Fear prevents fullness – part of an authenticity bloghop

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” Jessica Hische

Do you ever wonder how much of life is actively choosing certain paths and how much is luck or random? Of course, in looking backwards, it’s easy to identify a crossroads here and there.  (If I’d gone to a different grad school, would I have met my husband or my best friend? If I hadn’t attended that one infant Gymboree class, would I have me the dear friend who eventually guided me to almost all of my mom friends?)

I have been thinking about my personal “destiny,” for lack of a better word.  Specifically in relation to photography.  It’s obvious now to me and to you that I light up inside because of this passion, this new viewfinder to the world.  The question that comes to me often is, “how much of this am I supposed to make happen and how much should I let unfold in its own time?”

I love capturing images and sharing them.  Period.  I don’t need to derive income from my passion, and yet sharing my photography with others is what forges the connections.  That appreciation helps fuel me.  And let’s be real… most success is measured in sales these days.  Demand for my prints or services implies that I’m doing something that resonates with others and is meaningful.

So I spent an entire day (rare time alone!) opening an Etsy shop but I have yet to sell anything there.  I printed and framed a few photos for display in a coffee shop nearby but same story there (though the employees tell me almost every time I’m there how much they love looking at them – payment in itself to me).  I am “getting out there” and taking pictures for friends.  I toot my own horn a bit by blogging about it and I even made a Facebook Page solely for my photography and photography-related news.

I did all this because I refused to let the fear of failure hold me back from potential success.  I finally figured out that I fear success more than I fear failure.  I’m already doing what I love so who cares if my little experiment is deemed “a failure?” I have read enough accidental success stories to know that sometimes things work out for the best just by doing what you love most.  Of course I want to experience all the fullness of life that I can.  I don’t want to hide from anything that would be fun and good and joy-filled.  But what will my life become if there really is a commercial market for my prints? Or where would the time come from if I did become successful enough to charge more than a couple hundred bucks for what ends up being 10-15 hours of my time? That’s scary stuff! Let me be clear: I love photography and I love that there is so much to learn that I can study it my entire life and still learn more.  I am happy where I am, but if I could do more and be more, that’d be wonderful too.

In this post on Kind Over Matter, Satya Colombo wrote:

All the fears hold us back, and keep us from experiencing the fullness of our lives. Along with worry, fear is one of the the greatest of evils. 

But when we overcome the fear of using our own voice — of expressing the beauty of this life — really sharing and touching the lives of those we love with it, we live an immortal life. We transcend so many of the other small fears, and we’re able to create a legacy of goodness and light for the world.

I know that I am seeking connection and validation and community.  That’s the same reason behind this blog.

What do you think? Do you let fear of failure or success hold you back from what you may be called to do?

Today’s post is part of a brave blogging link-up for students in the How To Build a Blog You Truly Love e-course. Hope you’ll visit them to see and support what everyone is  sharing – and feel free to jump in, too!


22 thoughts on “Fear prevents fullness – part of an authenticity bloghop

  1. Congratulations, Naomi! Putting your art out there is incredibly brave – it is a piece of yourself and a reflection of your heart. Love that you say photography is your new viewfinder to the world. I hope it continues to fill YOU up and fill your bank account, too. 🙂

  2. Love your work, post-wise and photography wise … and the fear message is always a good one isn’t it? Fear so often holds us back from who we authentically are. A nice reminder to stop and recognise it for what it is .. and then continue on with the job of being us regardless 🙂

  3. The fear of success is so powerful. But now that you know it, you can take the steps to move past it. Fantastic post, and your photography is beautiful. Thanks for sharing a part of you that is easier to keep hidden.

  4. Fear of success is something I think all artists face. It is so hard to put your heart and soul into your work and then share it with the world. Building a business, especially an artistic or creative one takes time. Keep doing what you doing as long as you love. And your work is beautiful!

  5. I let fear stop me very often, and I wish I didn’t because I know that it keeps us from experiencing the wonders of life. Fear is one of my worst enemies.
    Love the photos in this post, Naomi. Someday I’ll be able to shop online and I’ll decorate my home with lots of beautiful pictures.

  6. i don’t know if it’s fear of success or just fear of the unknown that keeps me in check. the devil you know, sort of thing. i think that definitely has an impact on me–especially in the career realm.

  7. You have to have that little bit of fear to know that you are alive and on the right track. I honestly believe the fear is an integral part of the creative process. Feel the fear and do it anyway! You are on the right track girl!!

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