Building a business is exciting and scary for anyone who undertakes the task.
Building an art business is even scarier because your artwork is so personal. It’s not like you’re making widgets. You’re baring your soul to the world.
You’d be crazy not to be a little scared.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve coached clients with the following fears:
- Fear of setting boundaries with a spouse. (It ended up that the spouse wanted the same thing. What a relief to have the conversation!)
- Fear of public speaking, and knowing that it is necessary when you get to a certain level with your art.
- Fear of the next step when you’ve reached what you always thought would be the pinnacle of your career.
- Fear of too much success and being overwhelmed.
The fears I have in my business:
- Fear that there’s not enough time.
- Fear of sending an extra email to my list.
- Fear that I’ll create a new program that no one will be interested in.
- Fear that I won’t be able to help someone get the transformation they need from me.
The Fear Is Real
These might sound like trivial first-world problems when we think of people who are afraid of being bombed, of finding their next meal, or who are held against their will. But they’re still fears that are real to the people (you? me?) who experience them.
It’s not like you need any more reminders of scary stuff, but since it’s the witching season …
There’s the constant fear of rejection: What if I am turned down or overlooked by jurors, gallerists, art buyers, curators, and other artists?
The looming fear of criticism: What if nobody likes my work?
The fear of the unknown: How can I do this? What happens if … ?
And the fear known as imposter syndrome: What if people find out I don’t really know what I’m doing?
But your biggest fear of all should be this:
The fear of not taking action toward your dreams. [Tweet this]
You can heal from rejection. You can learn to deal with criticism, the unknown, and imposter syndrome.
But you will never recover from not taking risks.
I can remember the first time I realized that I’d rather regret something I had done than something I wanted to do but never took the chance. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but that moment in my twenties was profound, and I have tried to live that way ever since.
Wouldn’t you rather regret something you’ve done than something you never even tried?
What are your fears, and how have you learned to deal with them?