Friday, November 20, 2009

What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

I just picked up the most recent copy of "Quilter's Home" magazine.  It's the last one that Mark Lipinski was involved in producing and it was nice to hear his "voice" throughout.  I'm not sure what the magazine will be like moving forward, but I'm willing to give it one shot.  I know it won't be the same but a quilting magazine that addresses the lives and lifestyles of quilters is important.  I hope if "Quilter's Home" doesn't maintain that mission that another magazine will take up the challenge.

The reason I'm talking about this is that there was an article in the magazine that really hit home for me.  It's by Annie Smith, who has a wonderful podcast at  I've been listening to her for years and she has a really positive and inspiring attitude. 

The problem I have with so many quilters, teachers, and quilting "celebrities" is the way they can come across.  There are some that I feel talk down to me, (like I'm in kindergarten or something!), and then there are those who are all about them, (their fabric line, their books, oh, and isn't everything great about me!).  There's also a tendency to drop names and make those of us who aren't part of  "the group" feel like we're back in high school, anxiously hoping to be asked to join them at their table in the cafeteria.

Sometimes I just want to say, so what, big deal, now give me something I can use!

Annie isn't like that.  She has a lot of contacts in the quilt world and has had her share of success, however, I always had the idea that she was "one of us."  I enjoy listening to the interviews she does with my favorite quilting "stars," and many times I feel like I'm right in the room with them, asking the questions myself.

Her article is called "Ditch the Fear" and it's all about not letting fear hold us back from what we really want.  She was inspired by a sign that said "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"  Wow, that's a good question!

I've struggled with fear for years and I know it's held me back from doing things I want to do.  Now that I'm getting older I realize that I better get going or my opportunities for doing those things may go away forever.  It's now or never, baby!

Fear is actually one of the reasons I put off blogging for so long. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find a "voice" that I was comfortable with.  Sometimes when I go back and re-read my posts I wonder about how I'm coming across.  I'm sure I'm like most of you, blowing my own horn is not something I'm very comfortable doing.  Sometimes I get so excited about something I've discovered that I want to pass it on, or when I've had a success I want to share it.  However, whenever I do I second-guess myself and agonize over whether or not I came across as a "show-off." 

I'm proud of my accomplishments, mainly because they reflect a dedication to the art form.  My talent I can't take credit for, it's a combination of gifts I was given at birth.  However, I can take credit for taking the time and making the effort to make something of them and of myself.

Whenever someone says to me, "Oh, you're so good, I could never do that."  I always want to say to them, "No, you can't do that, not because you're better or worse than me, but because that isn't what YOU should be doing.  You should be doing YOUR work, and I'm sure it will be just as or more fabulous than mine!"

I can't tell you how many times I've encountered people who are afraid to pursue their dreams.  Fear is such a powerful emotion that can paralyze you and keep you from moving forward.  It's that little voice in your head that says, "No one will like that," " My price is too high," "Everyone is more talented than me," "I'll never get it finished." you know the routine, on and on and on it goes and it never shuts up!  My little voice even has an annoying blah, blah, blah delivery.  At least it could be more entertaining, a British accent might help!

I'm working on killing off that annoying pest, I want to pull its' plug and toss it out the window.  Whenever I hear it chattering at me I actually try to visualize it as a tape recorder, then I pull the cassette out, yank out the tape and tear it up.  It feels so good!!!

I have some exciting things in the works, which I hope to be able to share soon.  In the meantime I'm going to keep tearing up that tape, and keep those fears at bay.

If you share this problem I hope you can do the same. 

Just think what we could accomplish if we knew we couldn't fail!

Happy Stitching!



Four O'Clock Quilt Company said...

I just watched 'the Secret', something I got from netflix, although it is not a feature film. It is on the order of your post, get rid of the fear, and get going! I think I'll watch it again, although it wasn't religious or bent toward any religion, I think there is a lot of learning for all of us to do, and it is an eye opener.

West Michigan Quilter said...

I've always heard "feel the fear and do it anyway." That's hard to do, but when I look back I know it works. Watching positive movies, reading positive books, and being with positive people sure helps. We are all in the same boat, struggling to get where we want to be. Your question is thought provoking. Just imagine where we could be.