As I was going through this whole planning and goal setting process that I mentioned last week, I came across an interesting question that I had to answer in order to complete the plan. It asked, What are you afraid of?
Afraid? Me? Really? Wait a minute. I'm a grown up. I'm the one who looks under the bed to check for monsters. Grown-ups aren't afraid of anything, are we? Or are we? The truth is that everyone, at some level, is afraid of the unknown. Kids don't know what's under the bed there in the dark, and we don't know what lies ahead as we embark on a big new project. Every new experience carries a large measure of uncertainty - the bigger and newer, the greater the fear. Either consciously or unconsciously, we shy away from the unknown as from a fire that might consume us. There is power and comfort in knowing exactly how things will go, so we avoid the unknown, the uncertain. We don't go to those places, real or figurative, where we feel out of control. And we waste an inordinate amount of time and energy avoiding them.
One of those places might be our project bag, full of of knitted pieces that need to be blocked and seamed. "Don't know how to do that, so I'll just leave it in this bag here and pretend it doesn't exist...hey, look at this adorable kitten video..." or, "Love that lace shawl, but I don't know how...better just knit another wash cloth." Fear keeps us safe, but it also keeps us prisoner. The opposite of fear and uncertainty is the thrill of possibility -- the excitement of a new experience and all that comes with it. This is that path that leads ultimately to freedom and power.
Unless you're an adrenaline junkie, we don't hurl ourselves headlong into the unknown in pursuit of that thrill. Rather, we prepare ourselves for the journey. We reach out to others - we learn what we need to know, and we establish some safety measures just in case - a lifeline if you will. Seek out someone who can help you. Reach out to them. Maybe it's me, or someone else at the shop. Maybe it's a special teacher who has spent her career mastering and teaching just that thing you need to know. Like Tanis Gray, for instance :) Learn a little, try a little, learn a little more, and do better each time.
Whether it's knitting, or something else in your life, don't let the fear of failure stop you from starting on your path to success and accomplishment. I'm your biggest fan and cheerleader. Go you!
I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here..