Saturday, February 13, 2010


We all have insecurities. Not all of us have been blessed with encouraging parents and teachers and mentors. I've been blessed with all three and still struggle with self-doubt now and then.

I can't help but compare myself with artists I admire and wonder if I'll ever achieve the success they enjoy. I have to stop, turn around, step up on my soapbox and give myself the very lecture I give to everyone else. (Yes, I am an oldest child and have no trouble being bossy. I've worked very hard to develop a very gentle and encouraging manner - but it still comes out bossy.)

I say to myself, "Lyric, you can't compare yourself to anyone else. Sure, you haven't made more than a handful of pieces in the past umpteen years but you HAVE accomplished other things. You wrote a book for goodness sakes! That's something. None of your children are in jail! That's something too. (Of course, they have quite a way to go yet so you still need to keep your eye on the kids.) The book's done now so if you would just get off the computer you could get some artwork done. Not as much as (insert name here) but a few pieces would be nice. Those amazing artists who produce a painting a day or a quilt every week are not driving back and forth to preschool and hockey and lessons and rehearsals and scouts and meetings and school and ...... Well. You get the idea. There is a time and a season for everything. Be happy with now. Run any faster and you'll fall over and that wouldn't be a pretty sight!!!" That's what I says to myself says I!

I believe that there is a time for everything. Seasons and all that lovely poetic stuff. It's really true.

If your struggle is that you think it's not good enough maybe your little lecture should be about giving yourself time and permission to learn. It's the old Carnegie Hall schtick. Practice, practice, practice. Too many of us (especially coming from the traditional quilt world) think that if we aren't close to perfect right away then we are no good at a thing. It takes time to learn and grow.

If your struggle is that it might not turn out the way you wanted it to, perhaps your lecture should be about how every "failure" brings you one step closer to success. I don't have failures any more. I have many, many "learning opportunities" and quite a few "happy accidents." Each is valuable. Figure out how to let go some of the control and let things be.

This is where my kids would roll their eyes and say, "mom, you're lecturing again." It's O.K. I'll stop. But just one more thing. Tell yourself something often enough and you'll believe it. Doesn't matter whether the something is negative or positive. So take a deep breath, and choose to BELIEVE that you can do it. You will succeed.