Success ~ how are you stopping your own?

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Do you ever feel you stall your own success?

I’m convinced I play this game on myself. I know roughly which direction I’d like to go, and know I can have it, but to take that next step is like walking off a cliff edge.

And then we start our excuses we mask as reasons. Boy do we ever have alot of those! While you’re rambling with your excuses to another, I suggest to sit back and really listen to yourself. Just be silent and listen to what you just said. All those words on why you can’t.


Know what I believe the real deal to be?


No one wants to intentionally fail. Or be rejected. Or be told your work or ideas aren’t good. We all want some kind of affirmation. It’s just the way we’re built. It validates us. And that’s why it’s so enjoyable to blog. We validate each other.

So.. what’s the next step then? Do you have a dream? I’d bet you do. It may be hazy at the moment, but everyone has a passion. There’s a reason you’re on earth and perhaps you haven’t truly found that reason yet. But no one will hand it to you on  a silver platter unless you yourself make the effort to seek it out.

Here are two fine examples of recent successes in blogland.

Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, is a stay at home mom of two toddlers. 

 MMS now has 2 retail locations for her amazing one of a kind creations and is showing us how she does it along the way. But she’s doing way more than simply showing us what we can do with our trinkets. She’s paving a road in which has your name on it. All that’s left to do is follow her lead.

settee at home

Did you see MMS’s recent post titled Musical Furniture? She had no idea, but that post was written for me the day I read it. As a furniture styler, Marian’s home is in a constant state of flux. What’s in on any given day…

settee in the store

… may very well be out the next. For sale.

I’ve been reluctant to let my creations go.

However, if MMS can do it, so can I, right?!?

I found MMS when she had 75 followers and knew that day that we had a new rock star among us. All she did was throw in that dash of passion and you have the perfect recipe for the makings of personal success.

It’s all about passion. And moving forward with it. Are you seeing it?

 The Lettered Cottage

Another success story I highly admire and follow is Kevin and Layla from The Lettered Cottage. I first became inspired by Layla when she did her first before and after for a friend. (I couldn’t locate the post)

I was moved and spellbound from that moment on. If this girl could load a truck full of ‘bad boy’ furniture (I remember emailing her and asking how she got the furniture from point A to point B herself!), find the makings for merry and bright from a thrift store, and then proceed in creating a magical atmosphere out of it for another, I knew there was hope for my own dreams to come true.


filming a pilot

From there, Layla and Kevin have teamed up and have accomplished all sorts of amazing feats over the years. I’m watching and learning with every single post of theirs. (thanks for the air nailer tute, Kevin!)

There are many more successes in blogland, however I believe I’ve made my point. It doesn’t matter where you start from at all. And it doesn’t even really matter on who you become. It just matters that you’re actually doing something about it. Because the ultimate joy’s in the ride there. 🙂

No time you say? Me neither. I’m a biz owner, home owner, (sole) parent, blogger (need I list more after that last one?!), decorator, and a creator with dreams of doing more. How? Impossible! Right?

Not if I hack at my goals a little each day. You see, I’ve been mentored by the best. My friend Dan’s philosophy is, work on your dreams even just 10 minutes a day if that’s all you have. Because those 10 minutes add up. And it’s way better than not doing anything at all.

I stumble alot when I think about what I want to do with all this creativity that lies within. I’ve been talking to MMS and supportive friends. They’ve held my hand while toting out advice and encouragement and have allowed me to whine and rejoice. They’ve been patient with me.

But there comes a time when you have to take that major leap of faith. In yourself.

There’s a sweet restaurant in town that I’d like to help pretty up. But that entails me emptying my house. And I was frightened to do that. But something helped me make the decision in the last couple of days.

It was Hilary’s kitchen over at Sweet As June.

These gorgeous photos helped me realize I can recreate again in my own home. Bring new design solutions into play. After viewing these photos, I felt it. I was ready to do new things for others, and test run some other unique creations for my own. My home is the test pit. 🙂

Inspiration of all kinds is everywhere you look! I’ve named 4 that inspire me just in this one post! And you’re the other 6,000 sources. In which I thank you!

