As I write this I feel sick. Sick to my stomach because my comfort zone has been shaken by the truth I’m about to write for the very first time, about the biggest thing that seems to hold me back in life - FEAR.
Tall, a dark heavy 'shadow', no facial or body details, just big, built and strong looking. That's how I described my fear to look like when I was speaking to my therapist. This may sound odd to some but I’m not afraid to die – if death comes now I know I'll be fine, being alone in the dark is okay, accidentally stepping on glass or watching throats been slit open in my favourite cult movies is fine too.
But between me and my idea of success stands this great wall, this great tall wall that has been built by negativity, doubts and insecurities. I've always had this vision (and still do) of making it big in the theatre costume industry, to have my costumes recognized, praised and awarded! This is something I know will one day happen.
From a very young age, all I did was draw. Draw draw and draw. I remember presenting one of my sketches to my parents and receiving an "Oooh that's very good, nice" and as young as I was, that response crushed me a little because I was expecting a bigger praise for something that took me an hour to draw on a cold floor. That feeling I felt in that moment was just one piece to a larger foundation.
When I talked about this with my therapist she asked me what happens when I start to feel scared, what do I feel inside? And without thinking about it I replied “It feels like a something is following me from behind, every time I have an idea or want to start drawing again, my fear tells me not to do it. That it'll never get the right recognition, it's not ready to be seen. Then I end up procrastinating and unknowingly I've fed this fear, it becomes satisfied and full then disappears.”
This is something I've been struggling with for years. I can't seem to get past the idea that my work is not good enough. I have spoken to myself countless times, I’ve made many attempts to reassure myself that what I've done IS worthy, even if I'm not sure how I would proceed after I've put it out into the universe.
On some level it’s like I've gotten comfortable staying in a familiar situation, even if it feels horrible on the surface. But achieving success (whatever that means to you) can mean you are entering an uncomfortable territory. Putting myself out there to be scrutinized, criticized, and exposed to new pressures and demands does terrify me a little. But I know I'm not meant to be in this situation for the rest of my life. One day soon I'll build up the courage to finish up all the 10 short stories I've written, bring my costumes to life and send them out into the world!
- Roxanne Ivy