I’ve been thinking a bit about fear lately and not because we are in the throes of election season. No this is internal fear. The fear that keeps you from moving forward, from initiating a new project or following through on an idea.
I’ve been thinking about where this thought comes from and if it is really fear or lack of motivation or lack of passion or disinterest or overwhelm or a combination of all the above.
Whatever it may be, it really stinks when it affects your business.
From a revenue standpoint this year has not been as fruitful as last year. Sales are off to a certain extent in both the consignment and wholesale arenas. My spring retail show was a bright spot in that sales exceeded last year during the same time frame. I have a couple more shows on the horizon this fall; small shows that I’m approaching without expectations. But with little on the horizon, motivation has been difficult and goal setting feels empty.
One thing that I have learned is that I need structure to keep myself going. Setting a daily schedule gives me some level of focus and keeps my mind, to a certain extent, off the fear concept. I keep plugging along, making my wine bottle stoppers, business card cases, and perfume pens. I tell myself how prepared I’ll be when a new wholesale order arrives or the consignment gallery inventory dwindles.
I’ve also been thinking about where the origins of this fear comes from. Not so much in the present but from the past. Did someone say something in passing in my childhood that lingers in the recesses of my mind? Is it from a more recent adulthood experience that lurks around the corner looking for an opening in my psyche?
Or, as Yoda would say, am I doing too much thinking and not enough doing?
I think we all go through periods like this. You wonder where the customers are. You wonder if you made the wrong decision by pursuing this small business, in art no less. And then you wonder what else you would do with yourself.
Sometime we are our own worst critics, our own worst enemies. We put extrordinary pressure on ourselves. One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is to just let life be. To wrestle away control and utter the words “It will be okay.”