For those of you that have read my story, all the pieces to the puzzle are fitting. There’s a reason I moved where I did and a reason a team of good Samaritans helped me fix up my broken house. (reno blog HERE) I’m right where I’m suppose to be. With the door wide open at the end of the room.

 And I also believe I was led to the net to write about where I’m heading, to help further inspire you yourself. Don’t watch anyone on the net with envy. Watch with wide eyed wonder and implement some of those moves in your own life. Watch and learn. And then do!

Over the next little while, things will be somewhat hopping for me. So you may see some ‘Blasts from the Past’ type posts here and there to fill in. I really REALLY need to be proactive and kick fear to the curb and just do it. And I can’t do that sitting at my desk wishing it to happen.

Stay tuned for changes all over town this round. It’s time to go cliff jumping! And I can’t wait to take you along for the ride. 🙂

Tell me about you. 

Do you stop your own success? Why do you think that is? What’s REALLY holding you back? What are you going to do about it?

Writing it out makes it real. Go on. You can do it. Tell us what your dreams are. And what’s stopping you. We’re all ears and would love to support you!

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Categories: Inspiration

72 thoughts on “Success ~ how are you stopping your own?

  1. Hi Donna, I totally agree with your thoughts, fear of failure used to stop me in my tracks but over the years I have learned that, that gets you nowhere. At the age of 52 I have recently embarked on a major sea change and made the radical decision to move from Australia to Iceland. I visited there in the summer of 2009 and fell in love with the landscape, after selling up everything in Australia I have just gained residency and relocated. I am sure there will be times that are tough but deep down I know that I have made the right decision…sometimes we just need to trust our instincts or inner voice. Let the journey begin!

  2. What a GREAT post! Fear is the mind killer, that is for sure. It stops us from doing so much in our lives. I embroider with thread and beads, miniature sizes, of flowers, birds, butterflies and sayings, and am going to put them for sale on my blog. I keep procrastinating though, as I work part time, garden, cook and bake from scratch and take care of our home. Taking that first step off the cliff is so very hard to do.

    Thank you so much for your inspiration. Wishing you well in all that you do.


  3. I have a draft post like this in my folder for weeks now. Guess what stopped me from publishing it. Fear!
    Now I can add the fear (although it is always already present anyway) that people will think I am a copy cat.
    Fear is stopping me big time, all over the place. Fear of failure, fear of success. Fear that I am in over my head or will be. Fear of indifference. You name it and I have the angst for it.
    Great post, as always.

  4. What a great post! I know you were writing this for yourself as well as for me and so many others. And it took a lot of courage to come out and say some of those things to yourself in public. Because, you know, many of your followers think that you ARE the rock star, fearless and oh so talented, and living our dreams. And that is all true, you are incredibly talented and courageous and so much more. Caring and a gifted communicator too.

    As for me, my excuses are legend. I don’t have the talent that other people have…I live in an ugly house and it depresses me…my kids are draining all my energy with all their drama and my DMIL is driving me nuts… my seasonal affective disorder overwhelms me… And on and on. But I am taking baby steps and have started making some changes to reclaim my dreams. Seriously, you have been an inspiration to me to take some of those first steps. I may not ever be a rock star, but I am going to keep trying to be who I want to be. Thanks!

  5. Wow Donna! This was the post that I needed at 6:30 AM today. There are many things that I have in this creative little head of mine, but I always come up with a reason it will not work??? I just told my husband that the problem is FEAR and the preception in my head of things that probably won’t happen.
    I told myself, when my son graduated that I would either go into Real Estate, decorating or go back and finish my degree. Well because of the economy (excuse), I chose to just go back to school and work part-time at our school. I know this does not sound like a wrong idea, but the part-time job has become my (ESCUSE) not to use my creativity. In the meanwhile my basement is stacked with tubs of STUFF (as my husband calls it) :O
    I have to do a business plan for my one class and it has really sparked my brain in what do to to get started on this “rollercoaster of life”. Let’s face it life is full of ups and downs and it is VERY important to have some one on the ride with you, that will tell you it is okay. I don’t really have that here in my small town and family is sometimes not enough?

    I did not mean to write so much, but I think you got the idea? I have really missed your blog it is is always inspiring.

