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:
My favorite by Georgia O’Keeffe – Wave, Night. 1928
& there’s nothing scary about that.