrong, every indecision and choice I made, brought me to where I am now. And I love where I am now.
I, myself, started a journey of self discovery a few years back, call it a mid-life crisis, second chance at life, whatever. It made me stop saying ‘NO’, to open myself up to risks, and to quell my fears. Sure, I got in a helicopter (ask anyone who knows me, they STILL can’t get over the fact I did that), or look over a ledge…but it was other fears as well. I learned to put myself and my art out there, even though I was still learning and still becoming who I am, even though I worried at feeling a fraud or unworthy. I know I am not alone in those fears. I have spoken about overcoming self doubt before. Sometimes you just have to take that one step…towards that THING, whatever that THING is. . I am not sure we ever stop growing and learning and evolving either, we just have to keep moving forward.
It often comes down to a leap of faith, I know I am speaking in quotes and metaphors, but they can be so eloquent and correct. Having faith in our own abilities can be seen as a flaw, as being narcissistic. I used to find taking a compliment on my art was difficult, now I just say a simple Thank You. Even when sometimes on the inside you feel perhaps this piece was not worthy or good enough or whatever. It is still humbling when someone says something so nice about your art. And that is what it should be, YOUR art. I mean when it all comes down to it, it is your art, you are creating it for yourself, or at least you should be. When you create from a sense of self, and love and desire, it will eventually come out as your true passion, your true voice. Others who see or feel your vision, your voice are attracted to it. They often become your tribe. When you create something that gives you a little thrill, you can sit back and actually go wow…I created that, that the win, the big and the small.
I sometimes get impatient that I have not ‘made it’ yet, whatever that actually means. I then sit back and look at WHAT I have achieved in less than five years and it feels amazing, like a roller coaster ride. Some days there is nothing and other days it is euphoric. No I don’t have 100k followers, some days I wish I did. But it should not be about the likes and the hearts, I sometimes need to tell myself that. But likes and hearts can be empty platitudes these days. I catch myself doing it, I see something I like and I press like, that is it…where is the gratitude in that? When I see something I like I try whenever possible to comment as well. When I see something I love, I often say WHAT I love about it and offer them a hearty compliment. THAT is priceless to me…the CONNECTION. When someone likes something enough to comment on it, it means it moved them into action. It’s so easy to hit the ‘like’ button, I often wonder, does it really mean anything?
But at the end of the day, it is all about creating from the heart, what you like, you are after all, your biggest audience, your biggest fan and of course, the biggest critic. There is the crux, right? We often talk ourselves down and talk ourselves out of something which could be incredible…if we were just good enough, or just get that new lens, or camera body or PC or prop or…whatever. I think one of the hardest things is to JUST DO IT, put yourself out there, even if you’re still learning. I am teaching people what I do, but I myself am still learning. I am learning from the people I teach, ALL the time too. I doubt we ever stop learning and evolving, things are constantly changing and we need to change with it, and I don’t just mean technology (oh don’t get me started on the technology). I found I have learnt far more since I started running classes and workshops, I felt I had to, to delved deeper, learn more, learn new and exciting techniques, cover off different aspects of my craft.
I guess after all this rambling, what I am trying to say, is there is never a perfect time to do anything, so if you want to try something…JUST DO IT, and never let your fears stop you, do it in spite of them!