    Thanks for your inspiration

  6. What a beautiful inspirational post. This is so true, why do we let this fear take hold in our lives? I keep trying to chip away at it myself. Can’t wait to see your future endeavors.

  7. Do you read minds too? Amazing. This post could have been written about me as well. My best pal and I have decided to open a booth at an antique mall but we’re dragging our feet a bit in getting it done. It’s a little scary and yes, we will be letting go of some things in our own homes. Thanks for writing this post. It spoke to me. Good luck in your new ventures and I can’t wait to see what you do and what new ideas you have in store!

  8. Thank you for posting this! I’ve be reading your blog for a while now, and although your style is a little bit different than mine, I love the cool ideas you share. Miss Mustard Seed is a new blog to me, but what she is doing with her work is just too cool. I have been hearing a tiny voice whispering in my head to take things a bit further. To reach a little higher. To dream a little bigger. It’s a tiny nudging from somewhere deep inside.I haven’t been sure yet exactly what it means and what I’m supposed to do with it and how it will all play out, but I’m keeping my mind open to possibilities and opportunities as they come. I feel like God’s putting a dream in my heart,or maybe awakening one that was already there, and he’s putting the plan into place. I’m just not sure yet what the plan is, but I’ll find out in due time.
    Good for you for taking the plunge! I’m excited to see where this will take you and wish you all the very best!

  9. Simply a wonderful post that I know so many of us appreciate! I don’t think I stop my own success, finally I’ve learned to just embrace my interests and go for it…but sometimes there are other forces as well. I hope you can stop by my post today and weigh on in the question I ask…does getting older limit opportunities, particularly for women? Thanks!

  10. Donna thanks for such an inspiring post. I know you will do well in whatever you decide to do. You have my support all the way.

    Now get to it and tell us what the heck it is… no more teasing… lol

    Saw this saying the other day and it seems so fitting for you…

    “Progress involves risk, you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first”

    Good luck Donna, I wish you nothing but success… you will do great.

    Hugs, Deb

  11. I so needed this post this morning! Have been standing at the edge of one of those cliffs for awhile now…just paralyzed with fear. This past year has required so many leaps of faith that I’ve just been feeling pretty much “leapt out”. After a major relocation (due to my husband’s job loss), I decided to make a career change. I have finished the educational requirements to take my state real estate license exam and got the green light to take the exam a couple of weeks ago. But, I’m terrified of failing…and equally terrified of passing and then having to put it all into action! Your words were very inspirational to me this morning….thank you so much!

  12. Wow Donna, just what I needed to hear this morning! I’ve been taking baby steps when I really need to leap. I have all kinds of excuses. And every time I get a little brave, there’s that nagging voice in my head that says, “What are you thinking?” That’s when I usually take a few steps back. But I know in my heart that I really need to keep forging ahead. Thank you for the encouagement! … And sending good wishes to you as you take the next leap as well!

  13. Donna, You are so inspiring, and your post is so very true for me! I would LOVE to stay at home and sew and be craft all day long, but I have so much fear inthat I wouldn’t make enough money for my family, and I have all the benefits with my job, none from the hubbs, so that is what keeps me there. I am not sure how to make that change, so for now I participate in crafts shows, and have my ETSY shop. For now it works, it all keeps me very busy, but I love it, and enjoy being crafty when time allows. I do keep saying “someday” but with 3 kids at home, I think my “someday” will have to wait a little while! Uneless you have some ideas for me! 🙂 Thanks for my moring dose of inspiration!!

  14. Hi Donna! This is such a wonderful heartwarming post! I think you are amazing and whatever you put your mind and heart in will only lead you to much success!
    I’ve always thought I’m not good enough for so many things…It has stopped me from so many things. Blogging has really helped me loose that whole mentality! It’s wonderful!
    Take care

  15. I saw the post on Mustard Seed. She has a great talent and I don’t know how she parts with everything, but that’s her “thing”. It’s what she enjoys doing.

    I love creating, but not being forced to create. That’s why I don’t enjoy selling my art work and projects or commissioned projects…. been their done that.

    Decor Made Simple motivates me to be creative and share my creations. I have found my calling and enjoy it very much.

