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Why I changed my mind and decided to be vulnerable

Hi guys,


How are you ? Well I hope !!

So as you may have seen, this week I decided to put a video on my www.instagram.com/nord.nic page talking about why I had decided to take my artwork and put it on to a seperate social media account and as a result of that I have learnt a really valuable lesson !!!


So lets unpack this.


When we first began to dream of moving to Sweden I used to sit in my little English cottage dreaming of a life in rural Sweden surrounded by breathtaking nature, stunning scenery and astounding wildlife, tending to my vegetable patch and green house in the summer or walking in the snowy landscapes during the winter. Throughout all seasons i would be creating a fabulous small business documenting our new life and creating my own artwork and illustrations inspired by the beauty around me.


I would imagine myself creating lovely pieces of art and sharing them online with like minded people who appreciated the slow lifestyle of Scandinavia and loved seeing my creations and learning about our new home. And in the most part I feel like I am making headway with that albeit very early days yet.




All except one part ... the art !!


I actually registered myself as self employed here almost 1 year ago... I was so excited and raring to go and then.... imposter syndrome, self doubt, low confidence and fear of the unknown all jumped on my back and I have struggled to let go of them ever since... I have been getting in my way and stopping myself from making progress because of FEAR !!!!


Can anyone relate ?


It is a constant battle and totally exhausting to be honest. In some ways I have been making great progress. I built a website with absolute zero knowledge. I applied for help with the local new entrepreneur association and received help to get me set up legally. From that I was put forward for a 12 month mentorship programme receiving one to one guidance from an expert who is just wonderful and has helped me learn a lot about myself and what I want from my business. I have undertaken courses to learn about social media and content marketing and learnt how to write blogs !! And I am still learning so much ... but the actual art ... not so much.




I will happily wax lyrical all day long on my social media and here about the outstanding beauty of living in North Sweden ... about the stunning sunsets and aurora borealis, the wild moose that run free around our home and the bushy tailed red squirrel who visits every morning for his breakfast. I can easily share with you all the zillions of photographs I have taken and I don't bat an eyelid, no fear, no anxiety... but when I share a drawing, woodslice or painting then the anxiety is REAL !!!


And the reason for that is simple ... my artwork is me. It is so personal and so a part of me and my creative soul that I feel extremely vulnerable to share it. I get the dread ... what if no one likes it, what if no one wants to see it. The fabulous followers that I have are here to see where I live and look at photographs of waist deep snow and dancing green on night time skies. created by mother nature .. not what I have created.




I don't have to take credit for the photos I take... they are not me... they are just a snapshot of something beautiful that I just happen to be living in, I point my phone camera and shoot ! The words I write describe the scene and that's fine too ... it's not a part of me as such. But, to take photos of my art and share the meaning behind them, why I created them and then wait for peoples response is soooooo hard !


And so I figured (not totally consciously of course) that if I had a little side page on instagram tucked away, where those who like my work can follow me and write nice things or give a little love heart then I'll be safe. I won't have to be so openly out there with something so personal... and if it doesn't work out and no one ever wants to buy anything or have their own piece commissioned I will be able to say "oh well, I did try" and slope off quietly back to my main page with only light bruising and a couple of scratches to my ego and I won't have bothered too many people in the process.




But... take a stand Sophie Callahan ( www.instagram.com/sophiecallahan ) ... this lady made me realise what I was doing and why.

I have followed Sophie on socials and I have two of her courses about small business content marketing and social media planning and I am really loving working through them.

On Monday evening I had a one to one call with Sophie and I told her about my new side page for my artwork and how it made me feel so much more comfortable and that dreaded word 'safe'. After a good long chat it became very evident that I am just getting in my own way of success and actually living that daydream in reality !!! She made me think of it in a totally different way... imagine someone has been following you for ages and enjoying your content only to find out that you've got another page they had no clue about and another part of your Swedish journey that they are missing out on... and they love art and handcrafts and are gutted that they couldn't appreciate it sooner !!

In fact, they would love to buy some and support you in your new life in Sweden... everyone deserves to make a living and to make money Nicola (another thing that strikes up fear) ... you are sharing the dream and encouraging others to act on theirs but you are not fully acting on your own... or words to that affect !!




I have deleted the video and I will be closing down the separate page in the next couple of days !


And so here I am... changing my mind and trying not to feel a bit daft about it ! I hope maybe that what I have explained above might strike a chord with some of you and perhaps trigger a realisation that you too need to start believing in yourself and start living like the person you're daydream about too !!


photograph by the amazing www.instagram.com/donnarichmondfotografi


Here's to 2023. May we all pull up our big girl pants (and big boys pants too) and start tooting our own trumpets that little bit louder !!


Much love,

Nic xx


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6 Comments


Elizabeth Savage
Elizabeth Savage
Mar 01, 2023

You are doing a wonderful job posting about your life in Sweden and I agree with your friend just keep it all in one place so people can admire your talent. It may help a lot by being open and talking about your self doubt to make you feel more comfortable in showing your beautiful artwork, you are very gifted. So keep up the good work and believe in yourself x 💕Elizabeth Savage

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nicolafoleher
nicolafoleher
Mar 29, 2023
Replying to

Elizabeth, thank you so, so much. I really appreciate your kind words !! I will keep going and try to keep posting regular art posts without the fear !! xx


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Nic my darling you are an amazing person with an amazing talent, and I’m not just saying that because I’m your mum.

You give words of inspiration every time you post on your page helping others to believe in themselves through the self doubt and the not being good enough little voice in their ear.

Your art work is beautiful, people can look and admire and buy if they would like to but you have to give them the choice so keep on doing what you are doing.

Keep everything in one place so we all know where to find you and your fabulous work.


Love from me, your mum who will always be on your side.

xxx

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nicolafoleher
nicolafoleher
Mar 29, 2023
Replying to

Oh my Gosh Mum, I don't know why I haven't seen this until now !! Thank you so much, that means the world, love you forever xxx

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