As long as I can think I’ve been drawing. Art and illustration is my passion, it’s the only thing I’m sure about, it’s the only thing that makes me feel calm. Calm in a sense that there is nothing else that can compete with the way I love sinking in movements of brushes with color. I compare it with meditating even though I wouldn’t contend what meditation is. It’s my safe place. And a lot of people don’t know that I always downplayed my own skills or talent. Giving up on my uncertainty and extreme humility was not one step, it was a process. Not saying humility isn’t important, but from that point of insecureness about what I did and still do, art I would say, to the point where I know what I want to do and achieve with it I had to overcome my own fear. I was scared of not being good enough, about not having enough possibilities in my future and the appraising looks from other people.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with one of my work colleagues. We were talking about our future plans and she mentioned that what she was doing right now wasn’t what she actually wanted to do with her life. She said usually, she had have had other plans, waiting for the right moment to change tack, to end things that didn’t satisfy her and start the things that fulfill her. I know we live in a society where we’re often looking for something better. A better partner, a better living situation, a better life. It’s put in our mind every day that we could exchange the life we live right now. But that’s not easy, money plays a big role and often a seemingly perfect life displayed on social media or in movies isn’t that perfect at all – it’s just our twisted perception caused by dissatisfaction and the unhealthy but never ending comparison to other people.
That being said, I wanted to be getting at something else. The girl I was talking to doesn’t necessarily want a better (whatever that is) life, she just wants a different one. She knows what her passion is, her dream, but she’s not on the way of pursuing this dream. Why? There is only one good reason for it: she’s scared. Scared of all the things that might happen to her, in other words, that she might fail. And I know this fear very well. Fear is for me some kind of inner demon that belongs to yourself. It will probably never leave your mind, it’s symbolically adnate to your personality. It can also drive you to do things that can be good. But not always.In that moment talking to her I felt exactly what she was feeling. She was so honest and I could put myself in her shoes a hundred percent. There have been so many situations in my life where I was too scared to do something, to make a decision or just try. But the moments I did try, I was always glad I took the chance. Of course, sometimes we fail. Isn’t failing better than never getting that „what if?“ out of our minds? It’s so damn human to create this mirage, a special moment in our near future in which we imagine to finally do “it”, finally step out of our monotone whitewashed lifes and get what we were waiting for all along.
Often, the expectation is that we just have to overcome some thing, and some condition is getting better. We stay passive, just wait for the next thing happening. It’s a certain point in our life we’re awaiting. But truth is, this certain point never comes. As long as we don’t break out of everyday life and do things that scare us, not one thing will change. It takes courage, a lot of courage, but it’s worth it. And I believe we can learn to be brave. The first step is to put all your apologies you tell yourself to the side. There always is a reason for not tackling something. But honestly.. that’s all bullshit.Why are we always so pessimistic about an outcome? The negative result is just one option of various ones. Why can’t we trust that everything might go right? Steve Jobs once said the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do. And that’s the same with fear, isn’t it? If we’re always scared of the next big step in our life and stay in out little bubble, our comfort zone, we’ll never experience something new, and we will never really change something. Things might stay ok. But ok is not what your life should be like, right?
One of my favorite German child book authors Cornelia Funke said that the only thing standing between us and our lives is our own fear. It’s our little demon, the devil sitting on our shoulder. If we indulge, we’re feeding the fear. There is no change in life without paying with fear and it makes one feel incredibly happy and free to do things we are scared of. I think this is so true and I encourage everyone to overcome their fears. That’s how we grow. Everything we want is on the other side of fear – and what would we do if we weren’t afraid? There is always a way back if you fail. There are always people who help you get up when you fall. If it’s still in your mind, it’s worth taking the risk.