Overcoming Fear of Getting Started

Monday, August 21, 2017

Do you feel nervous about starting a new project?

Do you feel worried about making a mistake, nervous to take on a challenge, or that so many people are already so far ahead of you so the journey seems overwhelming or too time consuming? I want you to know that you are not alone. This is totally normal and can be very real and crippling to making a start on your colouring journey.

It's time to take back that control just for you, to give yourself permission to learn, to make mistakes, and to just make a start on your colouring journey. One of the most liberating feelings is just to tell yourself "who cares" if you make a mistake.

Colour not to compete with others, not to be better than anyone else, not to be perfect, but to have fun and learn more on this journey just for you. 

I do a lot of posts in our Facebook Group about having confidence, not being afraid of making mistakes, not comparing with others.. but today I wanted to address a very real problem that so many people have which is "fear of getting started" - you are not alone and yes, you can get past this.

If you have purchased colouring supplies, one of our online colouring classes, or even joined one of our free classes, and not yet made a start, today I want you to take a few minutes and really think about why this may be. This is such a good exercise to do for so many areas of life that we often put off because we are afraid of the answer. Things like being afraid to make a mistake, or thinking that others are way ahead of you and you will never get there, are very common and crippling thoughts to actually getting started yourself, even when we realise that everyone had to start somewhere. 

Here are some real tips to help with making a start:

- Don't over research it
If you spend hours and hours looking at videos on youtube, ideas on Pinterest, watching your classes first before trying.. chances are you most likely feel overwhelmed by how much you might be "expected" to know and how far along others are. The truth is, you don't have to know anything to get started. Where you are right now is absolutely more than ok. It is no rush to learn and you will get there in your own time. 

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try pinpointing a certain small task that you will start with instead of looking at the whole picture or watching a whole video - maybe it's just the skin on an image - and tell yourself this is the first step you will make. Having small, achievable goals (and maybe a little reward after each goal!) can help us to feel motivated to take on new tasks that seem daunting.

- Give yourself permission to make a big mess and plenty of mistakes
We rarely envision what it is like to actually be a beginner. The reality is, it often isn't pretty and we actually do ALL start in this same place... 50 heads of skin practice... flicks all over a page (or several dozen pages). We've all been there and it's a huge part of getting to where all of us are today. 

You might be terrible in the beginning - nothing like what you see in your classes or what others are creating. But it is this journey that we remember most, that teaches us the most, and that helps us to grow into better colourists.

If you’re totally new to something, like running, chances are you’ll struggle at first. Sore knees and gasping for air within minutes. It’s okay, you don’t have to be good. You just have to be at whatever point you are. Because when you allow yourself to be at this level for awhile and you keep going, and you keep showing up, you will continue to grow. You don’t have to be great right now, you just have to show up and allow yourself to get better every single day.

- Be honest with yourself
Realise that if you are getting frustrated or feel fear creeping in, make sure you have a real conversation with yourself about why that is instead of just putting your colouring aside. It's very common for us to mask our fear by saying we don't have time, or it is too hard, when really it is our fear of making a start and trying challenges holding us back.

- Focus
If you are one that says that you are always too busy then it’s no wonder that you can’t get started.. If you have a great idea and you want to make it happen but can’t find the time to get it done, then you need to focus. There are a fixed amount of hours in a day, but you are the one that has control of what you can and cannot do with those hours. Think about where you are spending them - do you spend more than 15 minutes a week on Facebook/instagram/pinterest? This could be your learning time! 

Try a schedule and put an alarm on your phone - this helps to make us accountable for our time instead of making excuses. It doesn't have to be for long either... 15 minutes in a week or fortnight to get started is not a lot of time, and even the most time poor people have 15 minutes if this is something you really want to learn. If you feel yourself putting up the excuse, go back to the previous step, be honest with yourself, and make a plan :)

Remember, our fears are our greatest indicators of what we need to do most. Fear is just a signal suggesting what to do next. You can never truly make fear go away. It’s always lurking. But you can embrace fear, and continue on regardless. Please remember that help is *always* available if you are nervous to get started - please reach out any time via private message or email alyce@kitandclowder.com and we can make a plan together :) Let's get you started and feeling proud of your own colouring journey.

On a parting note... I was cleaning out my computer and found this gem that I saved back in 2014 (author now unknown), when I was starting on my colouring journey and needed a bit of reassurance aswell. I hope you find it helpful enough to save like I did. *A little tip - print this out and pop it in a place where you experience feelings of not being good enough. It can help to be a reminder that you are. 

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  1. Thank you for this post Alyce. It is a good reminder that we all need to just begin where we are and progress from there.

  2. I am so excited to get started.


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