What’s the worst that can happen?
When I was in college, I was falling deeper in love with art. I studied art and wished to create my own. But I didn’t. I didn’t have much money to spend, and I didn’t want to spend what I had on experimentation.
Then, one day something magical happened. Some neighbors in my building were throwing out 3 slightly damaged canvases, and I got them. Now I could finally be creative; try painting.
I bought the paint and brushes, and guess what? Nothing. Nothing happened. Turns out I was too afraid to try. I didn’t want to ruin the canvases with my amateurish attempts. And, if I’m being honest, I didn’t want to kill my dream that I was, unbeknownst to me, a great painter. So for months they sat in a corner.
One day my dad came over to the house, looked at the canvases and said, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
I told him that I might ruin them. He said, “So you paint over it. You try again.”
It was such a moment of out of nowhere realization. I was stunned. It was so simple. The risk was so small. I was being so stupid.
Tons of paintings later, I’m here to share the advice that was given to me. Don’t be a fucking scaredy cat. The power of failure is that you always learn something if you choose to. How was I ever going to get better at painting if the canvas stayed blank?
I could research and read about technique all day, but the growth is in the action.
Up to this day I am still no great artist. I wouldn’t even call myself mediocre. But what I have done is focused on what I’m good at, and that is the use of color. I can’t paint portraits. I can’t paint detailed landscapes. but I can create unique pieces that no one else has but me. I can create pieces that exude exactly what I want them to.
Contrary to popular belief, most things that you want to try will not kill you. And contrary to popular belief, most people who see you try something and fall short will more likely admire your attempt then criticize it.
A slice of Truth: there’s a lot of really scared people out there. Most of them will never move past fear and do the thing they’ve always wanted to do. You don’t have to be one of those people.
And just like I didn’t run out and buy brand new canvases to practice on, you can take baby steps too. The point is to keep moving forward. Keep taking steps.
My major fear is deep water, but I’d love to go snorkeling, even scuba diving, one day. My first steps? Step 1. Getting into water that was deep enough that I couldn’t touch the bottom. My heart almost burst. Step 2. Intentionally getting into water that has fish in it. I almost hyperventilated and had a headache for the next 18 hours. Step 3. (Hasn’t happened yet) Get off of a boat and get into the ocean. Not a waterway or sand bar or enclosed area.
The chances of me dying or being dragged off by a shark is very slim, but my brain is magnifying the danger. I know this. I can’t accept this. The Great Barrier Reef has already been declared dead. I need to get my act together and get out there.
About 3 days ago I realized something else. Having a specific date to accomplish specific tasks and holding yourself to it come hell or high water is crucial to getting where we want to be.
For years I’ve been working on this idea, iwannabealady Workshops for Women. I’ve got a huge binder of notes and scripts and quotes and anecdotes and I’ve done nothing but tweak it and add to it. I was just too scared to put it out there. It never met my standards. I’ve come to realize the translation: It was never perfect. Waiting for perfect meant it would never actually happen.
On Saturday night, my friend Quetsy challenged me to make it happen in the next few days. I have never hosted a workshop or anything more planned then a dinner party. But guess what? Tonight is the night. It’s happening!
I don’t know if 5 people will show up or 20, but I’m glad that I’ve learned a lot from the experience so far, and I will continue to learn. It’s a no-fail situation. Am I nervous? Hell yeah. Have I been changing my script 6 times an hour and pacing the floor with thoughts of “What’s missing? What can be better? How else can I say this?” Absolutely.
But the beauty of this event is that I’m no longer alone. I’ve told everyone that my workshop is in BETA and I’d appreciate any feedback they can give me when it’s over. I’ll get guidance, referrals, learn what I’m doing well and what I might improve on. How can I lose? I’ve put up twinkly lights in the living room and it’s byob. How can that possibly fail?
Setting a date did this for me, and the support of friends, of course. Set a date. What’s the worst that can happen?
What’s the thing that you’re afraid to try? Which steps do you need to take to work past the fear and make things happen? I’d love to hear about it.
My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to live a more interesting, fulfilling and beautiful life. Think of me as your well-being and happiness guide. I know that things aren’t always easy. Life doesn’t drop dreams into our laps, but every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?