Magical missions are meant to create positive feelings. That doesn’t mean that the process always feels that way. So what if you want to go on a magical mission but are too chicken to do one? Here is how to find the courage and deal with the negative feelings connected to your positive actions!
The first street art stain I painted.
Silence your inner negative voice
Fear of what others might think of you can hold you back in taking action. Most of your fear is simply a projection of your own insecurity, rather than what people actually think of you. Being aware of this is the first step to shutting up your negative inner voice. You don’t need to fight every negative thought. Accept your feelings for what they are (just feelings). Then focus on the things that excite you about your project, rather than bring you down.
Don’t do things that you feel guilty about.
Be conscious about your environment. When I make paintings on the street, I never paint on clean walls. I only paint on stains that are already there. Therefore I genuinely feel like I turn something undesirable into something pleasurable. Another example is the confetti in my kindness kit. Because it is biodegradable, you don’t need to worry about littering.
Feeling a little bit antsy about pushing the boundaries of what people might think is normal isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, be sure to act within your moral code. That way you won’t feel ashamed of your actions.
The mere fact that you are doing something in public makes your work somewhat of a performance, even if it doesn’t feel that way. When you do something out of the ordinary in public, it kind of gives people the right to ask you questions about it.
If people come up to you to ask you about what you are doing, be friendly and open about it. Be honest and explain your intentions.
For some people it might take some nerve to approach you. Often they just want to show their appreciation of what you are doing by starting a conversation. At the very least be polite and positive to them.
Be ready to be rejected
Some people will reject your work and there is nothing you can do about it. Although their opinions may be disappointing to you, people are entitled to their feelings.
When I gave away 1000 origami cranes, some people would ignore me. A man fumbled up my note and gave me my crane back.
Do not measure success by people’s reactions. You don’t need the public’s approval. You need a clear inner sense of that what you are doing is right and beautiful, whether people choose to see that or not. Delight in the fact that you are making a positive change, even though people often do not recognize such change when it is right in front of them.
Sometimes people are hesitant to understand at first, but show appreciation later (full origami cranes behind the scenes post here).
When you feel slightly anxious about your mission, it helps to feel as comfortable as possible. Dress in a way that allows you to move easily. Listen to upbeat music before you leave the door if it helps you. Do whatever it takes to make you feel confident and at ease before your leave the house.
That being said, it is easy to make ‘not being comfortable’ an excuse to not go out and take action. A part of being uncomfortable won’t go away; no matter how many happy songs you will listen. So give yourself a big wink, put on a smile and accept that ‘this is as good as it is going to get’.
When you see street performers and people doing random acts of kindness, it is easy to think that they must be highly confident. After all, they are out there making things happen. What you need to know is that many of them deal with their own insecurities in one way or another. That they are ‘out there’ doesn’t mean that they aren’t afraid or never were. It means that they stepped over their fears. ‘Getting out there’ was more important to them than the limitations they set to protect themselves.
Most of the times, right before I am about to start a magical mission, I feel terrified. I don’t want to leave the house and am pretty convinced my idea was the worst idea known to mankind. I get carried away by disillusions of hypothetical scenarios in which everything fails.
These thoughts are just my fears trying to limit my actions. I accept the fact that I am afraid. Then I open the door, take a deep breath and try to brighten the world around me. My point is not: I am such a great person. My point is this: if I can do it, with all my fears and insecurities, so can you. It will be scary. But boy, will it be satisfying and worthwhile as well!
Bring a friend
Finding a partner in crime who is just as excited as you are about your mission helps tremendously. Things just aren’t as scary when you do them together. And they often become way more fun too. If nobody can make it though, don’t be limited by their absence!
I love making stain art together. It elevates the creative process. I painted a snail together with Tomas and a drooling roller-skater with Eliska.
Have your ever experienced negative feelings while doing magical missions? How do you deal with them?
March 8, 2014 at 18:00
Someday I’d love to bring along a partner in kindness “crime” (other than Silkworm!). :) And I do get nervous here and there and wonder if I’m doing something wrong, but I try to think all of my projects out really carefully before putting them into action. And boy, is it disheartening when you think you’re doing something so special and someone else thinks you’re just being an annoyance, but knowing there will probably be a bunch of other people who will be affected by my missions really helps me have a positive outlook. :)
March 10, 2014 at 13:09
Agreed. It’s easier said than done, the whole ‘what will others think of it’ part. But practice makes perfect doesn’t it ?
March 8, 2014 at 18:11
Thank you for the tips! Since discovering your blog a year or two ago, I’ve been inspired by all of your posts but never thought of the activities as something I was capable of doing but I really have the urge to go on a magical mission now! I hope I can get a friend with me and embark on one soon, I’ll let you know how it goes!
Also I’m loving Creative Kindness Month :)
Thanks for everything!
March 10, 2014 at 13:10
That sounds awesome! The threshold can be high but I am sure you will love it (and perhaps be hooked ;) ). Let me know if you do!
March 27, 2014 at 05:10
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