Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why Try?

I have a confession, I possess a general lack of confidence in my own abilities as they are presented to strangers. In other words, I'm a big old chicken and I can be painfully shy in unfamiliar situations. This character flaw, if you will, has stopped me from doing a lot of things over the years that may have led me into an entirely different life. At one point, I was set to attend a performing arts school and I chickened out. Then I was going to go to University in southern California and pursue an acting career and I chickened out. It hasn't just been big events that I've run scared from, it's all sorts of little things as well.

I was that girl at the party hanging out in the corner that only talked to people I knew. You thought I was aloof or stuck up. I was just terrified of unfamiliar situations. I am outgoing and loud and friendly when I'm on my own turf, but take me out of my comfort zone and I'm just a little scaredy cat. I know my own strengths and skills among my friends and family, but I have a horrible time selling myself to new people.

I find that if I don't try, I can't fail. Yeah, I know, the only real failure is to not try, but I'm sticking with my philosophy on this one even if it patently wrong and counterproductive. I know that a lot of people believe that they need to get their pieces into retail outlets in order to really succeed. This would require that I actually go into a store and ask them to like my stuff and I'm just not ready to get into a situation where there is such a high possibility of failure. Its times like this that I wish I wasn't a grown up. Seriously, wouldn't it be wonderful if I still had a Mommy take care of things like this for me. I guess that's what assistants are for, but I can't afford one of those and I think my Mother would just laugh at me if I suggested she become my sales rep.

I really admire those who are able to market themselves in person, I don't even feel comfortable handing my business card to one of my husband's coworkers. What's funny, is I actually have gotten much better at this sort of thing since I had kids. I watch them attempt things they don't how to do without fear and that gives me a little courage to try. Maybe when they are a little older, they can help me get my jewelry into boutiques and bridal shops. Ah, my toddlers, my favorite new excuse for not trying anything new. What will I do when they are older?

I guess I will just keep trying to get up some courage and hopefully one day I'll be able to do all those things people suggest I should do for my own success. Until then, I'll hide comfortably behind my keyboard where I feel safe.


Rocki Adams said...

Hi there, found you via etsy forum.

I know where you're coming from. I was that same girl long ago, but time nudged me beyond the fear one tiny step at time - as it will for you :)

Take care,
☼ Rocki

miahawk said...

your things are so beautiful!

I'm borderline agoraphobic, so I hope to build my online business enough that I can survive without having to do shows or sell in person. I can get to the post office, I can get my daughter to school and talk to her teachers, but I just can't do shows or hawk my wares to shop owners. once upon a time, I was a lot braver than this, but things happened that made me want to avoid unfamiliar people and situations at virtually any cost.

thank god for the internet, is all I can say! and for places like Etsy, where more people would ever see your work than you could show yourself in a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

i have the same insecurities. i always wish i had someone else to help market my purses.
keep up the good work.

Unknown said...

Just saw your link in Etsy & stopped on over. I can not tell you how many times I was nodding along to what you said here! I feel pretty much the same way, my biggest fear has always been failure. A perfectionist trapped in an artist's body is an awful place to be sometimes. Anyway, I will be back to read you again, you're a wonderfully articulate writer. hope you have a chance to pop over to my blog too :~D

~ Jenn

Unknown said...

I am exactly the same! I just can't promote myself without feeling unworthy of the attention. I can't take complements - if someone says I'm talented, I say it's easy and anyone can paint!