  16. Good post.

    Sometimes I’m a little wistful about the success of other bloggers, but the reality of my life is that I don’t want to be pulled in too many different directions, nor do I crave to have a crafting/decorating business like many bloggers do. I homeschool my two boys, which is a huge undertaking for me. I can’t do a million things and do it all well, so my personal choice and reality check is to dabble and live vicariously through bloggers with boundless energy and drive like you and Miss Mustard Seed. 🙂

  17. I saw the title of this post and HAD to come read it, well, skim it. What I HAVE to do right now is clean the cat boxes. But I will come back and read and click and enjoy. Thank you for sharing these inspirtional stories.

  18. So… here I am reading your post… thinking I need to light a fire under my _ _ _ and get going on my dreams. I have three small children and while the youngest is in preschool a few mornings a week I clean houses to get by. I can’t help but think when I am cleaning that damn it… I want to be decorating and designing the deck not swabbing the deck!!! But like you said I have a million excuses! And then I see my kitchen on your post… Funky Junk Donnas post!!! The kitchen my husband and I did on a shoestring budget(I think I will do a more detailed post on it now!)Be still my heart! You have been SUCH an inspiration to me and to think my little ol’ kitchen inspired you… well thank you for the push and the confidence to get moving. I wish I could give you a hug! 10 minutes a day… I think I can handle that! 😉

  19. Wow did this post strike home for me. Yesterday I got our local newspaper and on the front page was a picture taken at a craft show. The story went on to say how successful they had been,and had even been approached by a chef to supply their product to his restaurant. I have been talking about doing the same thing for a long time. When my daughter saw the picture she said Mom they stole your idea, I said no they didn’t they had the same idea and just did something with it. You are right I’m scared to fail,so I just talk and watch other people live my dream. Thanks for the reality check.

  20. I fall into that group of people that stop in their tracks because of fear. It is so silly to be afraid because some(or a lot of) good may come out of it. Yes, it might not work out but I should think positive,right? I thank you for your post and I think I might…will… try that one thing that I haven’t done because of fear! I let you know how it turns out….

  21. What a timely post for me – I have been wrestling with my “fear” for the last two months. Trying to decide whether to take the leap and give up the things that I have come to take for granted because of the work that gets me a paycheck, or jump off the cliff and follow my passion. I guess I need to decide if I’m willing to give up my vacation and shopping habits, and home renovations that are on my wish list in order to really be fulfilled each and every day by following my heart. This post really makes me see that doing what you love can be the most fulfilling – more so than stuff that can be purchased. Thank you for sharing!

  22. I am adding to the many others that have said this post had perfect timing. I have been toying with the idea of selling some of my creations for over a year now, the only thing that is holding me back is fear! Absolutely! But for those that have bought things from me (friends locally) have all had great feedback. What’s holding me back still? Even more fear. Thank you for this! I really needed it!

  23. Donna, I wish you lived closer! I would love to have a regular coffee get together. You are so very inspirational with your words and your art/decor.
    I love this blog world I have found with you and Miss Mustard Seed and Kevin & Layla and so many more!

  24. Having a “needed to hear that” moment, give me a sec to collect myself!

    … I’m ok now 🙂

    thanks for this great post, you are more inspirational that you know!

  25. You brought me to tears. I am everything you spoke about. I am talented, crafty and creative. I am on the cusp of something big and I make excuses to stop myself from succeeding.I start something and leave it unfinished, I dream huge but do not follow through. I have excuses, reasons, kids… but my biggest stumbling block is ME. Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone and for inspiring me to move past the excuses and reach for the stars.

  26. Dear Donna,

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now but today’s post hit home in many ways. In many aspects, my life is similar to yours and I admire the strength, the creativity, and the many skills I’ve seen from you on your blog. For me, as a reader, it’s always inspiring to see that our ‘superhero’ blogers are also human – with dreams, fears and hopes. I think that if we were not our worst critics of if we wouldn’t let fear get in the way, the sky would be the limit.

    All the best in your new endeavors and I will continue to follow until I am ready to take my own leap of faith.

