Breaking through barriers

The only way to get better at something is through practice.
When you want to try something new though, not knowing where to begin can really put a hold on things.
For Christmas 2014 I was gifted some lovely watercolour paints and paper.
I have always wanted to learn how to paint.
My grandfather was a beautiful artist, both in watercolour and pottery, and my interest in it sparks from watching him work when I was younger – but with the exception of one informal lesson from him, it wasn’t something I ran with (and always wished I had).
Those watercolour paints and paper are still sitting here, untouched.
Why is that?
I think it is fear.
Fear of not knowing what to do. Not knowing how to start. Worrying about the mess and the time it will take to set up – or to clean up. The fact I don’t have an easel, or what feels like any space to set myself up to get going.
The thought that because I don’t know what I’m doing that I’ll be wasting the paint and paper.
These things feel silly to write but it is limiting thoughts like these that are causing my stagnation.
Author Steven Pressfield refers to these thoughts as ‘resistance’ (there’s a whole chapter in his book The War of Art) – something that all us humans have a knack for listening to, to our detriment.
It isn’t easy to break down the barriers you set for yourself.
Sometimes it seems near impossible.
You might have a fear of failure or have guilt attached to the belief that you don’t deserve to take the time to learn something new because you already have so much else on your plate.
You do deserve it (I’m sure if I continue telling myself this then one day I might just believe it myself as well!).
In fact you owe it to yourself to keep on growing and do things that make your heart sing.
This blog is one of those growth steps for me.
It took what felt like a ridiculously long time to settle on a name and it became a massive block in the process.
Once I got through it though (and deciding to keep it simple), the next few steps happened much more quickly and here we are.
As for those watercolours, I’ve got plans for making it happen.
It’s onward and upward from here.

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