Fear of Failure

Mindset matters Personal Power

This is my first log as an insight to my thoughts/fears/and life as an artist and businesswoman.  As an FYI, these posts I’m not concerned about SEO, I’m not going to be concerned about getting neat graphics in…these are raw, a stream of consciousness letters from me to me – I often write to myself because I can hear the answers so much easier when I write (if that makes since 🙂 ) .

I was hesitant to share because I want this to be a positive and supportive environment and to ensure that it wasn’t just about me, I’m also hesitant because these are so real…but…what I’m about is serving the next generation of artists….and that’s when I changed my mind. Showing only one side is fake. – like ‘Fake’book…that is not what I’m about…

I’m about to hit publish on the below and my hands are actually sweating….fear is not an option!

So here we go….


Do you see…what I see?  I think in the world of Facebook, Instagram and Picture Perfect Pinterest it is almost taboo to state that we are not perfect, sometimes we don’t have all our shit together (fyi – I cuss a little…sorry mom 🤷🏼‍♀️.)

Up and coming artists don’t see the struggles that successful artists go through OR they also have no idea if that artist even deems themselves as successful!

Look at Thomas Kincade – he died from alcohol and anti-depressant complications.  But from the outside, when he was alive, he looked like a “good Christian” man who was successful, his artwork was everywhere, he had a contract with Disney, he was franchised, he was portrayed as loving his wife by placing her first initial in his paintings….but they were divorced and he died in his girlfriend’s house.  His handlers hid all of his problems….  Do you think he felt successful?

Success – what does that mean for you? That’s what matters….

This week I found myself wanting to drink again…my trigger is fear of failure.

I’m 1 year 136 days no alcohol, and it is because I know my trigger, I know if I drink I’ve wasted all the effort to be a better version of myself.  If I drink I will be a failure.

The trigger for the fear is I know people are watching and some are waiting for me to fail.  Like Cheshire cats sitting in a tree, they swish their tails and banter with one another, wait to smile and pounce…that’s what I see…I feel it….I know who they are – I know…the anxiety/fear of public failure is growing in my stomach….

I know what to do to drive the fear/anxiety down – I build.  This week I’m working on my daughter’s bedroom furniture, and painting her walls, next week I start on the kitchen…physical labor is what I use to stop the thoughts and it works better than drowning the thoughts….

You see, this Positive Painter Community is a dream of mine, it is something I’ve wanted to live in for years and couldn’t find.  I tried once before with a local organization and I failed – I could’ve fought harder I think, I could’ve done somethings differently…but I think no matter what I did, I would be here, it would’ve just taken me longer and I’m certain the stress and alcohol would’ve caused permanent damage to my health.

My mind is my friend and my enemy.

I am in the right place.

I am building the dream.

“Action without vision is a dream, action without vision is a nightmare” ~ Chinese Proverb…

I have a vision of a thriving and interactive community of artists building and supporting each other – it is happening.

I have a vision of artists stepping forward to host a lunch and learn, wanting to showcase their leadership in an area to help fellow artists.  I see it happening.

My vision, forgoes egos…it’s a hard ask, I think….but I know there are people out there who want this too….those are the ones I need to focus on – not the negative few – there are plenty of positives out there…I know it!

I have small goals to start this year.  I have 3 months left.

I know this year is a building year.  I said that from day 1 in January…. I’m getting the process and procedures in place so the machine will work well and I can focus on the artists.

Success for me is 50 founding members by the end of the year.  I’ve laid out the next 6 months for art challenges and art business lunch and learns…I have a vision, I know there are others out there who have been searching for this…stay the course, slow and steady, eye on the horizon – what else is my brain thinking….

I am thankful for growing slowly because there are kinks in this freaking fantastic website I’ve built…yes I built this, I am very proud of that – all my past technology and management skills were needed for this, I am proud of my mind and the clarity that I have.  I cannot drink or I will lose all of this – I know it.

Fear is not an option to be successful.

I am where I need to be.

Persistence +Experimentation + Passion = Success.


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  1. THANK YOU for this! It’s one thing I love about you and this community you are building. When it is positive people can be real. What you are creating is awesome! I don’t always show up to paint with my sh*t together. But I know that I always have people rooting for me and my art. Thank you for keeping it real and facing your fears to give us this space to learn and grow and be supported. xoxo

    1. I’m so glad! I love it (in a weird sort-of-way) when I see you and others come to class a little bit frazzled and by the end of class/paint session, the whole perspective and demeanor has changed. I firmly believe that anyone who has their sh*t together all the time is in some serious denial about something 🙂 We all have stuff, we all have good days and bad days… and I KNOW, art is the best therapy around – it settles, it shifts the mind to a quiet place and we are able to produce something tangible and suddenly what was worring us seems so distant. I think what we have to do sometimes is force ourselves, even if it feels selfish or difficult, to come to the easel when our sh*t isn’t together and just paint and take the time for ourselves, focus on the canvas in front of us and not the words running around in our head – it’s grounding….
      I look forward to every interaction with you and the Positive Painter Community and seeing the success you guys have – seriously I’m smiling while I’m writing this! I smile while seeing your posts on Instagram (the theme that emerged with the cat and lion paintings is fantastic!) – it is rewarding to see you light up.
      ❤️🎨💐 🥰🥰

  2. Stephanie- kudos to you! Be so very proud of what you started & what has been accomplished so far because of your vision & your clarity of mind. You deserve this & have worked so hard…so stay focused. You don’t need the alcohol…it’s just the devil poking at you because you are fulfilling a dream & he’s not too happy about that.
    As a beginner painter, I probably shouldn’t be in all the different groups. I currently don’t see me trying to sell anything I create. But, who knows?
    As a founding member- I will try to be more interactive within this great platform you’ve developed. I joined because I wanted to learn to paint. I am cheating myself because I am not committing my time to try. Same fear of failure, I guess.

    1. Thank you!!! and you have totally got this! I am beyond impressed with your drive to learn how to oil paint and don’t worry about selling paintings – if you don’t want to, you don’t have to! You are at a wonderful time in your life where you can do whatever you darn well please – so relax, enjoy and never stop learning and playing with paint! I’m a firm believer that learning keeps your mind sharp, your heart open and your body moving! I look forward to seeing more of your paintings!

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