What's Over the Next Horizon/Fear of Success

Glacier_4480, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

So, the other day, I happened upon a few opportunities. You know the typical places and “calls for entries” we photographers usually respond to. Stuff like “artist wanted: must have own prints!” only a bit more formal (if you will.) I happened upon this one opportunity that would be *great* and, when I say *great* I really mean like great, great, great. It would be life altering, mind blowingly good. Seriously great.

And that’s when it hit me.

I’m not afraid to enter these type of opportunities because I might get rejected, no, I get rejected all the time. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’ve been rejected from bigger, better places. (Harumph! Um, I think.)

My fear? My real fear? Getting ACCEPTED.

Now, I know this might sound strange to you. I mean, why would somebody be afraid of getting *into* something, right? I mean, isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that what’s driving us all? We want to get in, in, in not be left out in the cold? And yet, somehow, when you look at what “in” really means, when it stares at you right back in the face, why “in” can be just as scary as out.

There will come a time in your artistic development when you will leave behind the safety of ye’ ole’ “day job.” There will come a time when your art will pay your bills. There will come a time when you will be face to face with that big client, that major deal you want to land, the big gallery directory, that *whatever.* It’s times like these, not your failures, that define who you are, who you really are as an artist. It’s times like these that make your career. Art is an odd thing in that it seems like you have to work for years to become an “overnight” sensation. Opportunity can hide for decades and then, “suddenly” when you least expect it, pop up where you didn’t even think to look.

Now, I know some of you are thinking, “but that will never happen to me!” or maybe, “I’m so far away from that!” Trust me, you’re not. Sure, you might think you are but, one day, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even the next day, but one day sometime soon (sooner than you think!) it too will happen to you. You will be staring down the fangs of that burly monster known as “success” and, believe me when I say this, it’s almost harder to look him in the eye than it is to chase and wrangle away the runts of failure. (Failures are kind of like mosquitoes-they sometimes make you feel like you are being eaten alive, but you can develop a thick skin and learn how to repel them right away.) The successes in life? Why, those are a lot harder to wrangle up, let me tell you.

So today, on this Friday of Fridays, I’m here to tell you, all my shinning peeps out there, that you should prepare yourself for success. Think of it happening and embrace it. Get ready, it’s coming. Stop living in fear of what’s over that next horizon. You took the first steps (they say the first steps are the hardest, right?) now don’t be afraid, get in there and seal the deal! Go present yourself to that big client, schedule a meeting with that gallery director, submit your portfolio to that new place. Go on now, you know you have it in you. You know you can do it. This is, after all is said and done, what we do now, isn’t it? Even though it seems like a great big scary universe of the “unknown” just over that next horizon, keep on the path to your success. Every hill you climb only brings you one step closer to your destination. Every step you take forges your path into the uncharted territory of your next greatest milestone. You’ll never get there if you don’t just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on, no matter how daunting one particular step might seem at the time.

When people climb mountains, even people who are afraid of heights, they are often told, “look out! Look over the horizon. Don’t look down!” This is because almost nobody is afraid of the horizon, it’s the drop down from the high mountains we fear most. The same can be said of our artwork. Don’t look at where you’ve been, look out over the horizon and look up to where you are going. You’ve got great heights to scale and you already know you’re not afraid to climb so just embrace the journey. Don’t be afraid to summit, it’s there waiting to welcome you and it’s what you set out to do, no matter how long the rope might seem now.

Bull. Horns. Grab. Need I say more?

Until next time…


1 Comment

  1. Great Grandma Lin
    May 19, 2012 / 1:49 am

    great post, i needed that today even if I've been avoiding your blog cause I hate to type in dumb robot words. They aren't so hard to take away just go to comments or settings and uncheck word recognition or something like that-racychem crupple

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