No fear. Just fucking do it.
Those two very short sentences have been my mantra as the first week of my new life comes to a close. I'm not sure when it happened, but I got to a point where I was afraid of a lot of things. Being afraid sucks. Let me tell you a little story.
At the end of 2009, my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Costa Rica. At one point of our trip we hiked to a waterfall. On the way back we took a different trail that required we walk a very narrow ledge, with quite a steep drop. Honestly, it was fucking nerve-wracking. Then there was a break in the ledge. It was about the length from your finger tip to your elbow. A space that, on solid ground, is completely forgettable. It's shorter than your normal walking stride. In that moment though, it felt like the Grand Canyon, an impossible distance. I stood there, griping a vine, shaking with fear.
What a perfect metaphor. I have been on that ledge, with so much fear, for years. Making the change from a steady and extremely reliable job to full-time artist was so hard. The transition between the two was my Grand Canyon. It felt impossible. But I did it guys! *pats self on back* I made it across. But the journey and the challenges aren't over.
Introducing myself to artists that are doing things that I have admired...No fear...Just fucking do it. Second guessing my abilities...No fear...Just fucking do it. Feeling paralyzed on where to proceed on a drawing...No fear...Just fucking do it. Realizing I have so much work to do before I can even consider having another show...No fear...Just fucking do it. Attending talks, events, and workshops by myself...No fear...Just fucking do it. Standing on a narrow ledge to help one of those artists I introduced myself to paint a mural...No fear...Just fucking do it (with no sudden movements). Deciding to create my own mural...No fear...Just fucking do it (soon).
The physical feelings of fear are very real. But the reality often is that fear has terrible judgement. And I'm at point that I need to be the one to decide when it deserves my attention. Not the other way around. Sorry fear...you're not the boss of me.
After standing on that ledge for a minute, shaking and grasping to that vine, my husband made his way over to me and helped me across. Walking the rest of the ledge after that was infinitely easier. No fear. Just fucking do it.
How terrible is your fear's judgement? Have you pushed past it before and were better for it? Or has fear been dictating your direction? Or are you fearless?? If you're fearless, can you bottle that and hook me up with some?