Maria Brophy


  • and make good money doing it!

    ‘Strategies for a Successful Art Business!’
Creativity / Motivation / Philosophy

Focus on Desire Not Fear – Jump on that Horse

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Photo by Rebekka Gudleifsarabian-horse-ninjapoodlesThe key to success is to focus our minds on the things we desire, not things we fear.”  Brian Tracy

Starting big projects is so much easier than finishing them.

In the beginning, we are excited at the idea of creating something that others will love and enjoy.

The excitement comes from visualizing what the finished project will look like, how it will affect others, and ourselves.

We begin with vigor and energy! And at first, it flows out of us like running water.  We are energized by the thought of “what can be”.

Then, partway through, it’s gets hard.  The excitement turns to sheer grunt work of getting it done. We have trouble staying focused and hit a wall.  For me, it’s the halfway mark when my editor mind kicks in and kills my creative side.

I’m having trouble finishing two big projects, and it’s making me crazy.  One is a guidebook for artists that I’m partway through.   The other is a free e-book meant for everyone who signs up for my blog posts.

In striving for perfection, I’m stalling. I want my books to be perfect, like Martha Stewart’s peach pie.  But I’ll never get even close to perfection if I don’t finish what I started.  After all, Martha’s peach pie probably wasn’t perfect the first 5 times she baked them.  It was the 6th or 10th that was the winner.  But she had to finish and taste and share the first ones before she could find her perfect recipe.

I had a symbolic dream last night that made sense of this dilemma.

The dream was vivid and lifelike.  I found a horse, and it became my first ever real pet.  (I’ve never been an animal person.)

In my dream I thought to myself  “This is my first pet – I never thought I’d have one” and I marveled at the immense beauty and strength of this large animal.  I was also very scared of it’s power.

At first I was afraid to get on the horse.  It was so much bigger than me.  I hesitated and questioned what I was doing.  Then my feelings of fear slowly transformed to excitement and exhilaration as  I got on the horse and rode it.  It was shaky at first, but then I gained confidence and grew to LOVE it.

Now that I’m awake, I have to ask myself, what was that horse a symbol of?

  • My book project?
  • My blog project?
  • My life?

Or was it just a horse?

Now a question for you: What big project are you putting off because it’s big and scary and maybe you want it to be just perfect?  And would it be better to finish it less than perfect, or never at all?

Photo Courtesy of Ninja Poodles!

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9 Comments Focus on Desire Not Fear – Jump on that Horse

  1. George Olson

    I so appreciate artists and people like you and your husband who are willing to share their ideas and experiences with others. I am considerably older than both of you but still have a zest for creating art. There are some artists that do not want to share ideas for “fear of being copied”. When we stop learning by observing other’s art work as well as our constant drive to make the next one better we might as well give up. In my 72 years I am not ready. Thanks for your dedicated time and effort for those of us that appreciate it..

  2. Sari

    Dear Maria,

    Get a horse…
    We have had horses since I was 14 years old…long time…
    It’s the best thing…The most wonderful creatures…
    If you don’t have room for a horse, at least go spend some time with someone else’s horses & see what your dream brings…Maybe it will fall into place…
    Horses are very good listeners…& they talk too- you just have to learn to speak horse…( alot of horse to human telepathy involved in talking to horses…)

  3. Blake Himsl Hunter

    I had been putting off launching my website for a number of reasons….finally I realized they we are dumb and setting me back. The website isn’t perfect but it’s up and can tweak it as I need to.

  4. Hulbert Lee

    Hi Maria, nice to land on your blog from PluginID. 🙂

    That’s cool how you can remember your dreams so vividly. I can barely remember mine.

    To answer your question, well I currently don’t really have a big project in mind; I’m just of just going with the flow right now, but I understand that feeling of when you want something to be perfect. It’s like when you have that feeling, you psyche yourself out and you never even get started in the first place.

    I guess a horse symbol for me would have been the first time I wanted to interview people but I had this huge fear. My mind was telling me things like, “Hulbert, you’re not a good speaker or you should just stick to writing”. But eventually I gathered up the courage, told myself that to get over a fear, the best way is to go through that fear, and went onto to do what I was scared of.

    Thanks for this post and nice blog!

  5. Jen

    One of my mottos is “Done is better than perfect.” Because you can get something done but perfection is really hard to achieve. And, once you do get it done, you either see that it really is good or where it can be improved.

  6. Dr Paul Dyer

    I have a question I’ve used for a long time with my clients. Here it is for what it’s worth. “You know the difference between a great idea that doesn’t get executed and mediocre idea that doesn’t get executed?” Most people get the correct answer right away…nothing!

  7. Jane Marshall

    YES! I can totally relate to this article! I’m finishing up my first picture book as well as a collection of images I want to license as greeting cards -my 2 projects tied to a big dream- and what a relief to see that the uncertainty and fear that has been slowing me down for the past few months is a common problem. Literally people…I’ve broken down over feeling like I need concrete signs of success to not fell like a failure but I haven’t even submitted these projects to editors yet!
    Did you catch that…these things haven’t even been through the complete process yet and I’m letting myself feel disappointed- so silly! I’m going to envision this horse when those thoughts creep up again!

  8. Baker

    This is very true. I also resonate well with the quote at the begining with Brian Tracy. What we focus on expands, so we must make an effort to focus on what we desire not what we fear. Nicely written.


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