I wasn’t sure how to illustrate this blog post. I don’t think that a picture of intestines is what I’m trying to convey.

I’m writing about the guts I’m realizing it’s taking to embark on a radically different path at this stage of my life and career. It’s not as life-altering as my divorce was 15 years ago or my second marriage, but in many ways it goes to the heart of who I believe myself to be and how it feels to step out of a box I’ve had myself in since childhood.

I’ve always identified myself as “not an artist”, and it’s amazing how I’ve allowed these three words to shape my experiences (or rather, the absence of them). I suppose it started, as it did for many of us, when I compared my creations to those of others and found them lacking. I made up a label, put it on a box, and climbed in.

Interestingly, I’ve scrapbooked all my life, but never considered that to be art. I love the balance of shapes and colors and photos and memorabilia but since I pursued that hobby privately, I never had to deal with my Inner Critic. Until recently, when I discovered the world of “professional” scrapbooking, and discovered that it truly is an art form.

And what did I do then? My passion for the craft led me to jump in with both feet, and before I realized what was happening, I’d been asked to design an on-line program based on my Organizing for the Spirit philosophy. Except that I’m not an artist.

You can see where I’m going. So now I’m here, creating lay-outs that are going to be seen by people who are used to seeing the creations of artists and designers who are paid professionals in the field. And my Inner Critic is screaming, “Who do you think you are to be appearing alongside these people?”

Can you relate to this? Have you ever feared being exposed as a fraud?

Truth be told, I know that I would never have been hired if there wasn’t a high level of confidence in my ability to perform. But the challenge is for me to be authentic and assured in an arena that’s quite new to me. The creative work isn’t hard, but I’m battling my self-confidence every step of the way.

I’m going to do this. And eventually I’m going to be good at it, even though the learning curve is steep. It’s just that I have to live with myself while I do it (as does my husband ;-). But I’m proud that I took on the challenge, and that I still have the guts to risk imagined scenarios of humiliation.

Stacy, thanks for taking a chance on me.

10 Responses to "Guts"

  1. TracyBzz

    December 4, 2008

    Are you doing a class at BPS? (I ask excitidly, with fingers crossed). I loved the chat with you in Have More FUN! I ordered your Organizing for the Spirit book and read it and just found it in my pile on my nightstand and was thinking I should re-read it.
    As far as your scrapbooking being “good enough” don’t sweat it. It’s not about perfectly matched pages with evenly spaced elements. It’s about enjoying your creative time. It’s about conveying your message. Recording your stories and memories with your photos. The embellishments, coordinating papers and stuff are just pretty fluff. The the real ‘meat’ is your pictures and words. So even if your pages are not design correct, I’m sure they will be inspriational to the class your teach and your family will definately value your scrapbooks.
    And besides any ‘trendy’ stuff you use today will be outdated eventually. Just as we laugh at old pictures with their wierd hair/clothes we had, or home decor; I’m sure we will laugh at our wierd placement of embellishments.

  2. sunny

    December 4, 2008

    Thanks for the support, TracyBzz! Yes, I’m putting together something for BPS in ’09 that will be under review shortly. And I do know that the “good enough” pages are secondary to my message and enjoyment of the experience. I just need to remind myself occasionally. 😉

  3. Tina

    December 5, 2008

    I’ve been realizing lately that I’m having to find some guts myself. That I am in the process of learning how to overcome my OVERLY critical mind, to overcome my shyness, to overcome my lack of opinion, to overcome my timidness (wow, the critic is in!), etc, etc. Becoming a mom and leaving behind the safety of a phone at the desk in my workplace has put me in this position of growth. And I am learning 2 really big lessons: I have to do it so my girls will do it and I need to remember that it isn’t about me….breathe in, breathe out, repeat……

  4. sunny

    December 5, 2008

    Tina — yes, breathing is good. Definitely. 🙂
    It does take guts when you’re a parent to realize that you’re a role model. The good news is that if you’re honest with yourself, and your kids, you can’t screw it up.

  5. MonicaMcNeill

    December 9, 2008

    This is just fantastic. Congratulations 🙂 Here is something I think you will appreciate along the lines of guts 🙂

    “With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.”

    —Keshavan Nair; author, speaker

  6. sunny

    December 9, 2008

    Monica — thank you! And I love that quote. 🙂

  7. jamie

    December 9, 2008

    You’re rocking it, Sunny! You are so creative and brave and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your gifts and your guts with the world!

  8. sunny

    December 10, 2008

    Jamie — it’s so great to be on this journey with you. 🙂

  9. Lisa Day

    January 8, 2009

    Sunny you’ll do great! I was scared about all the same things before I did my first class, so it’s completely normal! You are offering so much more than the pages you create and it will be a wonderful class!! I can’t wait to see what you are doing for BPS!!

  10. sunny

    January 8, 2009

    Lisa, thank you so much! It’s especially nice to hear from people who know exactly what I’m talking about.

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