Yesterday I stumbled upon a quote that resonated deeply with me:
"Fear is to begin with the end in mind. There is no end."
There was more written after but I kind of liked the idea of stopping the thought here. I like the open-ended nature of it and how relatable this idea is. Fear holds us back to the point where we are too afraid to start. How is it possible to even fear what we don’t even know to be true? None of us are capable of seeing where these intricate roads take us, so why not approach our fears knowing this? There is no end! Stop worrying about what is ahead of you, rather focus on what is right in front of you. Centre your energy on the journey, not what will come once the adventure comes to a close.
I especially like this quote in relation to the process of creating art.
"Fear is to begin with the end in mind.” I always envision my end to be failure or unnecessary worry about what is next.
“There is no end." If I don’t think about failing or things beyond the present, then there is no reason not to start. There is no end, meaning, failure is not waiting for me.
Or, there is no end, art is a never-ending process that is impossible to complete.
A common question I get after “How long does it take you to finish a painting?” (no idea!) is “When do you know, or how do you know, when the painting is done?”
I usually respond in a trite manner: I just know.
But truthfully, I don’t really know. Can a painting ever really be done? Is there a true definitive end to the process of creating one singular piece? I’d like to think that when I’m done painting everything fades to black and the credits begin to roll signaling THE END, but unfortunately my life is not a movie, as much as it pains me to admit that!
If I approached my work with this fear that no one would like what I produced or no one would buy it so why bother starting, then I’ve already sabotaged myself. Fear once held me back. Fear of judgement, fear that I wasn’t good enough, fear that if I do paint something that people like, then what? Sometimes it is more than just a fear of starting, it is a fear of what happens when you start to prosper?
Can we give ourselves the permission we need to cast fear aside, move forward without thinking about failing, or worse, worrying about what to do if somehow you trick people into liking your product?
My hope is that for today I will not worry about tomorrow, or April 5th (first solo-exhibition show!) or where I’ll be teaching come September (English and Art teacher for hire!).
Today, I have no fear. There is no end, only the beginning.