I was talking to my mom tonight, and she asked me about my day - my first day of painting at a new mural job. She asked if I was scared. You know what? I was scared. I guess I always kind of am. Before and during the very first brushstrokes can be a terrifying time.
My inner voice says: "WAIT! DON'T!! YOU'RE MESSING UP SOMEONE'S WALL AND WHAT IF IT'S WEIRD OR YOU CAN'T PAINT GOOD TODAY AND THEY DON'T LIKE IT AND YOU HAVE TO RE-PAINT THEIR WALLLLLL!!"
I had just scribbled with brown paint all across their wall - sketching in everything and where it will go. And the voice starts in... "SCRIBBLES!!! PEOPLE ARE PAYING YOU MONEY FOR THIS...."
But I put in my headphones, pick up the brush, and soon I am lost in the "flow". Things start happening on the wall without my thinking about them consciously. My brain stops and my hands and eyes take over. I'm seeing things, but I hear no voice - no self-talk - no doubt. I think everyone experiences this "flow" for different things in their lives. My "thing" is painting, but other people might experience this when they run, or dance, or play tennis, or anything else that makes you just tune out everything else and focus on your "thing". Even if what you're tuning out, is yourself.
Bravery isn't about not being scared. It's about being scared and doing it anyway. Making that first brown scribble on a perfect, beige wall - knowing that now there's no going back. The self-doubt and the fear are not things I've gotten over. I think I'll always have that initial terrifying moment. But I always eventually find the "flow" and along with it, the trust in myself that "flow" will carry the project through. These scribbles will inevitably turn into something much cooler. It's ok to be scared, but try to be brave also, and do your best to trust yourself.
Today the wall is brown. Tomorrow, I add greens! Stay tuned for a picture-heavy post. ;)