Saturday, July 21, 2018

Occasionally, My Self-Doubt Spirals Out Of Control

Monday through Friday, I get up at 3:30 a.m. to begin my day. Lisa gets up shortly after for work. She leaves by 5:15 a.m. From that point on, I'm here with the kids. Alone. I spend a couple of hours working on blog columns and social media. Then, I head to the other end of our home where my workshop is. I spend the rest of the day working on DIY Dog Mom Projects and taking care of our kids.

Throughout the morning and until Lisa arrives home from work, I don't have any face-to-face human contact with anyone. The only exception is the occasional wine and lunch date. That happens once a month. Sometimes twice. This month, none.

I don't get lonely, per say. I've got enough to do during the morning and afternoon to keep me well beyond busy.

And yes, I'm one of those Dog Moms who talk to their kids. A. Lot.

What creeps up on me occasionally is the self-doubt. And, with no other humans around, it's not something I can talk about when those thoughts surface. What transpires from that is the self-doubt resonates in my brain.

It's hard to shake it off. 

I had a moment of self-doubt yesterday that spiraled out of control.

On Monday, I posted a DIY Dog Mom Project that was up for sale on my personal Facebook wall. It's the gorgeous 'Welcome' Sign that's a little over 3 feet tall and almost 12 inches wide. We made that sign from a piece of 100+-year-old barn wood.

Lisa sanded the wood a little on the front so the surface would be smooth. I primed the front. Painted it. Distressed it. Handpainted the ivy and the lettering.

The finished product is stunning. It's a beautiful rustic piece that would be perfect for a covered porch, mudroom, etc. The sign is tall enough to lean against the wall or in a corner. Or, you could hang it up.

When I showed Lisa the sign after I finished it, she said, "That is going to sell immediately..." 

We agreed to charge $25 for the piece. Which, is a steal. I've seen similar pieces for well over double that price. Those pieces were not made from antique barn wood and the word 'Welcome' was stenciled.

The only downfall to our 'Welcome' sign is that we didn't offer to ship. The cost of shipping would have been through the roof. And, depending on the location, it could have easily exceeded the cost of the sign.

It's been almost a week and the 'Welcome' sign hasn't sold yet. That's what I sat with yesterday. It. Did. Not. Sell.

The Swear Jar didn't sell either.

I've always said that I'm my own worst enemy. I am. I'll admit it. A single thought about the 'Welcome' sign and Swear Jar not selling was similar to a tiny snowball that unleashes an avalanche.

They didn't sell. 

Why not? 

We keep our prices beyond reasonable. 

My work must suck. 

Maybe people hate freehand lettering. 

Maybe they prefer generic stenciled lettering. 

Maybe I should just stop making signs. 

Maybe this is a huge waste of my time. 

Why am I spending hours and hours and hours on pieces that I have no guarantee will sell?

So many hours spent working, but nothing to show for it. 

I feel like a failure. 

Maybe my blog sucks too. 

Blah. Blah. Blah. 

Once the self-doubt kicks in like that, it's difficult for me to get out of that whirlwind of darkness and despair.

But, I eventually do.

Lisa has a knack for knowing when I occasionally get into these short-lived slumps. That's when she steps in with a heavy dose of reality, encouragement, and constructive criticism.

"Your work is beautiful. You're an exceptionally talented artist and writer. You know that. I know that. Others know that.

But, it's time to branch out. You need to be more confident in what you make and write. Get rid of the fear. Isn't that what you told me a couple of years ago when I was hesitant about getting into management at work? 

I had self-doubt too, but you convinced me I have what it takes. You pushed me. You didn't let me give up. You raised your voice and got really stern. Sometimes that pissed me off, but it's what I needed. I got promoted.

Create your DIY Dog Mom Project page. Become affiliated with BlogPaws. Advertise. Spend more time on social media. Take all the time you need throughout the day and on the weekends. 

You've worked over 100 hours a week to contribute to other people's success. Now it's your time. This is your year. I've got your back."

At times, Lisa gets more brutally honest.

"You're too comfortable with failure and you fear success. If people don't like what you write, they don't have to read it. If people don't like your artistic creations, they don't have to buy them.

You've been in your line of work for over a decade. You know damn well that eventually you'll have and build an audience."


I know she's right.

I published a blog column last month about the fear of success. Yes, it's a real thing.

I'm jumping over that hurdle.

I'm spending most of this weekend getting caught up on work stuff.

Monday is the start of a new week.

Face forward. Onward march.

No comments:

Post a Comment