About nearly 2,5 years ago I absolutely and totally fell in love with a beautiful 4-tiered patchwork skirt for dancing I saw online (on Etsy). Money was tight though and I could not justify spending nearly 300 British Pounds on a skirt, as amazing as it was. Being a creative person myself, I knew it was definitely worth that amount of money and I had an idea of how much work might have gone into that piece of art. I took a picture of that skirt (with my mobile phone… again!) to be at least able to look at it whenever I felt like it. Hopefully I would be able to buy it later and so I dreamt of wearing this skirt one day when I would perform another dance with my tribe.
A couple of months later, when looking at that picture (for the 87th time or so), I thought: I could try making one, right?
I mean, what could possibly go wrong???
Ok, I didn’t know how to sew (who needs sewing skills when starting a “small” project like that?), I just had a basic sewing machine (but hey, how many different stitches do you really need for sewing a heavy duty patchwork skirt?) and I didn’t have a pattern (I never studied design but I could figure that one out, right?).
So, how does this story continue?
Let me tell you what I learned from it first and why I am sharing this story with you.
Everyone of us has a different perception of life. I learned from a very early age that “failure is not an option” and I identified with it. I partly still do. You can not make any mistakes, you have to succeed! Interesting enough I always referred to my creative side as “the other part of myself” and that part, luckily, was allowed to make mistakes, to fail and to try again.
Living a creative life, living creativity means to make mistakes. I am prepared to do things wrong and to feel okay with it.
If anything does go wrong I simply rethink the route I have taken and try a different way. If something breaks in the process, I fix it. If I can’t fix it I start over (checking if it is possible to re-use pieces I made earlier). If I don’t want to work on that project anymore, I don’t. And why not?
If you start experiencing creative energy and follow its path you will feel more comfortable with trying new things. Instead of continuously accepting that failing is bad, you will challenge and eventually change this belief and, by living a creative life, challenge the fear of failure even further.
Let your curiosity lead the way for you and start with the first step. And once that step is finished, focus on the next step and the next step only. 🙂
By now we have heard of a lot of successful people who only became successful after they experienced one failure after another. So failure and making mistakes IS an option. In the end it leads to success!
So, how does my skirt-story end?
As I mentioned above, luckily I always allowed “the other part of myself” to make mistakes. And I did, I made a LOT of mistakes (and I mean A LOT). Did it put me off my project? Sure it did! Over and over again!
My love for the (visualised) outcome was stronger though and I kept focussing on the next step.
The whole process took me nearly 2 years – included the times the “work in progress” lay stuffed in a corner, untouched for months as I was really annoyed at it not behaving like I wanted it to.
In hindsight there are many reasons why I shouldn’t have started my little project (if you like to call a project with 276 patchwork pieces “little”) and even more reasons why I should never have been able to finish it. I could have given in, into the fear of making mistakes, of failing, of wasting my beautiful fabric pieces. I could have taken the chance of very valid excuses and not even have started.
But: I did. With the first step, or at least what I thought the first step would be… 😀 (The important bit is THAT I started… ) 😉
This is the result.
(The picture has been taking by Roger from http://rogerdewsberyphotography.co.uk )
Allow me a very personal confession at this point: I am extremely happy about having made my very own little piece of art. It is simply me! But the “icing on the cake” is the feeling I experience when I do wear my skirt for a performance with my tribe (beautiful souls!) and knowing that I (without professional skills) made it from scratch. Ok, it is also a nice feeling when people come over afterwards to compliment us not only on our performance but also to ask me where I got this amazing skirt… 😉
So, put your focus on the first step, and then by letting your fear step aside, just a little bit, just enough to get you started on your project, take one step after the other. And soon enough you will see your own piece of art (whatever that may be) come alive.
Lots of love,