Photography: Hetler Photography
I entered an Instagram contest. And while I don’t have a large following, I’ve built up enough that I feel like I have to be very intentional about what I post and I’ve come to the point in business that people actually start to recognize me out in the public and may have even heard of my business. These should all be good things. It’s a sign of growth. But to me, it’s terrifying.
I’ve always been fairly reserved in nature. I don’t like people to know what’s going on with me. I don’t like people in my business. So it’s been a learning curve understanding what I’m comfortable with, what I need to challenge myself with and realizing that if I never tell anyone that I’m doing floral design or willing to travel, no one might ask me to do these things. And I want them to hire me to do these things!
Putting myself out there. That’s what I did last week upon entering this contest. I let the world know that I wanted to win something. I let my floral arrangements be judged with multiple entries from across the country. And it was scary.
At first, I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I felt like I shouldn’t even try because I didn’t want people to judge me, I didn’t want to feel like a failure and I didn’t want to have my hopes crushed. Then I got out of my head and just started creating. Some of the arrangements practically made themselves and some where a real struggle. But at the end of the day I felt good with myself. I felt like I had a real chance to be a finalist.
Friday morning hit me like a ton of bricks. All my fears came true. I’m not good enough. That’s what I heard when the five finalists where announced. And it hurt. I’m thirty years old with a business that I’ve built with my own two hands, using my God given talents and I felt inadequate. I started to cry.
I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. I saw a grown woman crying because someone did pick her flowers, pretty ridiculous, right? People have real problems in this world and I’m getting weepy over a bunch of blooms.
I’ve evaluated and reevaluated every single one of my creations. I critiqued and tried to decide what I could do differently. And I’m pretty happy with my creations, which is all I can ask for at the end of the day. Obviously I compared myself to the other entrants, who wouldn’t? But what these other contestants really are is weeds. They’re weeds that are distracting me from the really beautiful blossoms in my garden. While weeds are quirky and fun and they hold their own beauty, they can also strangle out the plants that have been purposely placed and planted. I want to be purposeful and not distracted by weeds. I need to stay true to myself, even if it isn’t good enough for someone else. I refuse to be distracted by these weeds.0