Today my sister, Sara, wrote a wonderful blog about moving forward with challenging goals. The goal she writes about is her dream of publishing a book. While exploring the reasons why she hasn't been moving forward towards her goal, she writes:
"When I really dig deep, I think that an intense fear of failure is keeping me frozen in a pattern that is safe and comfortable and preventing me from reaching out to chase a dream. Maybe the book I should be writing is How to Allow Fear and Procrastination to Crush Your Soul: Successful Ways to Stay Exactly the Same. Oh, but we could all write that book at some time or another, I'm sure."
I know I could add a few chapters to that book! Sara's post struck a chord with me today because I feel like I'm in the same boat with my jewelry business sometimes. I have been content with the easy and comfortable level which I've reached and have failed to move forward.
I remember last fall when I finally decided to open an Etsy shop. I put it off a few times before finally taking the plunge. I was so excited when I first opened it and so proud of myself for taking that next step. Now I am ashamed to think about the poor job I've done of keeping up with it. It's been months since I've posted new items, though I have a big pile of beautiful new pieces I've made. It's almost as if I checked off the inital piece from my list - opening an Etsy shop - but haven't managed to keep up with the even more important piece of keeping up with en Etsy shop! Not to mention the fact that there are so many more opportunities out there for me to explore (home shows, art fairs, farmer's markets, bridal shows, local boutiques, etc.), yet I haven't taken that next step.
What if it takes too much time? What if it costs too much money? What if I don't sell anything? What if they don't like my work? There will always be a long list of "what ifs" keeping us from moving forward. It reminds me of the Shel Silverstien poem, "What Ifs".
Well, what if we start changing our "whatifs" to "What if they say yes?" "What if they love me?" "What if it works?" "What if I'm a wild success?"
While I always try to stay grounded in reality due to my strong tendency to get crushed when I allow my hopes to rise too high, I think there is a difference between asking yourself the good "whatifs" and having an expectation of success. I think we can, and should, allow ourselves to consider the possibility of success without taking it to the emotionally dangerous place of expecting those "whatifs" to come true.
So while I know that I may not rush home today to post half a dozen new items on Etsy, I think I can be resolved to ask myself at least two goodifs for every badif.
...or perhaps two positifs for every negatif? ;-)
Will you join me?