It seems absurd to think that 'fear' can squash our dreams, but it's true; fear is not our friend.
Fear of being a failure, fear of being rejected – these are the negative thoughts that can hold us back, especially if we're considering a complete change in career.
For those of you hoping to become a graphic designer, for instance, fear will even have you worrying about what others think, whether you're good enough or if it's also too late to start again. We say face the fear and do it anyway. Life is too short to fret over things that might only exist in your head.
Here, we'll go through the top seven fears we've heard from students at Shillington over the years and explain why you have nothing to worry about.
Fear of not being good enough
If you think you won't ever be as great as the best in the industry, then consider this: everyone has to start somewhere. Your design heroes – Paula Scher, Milton Glaser and Ian Anderson – they all had to learn, make mistakes and figure out their own styles through hard work, time and patience. You will, too. Practice will make perfect, as they say.
Fear of rejection
Who will turn you away? Well, you might find that you're rejected at first. But that's just the way things are. Agencies and brands are sent hundreds of CVs and portfolios every day. Your submission might get lost in the crowd, or you might not be the right fit. The secret is not to take rejection personally and never give up. You will find a route into the industry if you remain dedicated and persistent.
Fear of uncertainty
Change brings uncertainty. But following the status quo will keep you where you are. What are you afraid of? Where's your sense of adventure? Uncertainty is exciting. It brings new challenges to overcome. Which only means progress for you, in your confidence, skills and career. Face that uncertainty but make sure you have a safety net in place, i.e. savings, to keep you on even ground.
Fear of being too late
You are never too late to switch careers. There is always an opportunity to try something new, whether you've just graduated from university or reached your 70th year in life. If graphic design has always been a dream path, why not walk down it a little and see where it takes you? The important thing is to decide to move forward – the sooner, the better.
Fear of losing control
If you think you have complete control over your life and work, then allow us to break the bad news – nothing is in your control. Anything could change at any time. With that in mind, isn't it better to "let go" and allow yourself to embrace a new direction?
Fear of being judged
Graphic design is visual; that's for sure. It means millions could see everything you create. If you know Twitter and how cut-throat it can be, it's no surprise you're shaking at the thought of being judged and criticised online. Don't sweat it; it comes with the territory and is something we all have to face. Don't allow those bastards to stop you from doing what you love.
Fear of it all going wrong
Yes, a change in career might not be the right decision. But wouldn't you rather know either way? Isn't it worse to never know what could've been? If the fear of disaster is holding you back, write down all the reasons why you shouldn't switch careers and provide a rational solution next to each one. For example, 'I won't get a job' could be tackled with 'I'll get work experience to boost my CV'.
Are you going to allow a few fears to stop you from becoming a graphic designer? We thought not. Take a look at our part-time and full-time courses at Shillington to see how you can learn the skills to jumpstart your dream career.