31 Jul What I Learned From My 100 Days of Fearless Lettering Challenge
How it all started
Last year, I bought a Zig Calligraphy Pen because I wanted to try it out. I didn’t know anything about calligraphy or lettering. I was just interested in what I can do with it.
When I used it, I immediately got hooked and searched ‘calligraphy’ and ‘lettering’ online. I found so many resources, videos, articles; artist, materials, and so much more that I decided I wanted to give it a try.
So I went to the nearest book store and bought a couple of brush pens and calligraphy pens. I went home and tried them out and I just couldn’t stop writing.
After a few days of lettering random stuff I decided to issue myself a challenge.
What if I write something for 30 days?
So I thought of a specific topic I would write about.
I thought harder.
Still none came.
At that time I was high into the overcome your fear drug. I was in a place where insecurity clouded my every being that I wanted a way out. So I absorbed everything about conquering fear.
Then I thought why not write something about that for 30 days?
30 days? Why not 60 days? 90?
How about 100 days?!
So it was decided. I would write something about overcoming fear for 100 days. It was a daunting task but I was up to the challenge. I wanted to overcome fear and this was my moment.
Fast forward, I was able to finish the challenge – barely! I was glad I did it coz it somehow made me a better person and artist. I got a lot out of the challenge and I’m going to share some of the things I learned.
Starting was easy
They say the first step is always the hardest. It wasn’t the case for me. It was a breeze to start and it was the least of my problems. Even if I didn’t know how, I didn’t let it stop me because the motivation was so high. Zig Ziglar once said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. - Zig Ziglar
I believe if you are so motivated and the drive is burning inside you, you can start and do anything you want and you won’t let anything stop you.
Finishing was hard
If starting was easy for me, I had the opposite experience finishing the challenge. As they say, “It’s not how you start, It’s how you finish.”
It's not how you start, It's how you finish.
The last few days of the challenge were a grind. It seemed like it would never end and went on for years. Every last few artworks really seemed impossible to do.
What got me over the hump was the thought of me not being able to finish when I am so close to the finish line. I was so close and I got so far that it would be too foolish to stop short. I realized that when you are about to give up, that’s when you are close to finishing it.
Insecurity will be your enemy
When I started the challenge, I was apprehensive as to how people would react to my lettering artworks. I was imagining all the possible negative things that they would say. I was always an insecure person, I worked myself up that I no longer care what people say now, and I would stress myself with every negative comment.
But someone told me that I was doing this not for them but for myself. Besides, you will never ever be able to please everyone. So might as well stop pleasing altogether. So I gathered all the courage that I had and went through with it regardless. It was liberating to be able to free yourself from the chains of expectations from others that showing what I did became a fun experience.
To be great you have to be an amateur
Every pro was once an amateur. Every expert was once a beginner.
I thought about that when I started out. Because I was insecure back then, I would always compare myself to others. But I didn’t realize the people I compared myself to were experts and have been doing it for years now. I on the other hand was just starting out. It was an unfair comparison.
But every one of us started out in the same spot – zero. So what is the difference between them and me? They embraced their being and amateur and opened their mind to new experiences.
They went at it non-stop. And then did it all over again. Again and again!
Just do it!
I think this is the best thing I learned about the challenge.
Just do it!
Enough with the excuses, the negative comments, the fear and what not, go ahead and do it!
Stop over-thinking and do it.
If you’re scared, all the more you should do it.
I can’t stress it enough, just do it!
Wrapping it up
This challenge has been everything I expected it to be. It has been scary and stressful yet awesome and fun and the same time. In fact I am thinking of doing another challenge right now coz I want to do it again.
How about you? Is there something you want to challenge yourself with? Go ahead and do it!
You might be surprised at what you will achieve.
Check out my Instagram for more of my lettering artworks.