is this project too big for me?

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18/08/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

Yesterday I was looking at the current canvas wondering what on earth I am doing this for. I am struggling to create something “worthy” and “good looking” and “successful” each time, knowing these lofty heights won’t be achievable for every canvas. I started the “Canvassing My Friends” project knowing I was no Picasso…not even a Rolf Harris…nor even an A-Grade high school art student (BTW I got an “A2” for School Certificate Art at 16 years old…which is actually only a 68 – 80% pass mark, and the last time I took art as a subject at school).

Yesterday was a despondent day. Feeling a little disappointed and overwhelmed at the pressure (that I have put myself under) the old fears of failure swamped again. I contemplated what would happen if I gave up. I know there will be other times like this, so I need to find the right coping mechanisms for when the 50 foot wave hits again.

As coincidence would happen, below is today’s blog offering from Seth Godin. This blog entry hit the mark so well (and hauled me out of the first wave, just when I needed it) that I thought I would share it with you.

P.S…my wise mother used to say there is no such thing as “coincidence”…only “God-incidence”!


Avoiding Momentum

Some days, even the best dentist doesn’t feel like being a dentist. And a lifeguard might not feel like being a lifeguard. Fortunately, they have appointments, commitments and jobs. They have to show up. They have to start doing the work. And most of the time, this jump start is sufficient to get them over the hump, and then they go back to being in the zone and doing their best work.

Momentum is incredibly useful to someone who has to overcome fear, dig in deep and ship. Momentum gives you a reason to overcome your fear and do your art, because there are outside forces and obligations that keep you moving. Without them, you’d probably stumble and fall.

And yet…

And yet many of us fear too much momentum. We look at a project launch or a job or another new commitment as something that might get out of control. It’s one thing to be a folk singer playing to a hundred people a night in a coffeehouse, but what if the momentum builds and you become a star? A rock star? With an entourage and appearances and higher than high expectations for your next work. That’s a lot of momentum, no?

Deep down, this potential for an overwhelming response alerts the lizard brain and we hold back. We’re afraid of being part of something that feels like it might be too big for us.

Hint: it probably isn’t.


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Sarah Ritchie
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while you were sleeping

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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
Exhibitor, The Original Art Sale 2011


© Sarah Ritchie 2014

Please do not use copies of my original artwork for profit, however you are welcome to share my artwork images as much as you like!

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