  27. Donna, you are just getting better and better! Your mom would have been so, so proud. Please document what you are doing, because you are going to be a huge success. I am so glad I found your blog. Can I come up and help you use power tools? Ann

  28. Great post Donna. I do feel like I stop my own success. I don’t really have any self confidence when it comes to anything I do. It seems like I get these interests and decide I’m going to do something and then it never happens. Like I’m still trying to find my way, or my purpose in life. Everyone seems to have some form of creativity, but I don’t. It seems unfair that I didn’t get any God given talent like everyone else I know. I’ve attempted many things and failed at every one of them. I recently decided that I was going to refinish furniture and I started a blog after reading and following all of your blogs out there. I’m scared to death that I’m going to fail again, or lose interest like I have with everything else in my life. I’ve yet to sell my first piece, but I haven’t even tried yet. I’ve got numerous projects going on at one time and I absolutely hate being interrupted. With 3 kids, I’m constantly being interrupted and lose my focus. I really hope that I can be successful this time and bring some income into our home without a “real” job.

  29. What a wonderful post Donna and a great reminder that we need to take those risks, and not be our own worst enemy!

    This year has been such an amazing one for me. I went from being a regional magazine writer to having stories published in national magazines! I’ve started a blog. And I’ve now found out that I LOVE photography!

    I have had some of my photos published in several magazines this year, including Romantic Country!!! Yet I still find it hard to consider my photos worthy of being paid for. My husband is my biggest cheerleader, and when I say “well I’m not a professional photographer” he just looks at me…he’s my reminder to stop being negative and to start trying to be more successful! It comes from within and if we don’t believe in ourselves, how can anyone else?!

    Thanks for this!

    Kat 🙂

  30. Hi Donna! I’m VERY fortunate that my dreams have been realized….maybe because they’re simple? I have wished for a loving husband, a happy and healthy son and cats. Yep, I’ve been blessed with all three. To add icing on the *cake*, both of my parents are still alive and doing well.

    I’ve got many friends and great inlaws. What else could a girl want? Ohhhhhh, to travel to wonderful places, which I’ve done.

    Now I have a new dream…somehow I am going to give my time to helping the little girls of Cambodia be free of *sexual slavery*…I don’t know how I will do this, but I WILL accomplish it. To save even ONE little girl is a dream I keep dreaming.

  31. Awesome post. I’m actually too embarrassed to say what holds me back, but I don’t know that I’ll ever overcome it. I’m not afraid to try stuff, and even fail, but I need to deal with a different type of issue that holds me back from everything in my life….not just decorating/starting a biz/etc. Everything.

    Anyway, your post has helped me evaluate again why I let this issue hold me back. It needs dealt with and faced (once again). *sigh* In the meantime, I’ll continue to live vicariously thru those who are following their passions (like you!) and cheer from the sidelines 🙂

  32. Hey friends!

    Just know, I’m reading your replies. I’m encouraged to see you at the very least, investigating what’s holding you back. I couldn’t have asked for more. 🙂

    Sorry for no replies as yet. I’m pushing myself on the sidelines to get caught up with some projects/important photoshoots.

    I just wanted you to know I’m smiling. 🙂


  33. thank you for writing this. I am forging ahead on my dreams and am hitting bumps everywhere I turn. It sometimes feels like it would be easier to forget it. And, I am afraid that I am the only one in the world who likes what I make. That I’ll be wasting my $$ if I make items to sell…..

  34. Oh, stop it, Donna. You just about made me cry. 🙂 You definitely don’t give yourself enough credit and I could see fear holding you back in our “conversations.” I am so glad you’re going to take the step of faith. You are very talented and BIG things are going to happen (I know they are already.)

    You’re and awesome designer, blogger and friend. I look forward to the day when I can give you a big hug and we can chat face-to-face.

  35. Wow, this completely hits home for me. Fear is a sickening feeling to carry around! LOVE what your friend Dan says about devoting 10 minutes a day to your passions! My mom used to tell me “80 percent of success is just showing up.”, and you can’t argue with that! 🙂 Truly inspiring post. Thanks!!


  36. FEAR is a four lettered word and yes it has hindered me also. Thanks for the great posts. I have found great inspiration on your blog not only with decorating but in life. If I wasn’t scared what would I do????? Quit teaching school tomorrow and sell junk. (yep it’s crazy but it is MY dream) Thanks again!

