Conquering Fear As An Artist
Updated: Jun 28
Written by Victoria Smith
We are responsible for the success of our own lives. That's a heavy realization and can be overwhelming without guidance and faith. This article delves into how you can stop holding yourself AND your creativity back.
"Your words and mindset have so much power."
As a young, female, African American artist, I find that more opportunities are beginning to become available for us now than ever before. As the floodgates of artistic opportunities begin to open, I often question at what point do we allow our minds to believe in ourselves enough to walk through the doors with confidence. Believe me, I cannot speak for every human on the planet. Hopefully, my perspective on the subject will help shed some light on the hill up the slippery slope known as life.
I’ve been a clutz my whole life. When I was a kid, I remember getting ahead of myself and falling in the bowling alley because I didn’t pay attention and crossed the “line” between me hitting the pins with the bowling ball and my behind hitting that hard floor. I tripped the other day on my own feet at work. Literally, I get in my own way. Due to this, I admit here today that I literally and figuratively can’t get the hell out of my own way.
It’s one thing to physically trip yourself up. The mental and emotional challenges behind getting in one’s way is a whole new level that I have unfortunately mastered to the point that it has literally allowed me to delay pursuing my dreams for years. Now that I am getting older, I finally realize how much my own criticism and emotional destructive behavior toward myself has impacted my choices.
Your belief system shapes who you are and what you do. Unfortunately, it can hinder your journey of reaching your destiny. You can say out loud all day, “ I am beautifully and wonderfully made.” But, if you don’t believe it, what’s the point? On the other hand, you can proclaim that you aren’t as talented, beautiful, or smart as so and so. Sadly, this type of energy can attract more negative energy in your life. Words and mindset have so much power. Every negative comment or belief that negates who you really are, will literally delay you reaching your dreams.
There are always reasons or life situations which may cause you to have to retrace your steps or change your life strategy to reach your goals. Trust me, I’ve had plenty of those occur already. How I felt about myself has been the real dream killer. When I compared myself to others, I felt down because I wasn’t as far as so and so in my career. The fact that I had acne stopped me from chasing my dream of being a model because I wasn’t pretty enough in my eyes compared to everything around me. I didn’t go on auditions because of my looks, the way I thought my voice sounded, I didn’t think I was good enough, or I was just plain scared of failing. When I did get a part, I was in my head so much criticizing myself that I couldn’t be in the moment for my character. Excuses about why I couldn’t do something became one of my closest friends. Ultimately, hiding behind my office job seemed like the easy way out while I watched everyone around me go for what they wanted.
"You have to admit that your fear is in the way of your creativity and of your dreams."
How do you get out of your own way? There is no magic formula for it. There are different versions to the answer depending on the person and the situation. First, you have to admit you and your fear are in the way; this is the first step to healing. Be open and honest with yourself about where you are in your journey. It’s okay if you need a break, but don’t give up on yourself. It’s also okay if your dreams change. This is the beauty about being a dreamer; you can be and do anything you want.
For me, it means loving a little more each day until my heart explodes. It is a daily battle of stopping the negative narrative and changing the direction to the positive lane. Getting out of your own way is trusting the Universe (whoever that is for you) to have your back at all times. It’s about being brave and going for what you want despite the fear and unknown results. You have to put in the work toward the dream despite the circumstances. When your feet get caught up and you start to fall, let the people who love you come in to help you up. Maybe you even need them to walk with you for a while until you can walk on your own again. They never stop taking the journey with you. They are always there cheering you on in the background.
"There are so many people that you don’t know yet, who are waiting on the blessing that comes from who you are."
This is a learning curve. When you know better, you do better. You can be tired, scared, stressed at times, with wavering faith; but, take a moment look for the signs around you and that affirm and offer hope. The entire universe wishes to conspire on your hearts behalf. Be positive, be clear in intention, and like Nike and “Just Do It!”
Deep down we all have something in us that goes off like the bat signal in Batman telling us we have to get it together. Use what you have, and if you don’t have something you need, ask for help. The best tools you have in your toolbox are yourself and your gifts. You need to trust them, use them, and cherish them. At the end of the day, the only thing that is stopping you from driving across the finish line is YOU. So put the pedal to the metal and get going because there are so many people that you don’t even know yet, who are waiting on the blessing that comes from who you are.