Starting something is just so much easier and more exciting than finishing it...
Yesterday I was on the way to a customers house, in the truck with my dad, trailer hooked up hauling their items. They live close by my house, only about a 30 minute drive. I text her to let her know I was on the way and plugged her address into my phone. We followed the GPS only to be led down a few dirt roads and then to a fence where my GPS so nicely prompted me to 'park and walk to my destination'.... Thanks a lot Google! The subdivision they live in is fairly new and Google Maps is just a little behind.
I reach down to call her and ask her how to get there when I see a text from her:
"I am really excited and nervous..."
That was her response to my message stating that we were on the way. Without thinking, I replied:
"So am I."
It was the truth. You see, a few months back I started a little side business of building custom furniture for people (www.ensocustom.com, if you are so inclined to check it out). This was probably my 5th delivery and each time there is a tremendous amount of anxiety that comes over me when I deliver the item to the customer. So far, everything has gone great and the clients have loved the items. That streak is bound to end; I realize this and although I am not prepared for it, I have accepted the fact that it is inevitable.
Dozens of people saw the items I was about to deliver, a coffee table and a dining table and they all said that they liked them. But, it is hard to accept compliments when their origin is so close to your core circle of people; your tribe. It is hard to accept compliments period. I mean, would they tell me if they thought it was ugly? Really?! Would I tell them if the roles were reversed? Am I the type of person that people feel like they can give constructive criticism to? All these thoughts/ questions lead to only one outcome. All the people that care about me are lying, the work sucks and the customer will not just tell you how awful it is but she will proceed to publicly blast your ineptitude. You will never recover. Your life is basically over. I am only partially exaggerating here...
That is fear. The fear of being vulnerable. Fear of putting something that you created out there to be seen. That fear is powerful. The only thing, that I have found, that is more powerful than that is the feeling of fulfillment that comes when your client loves the work that you did. When they tell you how you got it exactly right... This is better than what I expected... When they tell all their friends and it isn't because there is some gimmicky referral program... The problem is that you can't experience that feeling unless you can move through the fear.
As a creative, which is what I consider myself to be, you see the flaws in your work at a 5 to 1 over the beauty or greatness that is seen through less critical eyes. Most of this, in my estimation, is due to an underpinned idea of "who am I" to consider my own work GREAT. That is reserved for true professionals, the people that have a following, the ones that run the ads on Instagram (that are so annoying). GREATNESS is reserved for those people on HGTV and NBC. But nothing is further than the truth. Every professional started out as a beginner; they were all probably afraid too.
So be afraid and do it anyway. Every time you get through it it gets a little easier. Each delivery I feel a little more at ease because I am building a backlog of courageous moments that have all worked out in my favor. Odds are, that this next one will too. I think, that when you are doing what you are meant to do the world has a way of making space for you. It won't come and get you though. You have to step out into it...
Even as I get closer to finishing this post I am feeling more and more like just saving it and waiting until later to finish it. It would be much safer! What if people read it and think I am weak because I talk about being afraid? What if one person can relate? What if it is terrible? What if it is great? The outcome is not for me to decide.
Here is to finishing...