“Oh No… I love how that looks.”
I have found myself saying this quite often lately. Once a piece of art I’m working on starts to take shape, and I like how it’s looking… I freeze up and get scared.
What if I mess it up? What if I ruin this lovely piece?
I try to remind myself, is it really a lovely piece if it sits unfinished, hidden away on a shelf? Of course not.
What’s the point of having piles of unfinished pieces? Where’s the rush feeling of accomplishment? Of being proud? Where’s the excitement of “what’s going to happen next?” You rob yourself of all of these things when you give in to the fear of messing up your work.
Sure, it’s possible a piece can get “ruined” by making a wrong decision. But the beauty of “messing up” gives you the freedom to keep working on it, which opens you up to taking more chances you might not have otherwise taken. And in the end, most often than not you end up liking the piece even more than before the mistake.
The key is to just enjoy the process, and detach from the outcome.
Remember that one of the biggest reasons for art is to feel connected to yourself, to express yourself; not to crank out perfect pieces on a consistent basis. Where’s the fun in that?
And if in the end you do feel like you’ve “ruined” a piece, let it rest. Come back to it a few days later, and most times you will find that it really isn’t as bad as you may have thought. You may even turn out liking it!
Because in reality, it’s not that you messed it up, or that you ruined something; it’s only that it turned out different than what you had hoped for or imagined it to be.
Life can be pretty scary. Things can turn out differently than expected not only in art, but in other parts of our life as well. So, this one little pesky question will always keep popping up: “What if I make the wrong decision?” Well, you deal with it and move on. And more than likely what does come of it is way more interesting and fun than if you had just stayed put in fear.
But if you let it, that pesky question can paralyze you from achieving anything in life. So instead of hiding in fear when your mind asks you “What if I make the wrong decision”, try responding with: “What could I miss out on if I stop here and don’t move on?“
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