  37. Donna, you hit on two Top Notch sources of inspiration with Miss Mustard Seed and The Lettered Cottage. There’s one I put at the top of my list with them, though, and that my dear…is Funky Junk Interiors! Your taste and creativity are right up my alley and have been such an enormous inspiration for me.

    I have to say “fear” of following your heart and dreams is a nasty but real truth. I think for me, I have not realized yet what my real dream is…but I have confidence when it’s time it will come to me. (heehee hopefully sooner than later, I ain’t no spring chicken!) But with my best JunkFest Girlfriends at my side I have grown to be adventurous within the world of “junk”. I’m not afraid to rip something apart to completely restructure it, and I’m not embarassed of what I consider “home decor” because it does NOT come from a store. (Only a junker would understand that statement.)

    Great post!


  38. And, I can’t wait to see where your new adventure leads you. I’ll be patient and wait for the posts ( I know you’ll give us all the juicy details) when you’ve done your thing, and taken a breath or two. Until then…Good Luck!!

  39. Oh Donna, you sure do know how to inspire!

    I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I am that you share your successes & dreams, and the gorgeous outcomes, AND that you encourage all of us!

    About the excuses…yes, I have them. Time wasters are my excuse of choice.

    So, the gig is up! Time for me to get it in gear!

    Thanks again, Donna, for all you do!

  40. What a wonderful and inspiring post! I think there must be something in the air this season because this passionate call to action seems to be happening wherever I look. It’s certainly infectious and wonderful!

    Thanks for being you and all that you do. I’ve read your story and followed your blog and so I have you (and Marian, and Layla and everyone) on my shoulder saying, “if we can do it, you can too!)” It’s priceless. Thank you!!

    ~Angela 🙂

  41. Donna-Wow! You posted about the two blogs that have inspired me to do so much more than I thought I could…I’m a small business owner,too, but have a passion for refinishing furniture and crafting. MMS literally paved the way…you were so right when you said that. I read her blog from start to finish and felt like it was an instruction manual. She even told me how to make my own price tags and I literally went out the next day and got a little spot at an antique mall. I’ve been profitable every month. My next step was to start a blog, which I did 2 weeks ago and you were so kind to leave a comment:) Have you read the story about Layla on Christmas Eve at the drive through? Seriously…I’m doing that this holiday season(read it if you don’t know what I’m talking about). You don’t give yourself enough credit because you are a huge inspiration to so many of us out in blogland. The things you have accomplished would have been barriers to most. Go ahead and leap…I bet you can do it. And if you falter…you have so many hands to grab hold of. But I bet you will land on your feet, just like you have in the past:)

  42. I’ve said since the day I found your blog that you were going to be bigger than even you knew. I told you that as well, and I still believe that to this day. I am so glad to see that you are walking the plank to get to where you want to be. I’m excited to see where you end up, and you can bet I’ll be cheering you on all the way.
    You deserve everything good that comes into your life. I truly believe that you will be gainfully blessed.

    It’s hard to move past the fear sometimes. I’ve learned in the past couple of years that you just have to close your eyes tight and run straight through the fire. And I do mean ‘through’ and not ‘into’. It may not always work out the way you want it to, as I have recently experienced myself, but if you don’t at least go for it, you will never know what might’ve been.

    I find that so many of us beat ourselves up when we do something that isn’t successful, but what good is that, and to whom? We have to take the chances we secretly desire to or we’ll always have regrets and a heavy case of the what-ifs. I was going to post about what just happened in my own life, and then I decided that I wasn’t sure I wanted that accountibilty/responsibility, nor did I want the “I told you so” from those close to me (who did tell me so), so I put it into draft instead. Why? Fear of what others may think. After reading your post tonight, I’m encouraged to do that post afterall.

    You see, I wasn’t afraid to take the leap to do what I wanted to, my fear was in the fact that I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to know it didn’t turn out to be what I had hoped. But, as we all know now, there is so much support and understanding in blogland, and someone just like us going through similar circumstances oftentimes ends up in our comments.

