Let me preface this next part by saying that this is one of those things that happened with elements that may be unbelievable for some, and may make total sense for others. I am still not sure that I believe all of it, but the benefit of it happening, and what I took away from it is, to me, undeniable. This centers around someone I did not know personally, who did not personally know me, who knew very little about me, conveying a message to me. But there was enough accuracy and little bits of truth in what was said that the message caught my attention, and through this message, I was able to examine and evaluate what was happening in my career and make a tremendous change there.
So, the person I did not know then, but do now, is a very metaphysical person. I myself am one who is open to others' beliefs and have not decided what my beliefs are on a lot of things. It's a struggle to figure out exactly how to present this event, so that you, the reader, can focus on what I got out of the event rather than the details of the event.
So, the streamlined version: This person sent me a message through a mutual friend. This message was that I had a fear of saying no to people in positions of authority because I was afraid of what would happen if I did. She also sent details of why she thought this was true. What she said related to the world of art, responsibility, paying for mistakes and feeling like a slave to something. The details had nothing to do with any events that have occurred in my life, but it made me think. It was true that I hated to disappoint people. And it was also true that not saying no was leading me to put myself in situations that I did not enjoy. Furthermore, I was often very bothered by things I saw on a daily basis where people didn't take responsibility for themselves and their actions, and paid no consequence for things they did that wronged other people. And most of all, I felt completely enslaved by my work at the time.
The last part of what this person said was instructions on how to overcome this fear. There were several steps, but the big one was to ask the universe, my higher power, etc., whatever it was that I believed in, to release me from the fear of saying no. And to do it often.
Now you gotta understand, I was not sitting around pounding my head on my desk saying to myself, "Why can't I say no?". Trouble saying no was not something I had identified in myself yet. I knew I preferred the feeling I got when I said yes to a job or request to the feeling I got when I said no, but it's not something I was working on as a person. I was really just wanting to know how I was going to get from creating most of my art for other people to creating most of it for myself, and in doing so, being able to make a living doing it. Whether or not this woman's message to me, from how she received this message to whether or not what the message said was true, it clicked with me. It helped me identify some things about myself, and it gave me something to do to move myself forward.
So, I asked. I asked to be released from my fear of saying no. I did it several times a day for several months. And it worked. I became able to say no to projects, which opened my days to work on Etsy and on new work. And being free to do both of those things led me to be able to take the next step that was crucial to becoming a working artist – being willing and ready to become one.
Next: The takeover begins...