©2020 Erin Newton, www.thewellnessgarden.ca, All rights reserved
After many years of thinking my magical thoughts, writing in my colourful journals and dreaming of making a blog, I have finally taken the leap. I’ve been feverishly writing and re-writing, researching and planning. I am here now with my very first blog post, but a week ago this almost didn't happen.
Last Saturday morning, I abruptly halted the process. I don’t mean that I slowed down. I mean that I came to a screeching halt and thought, What the hell am I doing? I began to feel a familiar embarrassment grow into humiliation. It was just one week until my blog was to go live and I was convinced that I was going to fail miserably.
If you are surprised by my negativity, you shouldn’t be. I’m actually very skilled at doubting myself. My imagination is so powerful that I can be embarrassed by my own failure before I’ve even started a project. As soon as my eyes opened last Saturday, my inner voice began to scream. Who the hell do you think you are and why do you think anyone will care about what you have to say? My inner voice can be one heck of a bully sometimes.
Self-doubt is nothing new to me. My entire life I have zig-zagged between confidently speaking my mind and telling myself to sit down and be quiet. Whenever I take on a new project, it’s like my inner voice says, How dare you be so bold? Sometimes I’m able to silence those thoughts, but that Saturday morning they gave me great pause.
I decided to do what I often do when I feel anxious. I went outside and walked my dog. There’s something so soothing about feeling the sunlight on my face and being with a furry pal. Wilbur is new to our family, but he never, ever doubts my greatness! Truth be told, he thinks I’m brilliant. As I walked with Wilbur, my anxiety softened. My swirling thoughts begin to organize themselves into neat, little folders in my brain and everything just becomes clearer.
What I began to realize was that every creative thinker is subject to scrutiny and anyone who expresses a point of view might be met with opposition. Those things are both inevitable and beyond my control. I would even argue that they are necessary. I mean, how do we have meaningful conversations if there is only one perspective being presented? How will we see beyond our own social conditioning, if we don’t examine things through a variety of lenses? But, if I don’t believe that my voice is worthy, if I don’t believe that what I say is relevant to the conversation, then why should anyone else believe it?
As artists, we can’t simply wait until we feel ready to make art. If we waited until we knew that we were good enough, we would never even start. And so, I will work daily to silence my inner critic and to send my art out into the world. I won’t wait until I’m good enough, until I know enough, until I am enough. I mean, if Wilbur believes in me, then the least I can do is believe in myself.