    Many times I’ve read your posts and thought, ‘hmmm, is she writing that because of something I said? Is she directing that at me?’….and then I read the comments and see that so many of us are having the same experiences simultaneously, and you were the one to open the topic for discussion. Thank you for always speaking your mind, I remember a time in the not too distant past where you held your breath over that “publish” button. I’m glad to see that fear has subsided, and we are all benefiting from it.

    Don’t discount yourself as a huge source of inspiration for literally thousands of people, because you absolutely most definitely are!

  43. I agree with Marianne, FEAR! It’s all consuming sometimes. Also, lack of confidence is a biggie. I am constantly second guessing myself no matter how big or small the project. I would love to have my own booth but there seems to be so many. I really don’t understand how they can financially stay open. And trying to find a way to stand out in the crowd and different is always on my mind.

    I know what ever you do you will be a huge success. I can’t wait to hear more. You my dear are one of the big dogs and definitely stand out in the crowd!

  44. Be who you want to be today!!! Thanks Dan!! And the 10 minute rule is perfect. Doesn’t seem so overwhelming that way. Now all I need to do is do it…just TRY!!

  45. What an inspiring post! I know you will be successful at fulfilling your dreams, such a super talented person!Thanks so much for this post, I am excited for your adventures and can’t wait to follow along in your journey~ so be sure and keep us posted!

  46. I stop my success by doing too many things at once. Really, how can someone get something done with quality, when the quantity in their lives is overflowing?

  47. I think God uses others to communicate to us sometimes and I believe He is using you and MMS to talk to me now. I have been kicking around the idea for awhile to start a blog but have been too afraid of “putting myself out there.” A blog is a very personal thing and what if no one likes it?

    I came across a post on MMS blog with tips for starting a blog…with the encouragement of my husband I decided to go for it! I wrote my first post and accidentally published it! I was sick! I wasn’t ready to publish it, just draft it! Well, my husband read it and some friends and I got wonderful feedback! That was just two days ago. Then this post from you today…it strikes home for me.

    My blog is nowhere near what I want it to be but I learn something new every day. Each day is a leap off the cliff’s edge. Hopefully someday I can be the “Rock Star” that you’ve become and inspire others to follow their hearts. Thank you for your courage. You have encouraged me!

    And yes, God, I’m listening!

  48. Donna…Ijust read your post after my friend SweetMelissa told me about it. I must admit I have lead fear in my boots. Not only am I NOT allowing myself to jumb off a cliff, I’ve built a wall prohibiting me to even get close to the cliff! Honestly, lately I’ve been trying to figure out why I can’t get my rear away from the computer and get out and DO the things I’m seeing people do on blogs. You and MMS have both been inspirational to me, my style is truly a combination of both of you. My reality, or is it an excuse? is that I live in a very rural/sparsely populated community to make my dream come true. Therefore I choose to stay planted at my computer and live vicariously through my favorite bloggers. Cynical, yes…but it is a compliment to you!
    I look forward to watching your successful landing from that cliff.

  49. Thanks for posting such an inspiring message. I always seem to let my fears get in the way of potential success. Its a constant struggle for me to be confident in my abilities and stop being timid. Its nice to know that great ladies such as yourself also face the same challenges. Its also amazing to have a community of bloggers who provide positive encouragement. 🙂

  50. Bang!! The old rusty nail has been hit right on the head!! Yep, that old ugly fear is rearing it’s head in my life too lately. I keep telling myself to do what I did last time I was paralyzed by fear. Every morning, pull your self up by the bootstraps and go get it!! The same boots that you put on one at a time to take one step at a time. Thanks for the kick in the pants! I will be very busy for the next 10 minutes!!

  51. Hey there Donna,

    We are new to blogland and are so happy to be here! Our number of posts to date can be counted on these two typing hands. And we are inspired every. single. day. by those of you who jumped out there and just did it. This is all for the fun of it…right? My mantra is to just keep writing and hope to make some friends along the way.

    Thanks for the motivation!

    [email protected]

  52. Oh, yes. Guilty. My husband has been patiently waiting for me to take the ball and run with it and I very slowly starting to be who I want to be tomorrow!:)

  53. Thank you for your post… truer words spoken and I am full of fear!! I read MMS a few months back and was so inspired to create and blog. I accumulated some junk, got ideas, etc and now I just look at it all with fear….fear if I can create….fear if anyone would want it….fear I cannot write interesting stories to have followers….fear upon fear upon fear to put one foot in front of the other. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I pray each day that I will move forward and be fearless!!

