In my post ‘30 Days Approach‘, I announced I’m going to work with monthly goals.
In August I worked with the theme ‘Get out of your comfort zone’. I chose this because I’ve hold myself back many times, causing good opportunities passing me by. I told myself I wasn’t ready while, actually, it was fear for the unknown, for failure, for not being good enough.
The English dictionary defines comfort zone as:
“A situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested.”
Thus, to experience being out of my comfort zone I had to do something that would test my ability, determination and feelings of being comfortable. I found these challenges in a summer design school, a writing challenge and an art competition.
So, I enrolled in a summer design school, which instantly fulfilled one of my dreams. Lacking relevant design knowledge and skills, I was flying by the seat of my pants. Not having Illustrator, I was forced to make my first design completely by hand in contrary to the other students.
For the second assignment, I learned myself over the weekend the basics of Inkscape. In order to complete the assignment on time I chose to keep my design simple yet interesting as working with Inkscape was a challenge in itself. Sigh, I wish someone could design a software program that could read minds and do exactly as instructed.
In the first two weeks, feelings of insecurity, doubt, perfectionism and frustration teased me while the comparison trap was continually honking at me. There I was, a beginner amid talented accomplished designers. Some designers reminded me that I had to run my race and stop being hard on myself as I was doing great for a beginner. They were so right. It’s about my journey and growth. There was no competition. I shifted my attention to playing, experimenting and getting things done. Luckily, I managed to do all the assignments and saw myself growing exponentially with each of them. I had so much fun and learned a lot by going in fully. The summer school really pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Because the design summer school absorbed much of my time, I wasn’t able to finish my treatment for the writing competition, didn’t submit anything, and I hadn’t much time left for the art challenge either. I had miscalculated the time I would need to come up with a concept. Disliking the theme, made it more challenging for me.
I spend a weekend trying concepts, adjusting them, starting over and feeling frustrated. When I finally knew what I wanted to make, I had only a few hours left. Last minute, I ended up making something by hand and submitted a piece I wasn’t content with. I was embarrassed when I saw the beautiful art work of others. I knew I could have done better but I didn’t and I had only myself to blame for. I told myself that at least I hadn’t backed out. Honestly, I don’t know why I enrolled in the art challenge, which costed a lot of money. I was clearly not ready for it. But, it was not all waste as I learned three valuable lessons. First, if something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. Second, I learned how the agency works. Third, I know how to tackle such a challenge next time.
Time flies when you’re pleasantly busy. I had a great time and certainly stretched my comfort zone. Mission accomplished.
I’ve got one day left to decide what my challenge for September will be.