Hope you are well.
For as long as I can remember I have always been an over-thinker, I’ve always worried about what other people thought of me, and especially scared of others witnessing my failure. This mindset was the very thing that continuously made me fail.
From a very young age, I have been obsessed with makeup, even before I had clue about how to apply it. Eventually, I got pretty good at it. I remember in my first year of university I offered to do my friend’s make up for her birthday, I did quite well and got some good feedback. Fast forward a few weeks later, my friends were encouraging me to turn my love for makeup into a business venture, so I did. It was so fun at first, I did a few of my friends’ makeup, to advertise my new venture. My mum even gave me some money to buy make-up products. Afterward, I actually started getting bookings. Make-up artistry was much harder than I thought, working with different faces and different make-up wants; make-up quickly became a chore. I became obsessed with what others thought of my work, to my own detriment. I was so scared of being rubbish, so I just gave up.
This one hurts me the most. I used to spend every possible minute of the day I could on YouTube. Like most young black girls that are on the platform now, I was inspired by Jennie Jenkins (BeautyByJJ), Patricia Bright (BritPopPrincess), LizLizLive and so on. I felt it was something I was called to do. So I made a channel, and it was well received. Then all my insecurities started kicking in, first, it was overanalyzing my every flaw, then it was not be being able to film because of my problematic skin, then it was a bad relationship break up, then it was ‘I’m just taking a break’. I’m sure you get my point, I had excuses for days. My content was irregular and I was losing the little buzz I had. So I thought what better way to bring back the buzz I lost from inconsistency than to take a longer break (over a year). Smart? I know right! When I did come back, I received love but it was not the same. It was challenging, as I felt uninspired most of my final year and I felt like I needed an upgrade in equipment, but did I not have the funds. So again I found myself inconsistent and demotivated. I finally threw in the towel after I convinced myself, ‘you can’t fail if you don’t try’; Boy was I wrong!
These two “failures” have taught me a lot. Sometimes you need to learn your own life lessons, but if you can learn from my mistakes please do.
I still think being a make-up artist is not for me, I LOVE doing my own makeup and that is it. It is not every hobby you have or everything you are good at you need to make money from. I think this generation has this hustler/ entrepreneur focus on it, which is great to some extent; but it’s also breeding a lot of half-hearted and not well thought out business plans. It is great that you have a passion for something or an undeniable talent, however, I would advise taking your time before putting it out to the world. Consider all the pros and cons. What is your one year plan? How would you handle a demand increase or decrease? How much should I invest? Should I get investors? Being your own boss or managing your own business is more than just finding a logo and telling all your friends to retweet promo. Think, Plan then Implement!
When it comes to my Youtube channel it was a different battle. I love youtube and I loved creating and editing content. Even though I was perfect at neither, it is a journey, and with time and consistency I could have improved vastly. Unfortunately however, I never used to be so patient with myself. People like to say “If you care about it, the numbers won’t matter”, and I’m telling you that they are all a bunch of liars. In fact the more you are passionate about something, the more you obsess over every little detail that concerns it. I became obsessed with my subscriber count or video views and I would pretend like I did not care because that meant acknowledging the fact my channel was not always doing as well as I wanted it to. I was always anxious and always watching the growth of those around me. My fear of failure was toying with my heartstrings. So I quit. Till this day I still question whether that was the right choice, because I love YouTube and I believe I have a message to portray. I always think about all the girls who emailed or Dm’d me asking for my advice or the countless speaking opportunities I turned down due to the fear of failing. Not knowing my only failure was not doing these things. But I was so hindered by my anxiety and consumed by fears that I let it take over. Lack of creativity or minimal growth are all temporary hurdles if you think about it. When you really love something or feel like you have been called to something, even if times are difficult PUSH ON! When you feel like giving up PUSH ON! When you feel you do not get support PUSH ON!
Look at it this way; when you are in education just because you fail one test or exam does not mean you stop revising for future exams and stop attending school. You understand that this is only one set back and your final result can be improved if you try harder. That is exactly how we should see our personal endeavors. Where you are today is not where you will always be, unless of course, you give up. Looking at what everyone is doing, should inspire you, and when it no longer does that, stop looking and focus on you. At the end of the day, the success of others does not mean you are a failure. There is no cut off mark on how many people can be successful and it is certainly not a race.
Take it from me, feeling like you gave up prematurely, is so unfulfilling. It sounds so dramatic but feeling like you have missed out on life’s purpose is far worse than the feeling of a video not having 10,000 views.
When you hear of success stories, you never hear “I never really had a plan” or “I gave up when things got hard” or “others were better than me”. You may hear “I dove right in, even though I was unsure” or “I felt like giving up at times, but I’m glad I didn’t” or “I believed in me when no one else did”. So even if you don’t want to take it from me because I haven’t reached success YET, take it from those who have.
My fear of failure even had me so anxious about starting this blog and being transparent with you all. I have been hesitant about this for months for several reasons. I do not think I’m great at writing, everyone’s going to say “here she goes again”, what if no one even cares, what if I quit AGAIN! I can not control any of those except the last one. Initially, I wanted to start this blog in 2018, and go with the ‘new year, new me’ vibe. However, I have decided I am ditching failure and my fear of it in 2017, so here we are! So I have vowed to myself and God, to commit to this blog for better or for worse, in sickness and in health and for richer or for poorer.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”[Corinthians 12:9-10]
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” [Romans 5:3-5]
Whatever you have been procrastinating because you fear to fail, please DO IT!