Happy New Year!! Last week I talked about how I took more chances in 2015. I like to refer to this as my year of yes. I’m not talking about saying yes to everything that was asked of me, but instead I said yes to more of what I was asking of myself. Prior to 2015, I put off a lot of ideas I had for various reasons, that mostly led back to small fears I had. But in 2015 I really wanted to push my fears aside and let myself try things that I hadn’t tried before. Taking this approach really paid off for me and I would love to encourage you to take the same approach.
Whenever I am thinking about trying something really different and new to me, what usually happens is up pops a list of reasons as to why I shouldn’t even try. Take weaving, for example, I was a long time admirer of weaving artists and I had this nagging desire to try it myself. But of course I starting thinking of all these reasons why I shouldn’t bother (not enough time, not sure where to begin, my weaves won’t be as good as the pros, etc). But then I reached a point where I just didn’t care to listen to the negativity I was creating, and I just started weaving. This happened to me time and again last year with each large idea I had, but I had decided to say yes to myself and I’m so happy I did. The main thing about tackling your fears is that you learn a lot about yourself. It helps you establish your limits and gain more confidence in yourself.
I also learn from my year of yes, that connecting with others is such a great thing. We are not alone in life, there are a lot of people going through similar things and by connecting with others we can gain a lot. I definitely pushed myself to reach out to more people that I admired and was inspired by. This also was a fear of mine, but after I reached out I had the silly realization that people are people, they also have fears and doubts and were also looking to connect with others who are supportive. I have made a lot of friendships I treasure, just by reaching out.
By saying yes more to myself, I’ve found that my perspective has become more positive. I’m not tied down by my negative thoughts of how things won’t work out, but instead I tell myself “yes that is worth a try”. The negative thoughts and fears never go away, but you can acknowledge when those fears are valid, but also work around them.
Which brings me to failure. I have had my failures this past year, but they weren’t as bad as my prior fears were telling me they would be. I actually appreciated my failures because I learnt a lot from them. I had just finished my first weave, when I heard about a local gallery that was having an open call for a group show. My first reaction was I want to apply, but my second reaction was I’ve only made one weave EVER, am I crazy?! But following the rules of my year of yes, I said fine I’ll do it. I created two weaves that followed the guidelines for the show and submitted them for consideration. And guess what I was accepted! I was so excited to be in the show, but also nervous. The day of the show came and people were buying art off the wall…except for my weaves. This was exactly my fear, but when it became a reality it actually didn’t feel as bad as I had imagined. I actually still felt proud for taking a risk and putting myself out there. There is a lot of learn from failure and I feel like I learned a lot that day and moved on to try new things.
And of course when you take a risk and succeed, that is beyond measurement. I like to consider this blog one of my major accomplishments of 2015. But it wasn’t an instant success. I really had no idea how to blog or photo edit; I was starting from scratch. There was a lot of trying and failing, and changing things until it worked better which added up to a success (I’m counting it as a success, not based on how perfectly it’s set up…because it’s far from perfect. Instead it’s a success because you’re reading it right now, and that I value a lot!). I can say the same thing about the weaving experiments I did. Many times I would fail at what I was trying to make, but brainstormed and pushed past it to either a different way of accomplishing what I was trying to make, or by changing my design completely. I guess my point is there are failures in the success, so don’t let the fear of failure stop you!
Often one of my friends, or someone in my family will say something like “I wish I could make stuff like that”, but the thing is they can! We all have the ability to create and a big part of me putting this blog together is to help people like you learn the basics of weaving so you can move forward to creating pieces that have your own unique point-of-view. I love that you’re here to learn more about weaving and take chances. I really hope that you find encouragement in this blog. I’m definitely continuing to say yes to more bold ideas I have in 2016.
What are your resolutions for this year? Are you going to say yes to yourself more often? Take more risks? What is a new skill you’re interested in learning? If you haven’t tried weaving yet but want to, I have a great post on how to get started.
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