Ah, Elizabeth Gilbert, you just get it don’t you? How it feels to be a woman, especially one who is or wants to live creatively.
Since deciding to launch my business, the one book i’ve read that has helped me reframe my thinking is “Big Magic.”
It’s amazing what emotions are produced when negative thoughts repeat themselves like a broken record. Our brain is so efficient that it reaches for those same negative thoughts quicker than the last time. And when those negative thoughts rear its ugly head, we start feeling scared, inadequate or anxious.
My brain has become particularly efficient at telling me that I’m not good enough or creative enough to manage Sotela. For most of my life, I felt I wasn’t creative because I strongly disliked drawing. Every time someone gave me a piece of paper to draw, I’d feel anxious because I didn’t know what to do or I wanted it to be perfect. To me, creativity only equaled the ability to draw.
I did, however, always have a knack for choosing outfits and pairing them with different colors. I used to love dressing my older sister who would have worn a giant happy face sweater and her techno chinos if left to her own devices. I only started seeing my styling abilities as creative when I started a fashion blog almost three years ago.
I was scared when I started Gold Polka Dots in 2013, but nothing was really riding on its success. I didn’t depend on it for income and could have easily quit if it was too hard or time consuming. In “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert suggests nurturing your creativity by not pressuring it to be a source of income, because if you do, you can kill it.
I’m grateful I started a fashion blog because without it, I wouldn’t have felt creative or brave enough. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the ginormous fear I felt when deciding to be an entrepreneur. It has taken me over a year to really move forward with Sotela because for the first several months, I felt paralyzed with fear. On top of that fear, I was dealing with some health issues, which I’ll explain later, that turned me off to the whole idea of launching a clothing line.
The only thing that pushed me to move forward was reading “Big Magic.” These are the three lessons I learned:
1). Fear is part of the game and you really don’t overcome it. You learn to live with it.
2). Fear is actually triggered by creativity. So if you are scared, it usually means you are doing something right.
3). Nothing is original anymore. Everything has been done before, but it is our authenticity that makes our art unique.
It’s funny what a shift in your mindset can do for your creativity. Once I decided to lessen fear’s voice in my head, I was able to finalize the fabrics, find a production partner, and complete my first three samples in several months. I’ve done more in the past three months than I had in a year since joining Factory45.
“Big Magic” has inspired me to continue living a creative life. It has taught me that fear is natural and will always be there, but I can’t let it take over my decisions. Lastly, it has inspired me to believe that I am enough.
After a year of planning, Sotela will be launching via Kickstarter in May! If you are interested in buying clothing that will solve your “nothing fits” dilemma, sign up for the newsletter to be the first to know when we launch.