  54. WOW! Everyday someway or another I sabotoge myself. If aggrivates me beyond comprehension!!! I have no idea how to overcome this. I think that fear is a big part of it, fear of showing my art to others and not being understood or accepted?! Is that weird? Today I am going to set a small goal and achieve it!! Thanks for your inspiration!!!! You are the bomb-diggity!

  55. Love your post. So inspirational. I’m totally in the wrong field and totally hate what I am doing now. I love antiques and vintage items and the history behind things — so naturally, I should have gone to get a masters degree in history right? Wrong. Hate it. Can’t wait to graduate in May. After that, who knows? Thanks for all the examples of successes. I think there may be some room in the world for me too. 🙂

  56. This is just what I needed today. I’m a lifelong depression sufferer, trying to believe in myself and my talents enough to make a go of what I’m passionate about. On a day like today, when I hate everybody, everything, and mostly myself, it is good to know others sometimes forget to believe in themselves too. Miss Mustard Seed is a great inspiration for me too!

  57. I read this and feel like you were writing it to me!
    I struggle with “fear of the unknown”
    It holds me back from so much in life!
    I have talent {at least I think so}
    I have the means to accelerate…
    I have ideas and resources…
    I just sit and think way too much and talk myself out of everything just because! EXCUSE!!!!

    I am going to go and read this again and read it tomorrow and everyday and make myself commit…I need to commit …

    Thank you so much I am sure this is going to help a lot of us who F E A R!!!!!

    Blessings, Dolly

  58. I loved your posts. I found your blog via The Lettered Cottage, which you mention here as well. I’m about to be an empty nester and I feel the need now to reinvent my life. I’m in a frozen state about it most of the time. Previously, all I ever wanted to do was be a mom. I’ve almost worked my way out of that job now so I am hoping some of my passions with art and writing that I had little time for previously while raising 5 kids, may come into play now. Your story inspired me to get unfrozen, and reach for something new. Thanks and I’ll be stopping in again.

  59. I’m reading, but still confused. 🙁 I’m doing all I know to do, have asked for advice, try following it to the best of my ability. I know I’m a newbie, only began the end of July. But I’m getting very discouraged.

    I realize my first booth was not in a good location so have moved to a knew one beginning of this month. I never sold a thing in the 2 months at previous booth, and so far nothing at the new booth. There doesn’t seem to be much shabby chic type furniture around my area. I love finding old sturdy furniture (not necessarily antiques) and giving them the worn shabby look with ASCP and wax. I get compliments all the time on the stuff (online) but irl, nothing is selling.

    I advertise on craigslist and local buy/sell/trade boards on fb. I have a blog, but don’t do much on it or very often and have a fb page.

    HELP! Too embarrassed to reveal who I am. 🙁 My biz page likes your page, very much. 🙂

  60. I just today stumbled upon this post, in my usual random clicking looking for ideas of what should I do with my life…etc. I commend you for putting it out there that it is truly fear which holds us back, I suffer from a fear of success. I try so hard to succeed and always do at what I set my mind out to do, then I get nervous about what comes next? and kind of sabotage myself so I fail before I “REALLY” succeed. I have a great eye for things and spacially I am very creative as well. I would love to be brave and put my work out there like you have. You have inspired alot of people including this humble housewife. Thanks for the kick in the pants about just doing it and not worry all the time.

  61. I’m not sure how I found your blog, but I am so impressed by all that you do. You are on my favorites! You have unlimited talents and do them all so well. So I was a bit surprised by this post.
    It fits me to a “T”. I have come back to read this post several times and it is so inspirational! Thank you for sharing your deep personal feelings and giving us food for thought. Friends and family have poked, pushed and prodded me along for years, but I have always made excuses for why I have not put my paintings up for sale. I have two friends that want me to do paintings for their children (7 total and I would receive payment for them). But I am afraid that they will expect them to look like the ones their parents have in their homes.So you see I have good excuses. 🙂 Thanks for naming what it is that holds us back FEAR………I am working on adjusting my fears thanks to you!

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