2.6 Podcast 5 Don’t be afraid

December 14, 2009

Podcast Feed    

 As I’ve seen in many students (adults & me included), there seems to be a point when learning a new technique seems scary, whether its science, math, or quilting even.    


Fear of learning new techniques is risk of doing something that could have negative consequences upon failure, whether that is unsatisfactory results, public humiliation, or loss of time and/or money.  Perfectionism is praised by quilt judges and peers, and so getting points to match up can become a priority for quilters and the possibility for not reaching that perfectionism may cause quilters to stop trying new things due to their lack of confidence – or rather their fear. How do quilters motivate themselves to move past the fear and see the rewards of learning to be greater than the risk of failure?   

 Follow me on my audio journey (i.e. speech) on how to combat the fear by listening to my podcast.  An outline of my speech is as follows below, so you know where I’m headed on the podcast.  I hope this is helpful to more than just me.   

Focus on techniques learned 

  • Give yourself easy technique
  • Give yourself permission to fail (see Make & Meaning)
  • Focus on the process rather than the result
  • Many different types of techniques out there – maybe your technique is different than your neighbors (not mentioned in the podcast – oops!)
  • Try every new technique at least once

Set reasonable goals 

  • Create smaller versions of larger projects
  • Keep goals high enough you don’t get bored or don’t feel accomplished
  • Give yourself enough time and resources to complete your goals
  • Give yourself permission to brainstorm without judgement

Seek help and encouragement from others 

  • Confidence of others can motivate you to do your best
  • Good mentors inspire rather than intimidate
  • Seek online tutorials or resources from someone who has “been there and done that” (see Within a Quarter Inch)
  • Get a list of FAQ’s from quilters who have more experience with the technique
  • Don’t get intimidated by other’s goals and accomplishments – use them as springboards for your own goals

Use discipline to get better at a new task 

  • “Get your butt in the chair” (see CraftCast)
  • Don’t talk yourself out of it
  • Setting deadlines may help motivate discipline and practice
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Use muscle memory, weather physical or mental, to help get you through techniques

Other ideas for stumbling blocks 

  • Have the desire to learn the new task before trying
  • Psych yourself up for new projects
  • Create tutorials for others to help you ‘really learn’ what you’re doing – blog about it!
  • Give yourself time to digest new material

Something Else to Think About 

Higher level of needs and thinking is where the categories of creativity and problem solving lay.  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that to obtain these needs other needs of food, shelter, etc need to be met first.  

Ruthanne asks “Why aren’t we creative?” (see Mirkwood Designs  specifically episode 1 ) and we should strive to reach those higher levels of needs as much as possible in our lives.  Looking at the level just below creativity and problem solving is esteem and confidence and respect – the main part of my podcast today.    


Maslows Needs from Wikipedia


As I always say: Be creative and think about what you’re doing.  Get to work on those higher levels of thinking and get out there!  

Additional Resources mentioned in the show:   

Thanks to my commenters

  •   Debby, Deb, and Annie Smith

Keep experimenting! 


  1. WOW! This is great that we wrote on similar topics so close to each other! I think a lot of us let our fear get a bit out of control during the holidays by worrying that what we want to make for people won’t be “good enough” or appreciated. We stress out when there is no need to. I am so glad you commented on my blog so I can explore this fantastic resource!! Thank YOU!

    • mamaseemamado
      There is a value to exploring on wordpress, you come across some amazing blogs sometimes. I was really glad I stumbled on yours as well! I don’t know how much I actually do what I say to do, but now at least I have something to fall back on when I do get afraid!

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