I’m afraid of commitment

By Annabelle Needles.

No, not the marital kind of commitment – it was not at all difficult to say yes to my wonderful husband. In fact, I think I’ll keep him. I’m talking about the “I’m going to call myself something and that means that I have to actually BE what I’m calling myself” kind of commitment. The following paragraphs are a flashback to 2013 when I was just dreaming of launching my business:

This year is going to be big – I’ve made the decision that I want to work towards working for myself, and that means a host of things is in order. First of all, I need to call myself something – a producer, a videographer, a filmmaker? Of course, when you call yourself something, people actually expect you to BE that, right? If you’re an honest individual, which I like to think I am. I have a degree in TV and film, I have ten years of experience in the field – and yet committing to calling myself a producer or a filmmaker has been a tremendous difficulty. Because then I have to produce, and because I have experience, I feel like my work should be awesome right away!

But I still feel that I’m at the beginning of this journey. I can say that I’m a post-production ninja because that’s where I’ve been doing my thing these last couple years – but to follow the whole process (from planning to preproduction to production into post) is definitely not my comfort zone. And although I’ve definitely been working in the industry many years, they’re not the kind of projects I’m going to be sticking into my portfolio. That means starting from scratch.

For a long time, I struggled with calling myself creative. I am one of those weird ones that liked math and art class, but I was quantitatively better with numbers. I thought, for a long time, that you couldn’t claim to be both right and left brained – it was like back in middle school when you would like the Backstreet Boys OR N*Sync, but in no way could you like both. So only in the last few years have I really come to terms with the fact that I tremendously enjoy creating, and that being creative doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with being analytical. People are more like grayscales than black & white copies. Finally, if you asked me, I would be able to tell you that I’m creative, and believe it.

I love hobbies because if you do something as a hobby, there’s no pressure to be serious, or seriously good. If I dabble in painting, or songwriting (both of which I do) but I’m not trying to make money, just have a bit of fun, there’s no pressure to produce or to perform. If I say, I’m a painter and you should buy my paintings, suddenly, people are looking for regular output and regularly good output. So it’s much easier to put off saying “I’m a producer” because then I’ll actually have to produce. And I’ll want people to like it.

Naming a business seems harder than naming a child because you don’t have to sell your kid to the world, you just have to pick something that hopefully won’t get him teased too much on the playground. On the other hand, you’re trying to sell a business – you want people to like it and jump on board. Oh, commitment. I finally reached the place earlier this month, that I would need to start making decisions – regardless of the uncertainty – because my fear was stalling any kind of forward progress. For me, it came down to the name, because everything else stemmed from that.

I was hoping by this point I would have conquered my fear + named my business, but I’m not there yet. The decision, I’ve determined, WILL happen this week. So I’m still figuring this out, and I’m still at the beginning. At least I’ve committed to beginning. And that counts for something, right?

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Update: Annabelle left her full-time job as a television editor in April 2017, to run her business, Evergreen Lane Productions, where she works with wonder-seekers + memory-makers to create heirloom honeymoon, travel + family films. It’s been more than 5 years since she named her baby-business, and she loves the name now more than ever.

Follow Annabelle on Instagram.

This Fear Confession was originally published on Happy Muses, February 12, 2013.

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