Do you hesitate to cut into your beautiful quilt fabric because you are waiting for the “ah-hah” moment – for years? Me too! Do you collect great patterns and photos of eye catching quilts you would like to make – but never do? Me too! Do you freeze up at the thought of free motion quilting or bobbin work for fear of making an absolute mess of your project? Me too!
In our minds eye we are comparing our future quilts to the quilts of those artists we revere, to those beautiful quilts we see on home pages and in the winner circles of quilt shows. Of course we don’t measure up. Those quilts are the best of the best. Although unconscious, but no less true – we have set a very high benchmark for ourselves. We are mistaken if we believe that everything our mentors touch magically turned into wonderful art. No different than the rest of us, their efforts vacillate between moments of productivity and moments of block. They have made many quilts that didn’t measure up to the high standards of the few quilts that made national and international recognition.
When I am unable to accept my limitations, I procrastinate. I go for another cup of coffee and when my caffeine levels are at an all-time high, I will resort to clearing the dust bunnies from under the bed. When I avoid facing the task that is bugging me at the moment, my shortcoming remains to haunt me. When I face the task and accept the work as the best I can do at this time, the shortcoming loses its power over me and I gain confidence and am willing to try again. As we fine-tune our skills, we also fine-tune our inner critic. We no longer accept what we deemed acceptable in the past. We are never satisfied. We want to continue to improve, but at the same time we need to be gentle with ourselves and appreciate how we have grown.
Here are some things you can do to overcome those hesitations and mental blocks:
- • Set realistic goals
- • Break projects into manageable steps
- • Ask for guidance
- • Have the right tools – this can make a big difference in carrying out a task
- • Learn to live with it
- • Enjoy your work
- • Play – not everything we do is meant for show
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