Jul 15 15

Georgia O’Keeffe on Fear + Additional Thoughts by Yours Truly

Georgia O'Keeffe on Fear | graphic by June Letters | found on Block Print Social

I stumbled upon this quote by Georgia O’Keeffe yesterday, and it hit home.


The lovely graphic, created by Jess Levitz of June Letters Studio, popped up on my Pinterest feed & buried its way into my psyche at precisely the right moment. A moment when heaps of change, numerous brand-spanking-new endeavors (many falling WAY outside of my comfort zone) were building and compiling – becoming heavy under their own weight – threatening a landslide.

Or rather, a backslide.

You see, things have been going well for me lately.  Months of work have begun to show results, goals have been met and surpassed, folks are approaching me for work instead of the other way around.

Yes, things are going great.

Which is precisely the moment when I start to FREAK OUT.

I lose it.

That’s my M.O. (sad, but true.)

And I know I’m not the only one who does this. The most batsh*t crazy thing about us human types is that we’re afraid of our own success. And while that may be “natural”, it’s also senseless. And self-sabotaging.

So what is it that we’re really afraid of? Surely it can’t be success itself. We all want to succeed, right?

More likely, it’s the backslide. Losing momentum; getting struck down & pushed back on yourself; falling into old habits; ending up back where you started, but feeling worse about being there – because this time, you’ve tried and you’ve failed. Now that is terrifying.

But O’Keeffe’s words are a perfect reminder that this fear is, ultimately, inconsequential. As long as we keep doing – keep stretching – we will move forward. Through the fear (despite it, or because of it, I don’t pretend to know), we may even create our own version of this:

Georgia O'Keeffe. Wave, Night. 1928 | via Block Print SocialMy favorite by Georgia O’Keeffe – Wave, Night. 1928

& there’s nothing scary about that.


Images: June Letters Studio | ArtStack


2 Comments On Georgia O’Keeffe on Fear + Additional Thoughts by Yours Truly

  • 1
    Jaime @angloyankophile / Jul 16 15 at 9:02 am

    Thanks, Natalie – I needed to read this. I’m experiencing similar feelings at the moment and I often flip-flop on how I feel about my blog and how it’s going … I’m on one of my “down” dips at the minute and trying to remember to sit back and go with the flow a bit more!

    • Natalie / Jul 16 15 at 10:17 am

      Man, I’ve been there Jaime! And I’m only starting out with this blog – I feel like I shouldn’t have those feelings this early on. But I think – for me, at least – those feelings come down to doubt, which usually stems from fear. I think you’re right – going with the flow is the only path forward. If we overthink it too much, we risk paralysis or giving up a good thing. Just look at the way our blogs have allowed us to connect to one another! & I’m sure your blog has fostered all sorts of other amazing connections. I still clearly remember your post on your biggest fear as an expat – it sends shivers down my spine! To have a platform that allows you to express that fear – and connect to others who feel the same way – is pretty amazing. I hope you work your way through this down dip!

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