the fear of starting

Yesterday I watched one of my favorite bloggers and entrepreneurs be attacked over a project she'd shared. She'd made a quilt, but done so while letting go of the need for perfect precision. People are often intimidated by quilting because it requires so much technical skill and attention to detail. This post was about letting go of that pressure and just creating something you love. I was totally inspired.

Instead of seeing the encouragement that was being shared, readers criticized her for being lazy and unprofessional. A woman who makes her living by creating, teaching, and inspiring. If she's lazy and unprofessional, then I have absolutely no hope of being successful. This is an individual who has been nearly a decade building her business, learning and growing along the way. Yet one project that a handful of people didn't like, and her day was spent fighting hurt, embarrassment, and self-doubt. The whole thing was a reminder that perfection, "good enough", does not exist. This is a woman I would have said had arrived, everything she did turned to gold. But there she was, being told that she didn't measure up.

I sit here blindly trying to navigate the idea of building a creative business, and I am paralyzed by fear. I've never done it before. Nobody is reading what I write. Nobody would pay money for something I created. I'm not an expert and everyone will see right through me. There are a million reasons why I shouldn't keep pushing myself into such unknown territory. I don't want to make a move until I know it's going to be perfect. The shop has been closed for the last few weeks so I could focus on an upcoming craft fair and prepare a few new products. Honestly though, I've spent most of that time sinking deep into a complete creative block. I know what I want to do, but I'm unbelievably intimidated by it. So I just won't. I won't talk about it, I won't let anyone see it. I've just been slowly shutting down. Now I'm just two weeks from my reopening, and I'm just trying to suppress the panic.

Isn't this how it so often goes? No matter how many reasons you have to do something, you can find five times that amount that tell you not to. That voice in your head will always tell you to wait for perfection. But how can we achieve perfection if we're not doing anything? I don't have any answers; maybe there aren't any. Just like there's no shortcut to perfection, there isn't a way around failure. The only way to get there is to start. A product might flop, a post might not get any views, or people might think I'm stupid for pursuing this dream. But I create because I love it. I write because it's the best way I know how to make sense of my world. All I can do is share my voice and vision, even if it's not perfect by somebody else's standard.

If there is something you want to do, don't let fear of failure stop you. Close your eyes and jump. No matter the result, you will be better and stronger for having done it.

**Picture is not mine. It was a repost of a repost, etc. on Instagram. If you know where it originated, please let me know!

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