Saturday, October 13, 2012

Does Fear have a Strangle Hold on You?

First Place winner in PanAmerican Alliance juried competition

This is the month when spooks, goblins, superstitions, and zombies celebrate the hidden fears and foibles we normally bury. Costumes and disguises parade as evil to ward off evil.

In reality, we all harbor secret fears that are sometimes disabling. Psychiatrists have names for these phobias. Some people overcome them through faith in God or a power greater than themselves. Others struggle a step at a time to unchain the demons within.

Second Place winner in PanAmerican Alliance juried competition (colored pencil)
I was talking about fear with my daughter, who is having difficulty finding employment. Each interview becomes more mountainous and treacherous. She finds reasons for not following through with an appointment: “They won’t hire me anyway. They’ll find some reason why I’m unsuited. I can’t go through it again.”

I feel for her, but at the same time she can’t remain frozen in time. “Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you really want to do,” I told her. “Don’t let fear control your life. If you do, you’ll regret it forever.”

I try to live by that advice myself. We all have to get out there and show the world what we’ve got. It may not be as good as someone else. It may not be as flashy and flamboyant, but it’s unique and represents who we are.

One of the greatest barriers to self-appreciation is making comparisons between yourself and another person. Because of insecurity or lack of self-confidence, the other person’s accomplishments always seem greater than our own. Our talents and skills pale in comparison. So why do it? Why compare yourself with others at all?

Progress is made and skill improved when we compare our last efforts with our present efforts. Compete with yourself until you feel more confident, and then you can comfortably compete with the world. It works for Olympic athletes. It works for pianists, writers and performers.

I look back over the years at how my work has changed and improved, and I’m clearly amazed. Don’t discount yourself; move ahead with the belief that you will get better. You must get better. Natural law predicates it. Practice and repetition do make a difference (your mother was right!).

My blog contains photos from a PanAmerican Alliance juried competition in Cape Coral. I attended, but did not show any of my work.

Featured Artist
Shijun Munns  was born and raised in Foshan; an old town in the South of China. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and “numerous pets.”
“I look at the world with an artist’s eye, and a poet’s heart,” Shijun said. Her work definitely reflects this. Link