I was stuck in a rut. A huge rut. Creatively and professionally. I was freaking out.
When I made the decision to work on Studio Kittie full time, I knew it was the right thing to do. I was excited to grow, and launch new products, and finally embrace my future as a professional artist.
But instead of feeling passionate, motivated, and on fire, I flatlined. My energy tanked. My creative inspiration dried up. My income disappeared.
It made absolutely no sense. Cue panic mode.
I tried to power through the despondency and literally work my way out of it. That failed. The harder I tried to push through, the more resistance I created. I had to stop. I took a break from trying to accomplish anything, and I started to ask Why? Why is this happening? Where did my passion go? Am I broken? Will I be broken forever?
It took me days to articulate my sense of loss and my fears about my future; but when I did, I shared. I could not understand what was happening to me and I hoped someone, anyone, could help. And she did. Ollie Neveu opened her heart and shared her personal experience with me:
“The ego creates fear as a form of motivation. I… was always super motivated my whole life because [I] was running on this fear of I’m not good enough if I don’t meet these standards. But then once I left that [way of living] it was all just meh. The drive and motivation had gone and… it was because there was no fear driving me to do the work to get my ass into gear… to get the spark back it’s a case of flipping it from fear to passion. Like training wheels… you can move through creating [new work] with passion motivation rather than fear.”
I was stunned. Floored. Flabbergasted. I read her comment five more times. Then I just sat while it sank in.
I never equated fear with positive motivation.
I looked back over the past three years of my life and asked myself, honestly and ruthlessly, what had motivated the growth of Studio Kittie? What was the driving force behind the wonderful, exciting, magical, transformative growth I cultivated and experienced?
It was fear.
The fear of being stuck in unfulfilling work forever if I didn’t pave my own way. The fear of never realizing my dream to be a professional artist. The fear that my work would go unseen the rest of my life.
Here’s the thing - it never felt like fear. It felt like personal drive, and determination, and grit, and hope, and anticipation. It was fear camouflaged as personal growth. Suddenly, I knew I wasn’t broken. My creative mojo wasn’t gone forever. I simply needed a new motivating energetic force. My engine wasn’t broken. I was just out of gas.
Fear can only push you toward your goal. It’s a deep, strong push, but it can’t last forever. Eventually the fear gets exhausting, leaving you at a standstill with no forward momentum.
Desire, on the other hand, empowers you to pull yourself forward for as long as is needed. Desire is a limitless source of energy because it flows from the heart. With enough desire, you can accomplish anything.
When I made the decision to leave behind a fear-based way of living, I unknowingly cut off my fuel supply. No wonder I sputtered out and coasted to a standstill.
I have never before allowed Desire to fuel the driving force of my life. I don’t know how it feels. But I can't wait to find out. Time to gas up and get back on the road.