Doubting Your Awesomeness

Filed in Point of View by on April 25, 2014 3 Comments

Have you ever knit something you loved, were super proud of, wore it out in public and not one person commented on it?


Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos via Compfight cc

If you have knit more than one or two items, the answer is probably yes. If you have worn your hand-knitted garments to locations and events that were not directly associated with knitting, the answer is probably yes. If you make practical, utilitarian projects (scarves, mittens, hats, etc), the answer is probably yes. If you have always gotten comments, give it enough time and the answer will probably become yes!

Creating the Doubt

This happened to me recently and I realized how emotionally devastating the experience can be. If you know me much at all, you will know that I exude confidence. But like most of the world, I still have places of self-doubt that nag at me from time to time. Generally my knitting is not one of those places, but personal appearance can be. Over the years, I have learned that most of the time when folks do not comment on a knitted garment I am wearing it is because it never occurred to them that I could have possibly made it myself — it looks store bought! And although I could take that as an insult, I don’t because I know most people associate hand made with poor craftsmanship (that is a discussion for another post).

But occasionally I design something that is so unique, I expect folks will immediately recognize it for what it is — my creation. Particularly if some of the folks who see it know I am a knitter who might do such things, like my close friends and family. But alas, no one made any comments about my skirt, and so the seed of doubt was planted. So I asked Arlis, “Is it so bad no one wants to say anything or is it so good, no one actually noticed?”

Regaining Your Confidence

Of course Arlis (BHE – Best Husband Ever) said it was “so good,” but I wasn’t completely convinced. As I thought about it more, I realized that it probably just wasn’t “noticed” at all. The first wearing (the garment in question is the skirt I talked about here) was paired with this AMAZING top that generally garners a lot of attention. No one probably made it “down” to the skirt. The second wearing was at church on Easter Sunday. I sang in the choir, so I wore a robe during most of the service and once I arrived at my folks’ for lunch, I changed into jeans.

So there is a good chance it just hasn’t had enough “air time” yet for someone to notice it. But even so, ultimately that’s irrelevant.

I am pleased with the design.

I like my color choices.

I like the way the garment fits on my body.

Owning Your Awesomeness

Ultimately I realized that how I feel about this project (or any project for that matter) is completely in my control. I can let the opinions of others (good or bad) sway my feelings — or not!  If I am happy with the project (and in this case we have established that I am), then I should be happy with it regardless of accolades or lack thereof. If am not happy with a project, then I should figure out why and strive to fix it and/or make a different choice on the next one.

Either way, our ability to create something from 2 sticks and string is a pretty awesome thing. Our willingness to learn new techniques, improve our skills and strive for bigger goals is also amazingly awesome. Whether you are brand new to the craft or a seasoned professional, you have skills that not everyone has and that, too, is awesome.

So own your awesomeness, be proud of your work, and when someone compliments you on it, just say “thank you.” And then in your head say…”because I am a knitter and that makes me awesome”!

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