Putting myself out there
I had a pop-up shop this weekend at one of my favorite stores, Madewell, and it made me think a lot about vulnerability and taking risks. It wasn’t some huge event or something I had to do a lot to prepare for, but when I asked people to show up I got insecure. I haven’t had any kind of event for over 3 years. So this one opened up some old wounds.
Will anyone even show up? What if I don’t sell anything? What if people compare me to other artists? How much do I need to sell to feel like it was a success? How many people need to show up to make me feel good enough?
WHAT IF I FAIL
Most of the time I can just hide behind my Instagram posts or online shop and do things without showing up myself. I made Tripp, my husband, come to the event and pretty much just stand around the whole time. I said out loud, “I hate being the center of attention.” But later I realized what I actually meant… I am scared that I will be rejected. I’m scared of not meeting people’s expectations. I’m scared of being vulnerable and getting hurt. I am scared of being judged. I am scared I am not really good at something people think I am good at.
WHAT IF I FAIL
I think a lot of these thoughts are normal, especially for an artist. But this weekend I was reminded why I have to put myself out there regardless of the fears.
- I have to give people an opportunity to show up or I’ll never actually know if they will. I felt so encouraged after many conversations with new and old friends who showed up to support me. It reminded me why I love painting. I get to connect with people and offer them a piece of me.
- I can’t grow if I don’t let myself fail. Totally cliche, but so true. If no one had showed up I want to believe that I wouldn’t have let it be my last event and I would have let this push me to grow.
- Doing what I love doesn’t just mean business is easy but I have to believe it’s worth it. I want to just create things and not care if people want to buy them… but I am pursuing this as a business, not just a hobby. Hoping people buy my work makes me feel so exposed.
- I need to have pride in my own work. I want to be proud of my work and humble at the same time. If I don’t believe my work is good enough for someone to spend their money on then I am being selfish for letting someone buy it.
- I want to support other creatives. This weekend was such a great reminder to me of how awesome the creative community around me is. I want to make sure I am investing in creatives as much as I have been invested into. The only reason I have had any amount of success is because of the personal support around me. It was just a good push to make sure I am giving back which is easy to forget when things are going well.
Do you guys struggle with some of these same things? What is holding you back from putting yourself out there?
If you are an artist in the area please let me know how I can help support you, too! We are family!