The Made It Clinic has recently moved to a new office location, and we got a chance to experience the joys – and fears – of fitting out an office for the first time. As any writer or painter will tell you, the blank page or canvas can be intimidating – so many options, so many choices, so much pressure, where to even start? Or worse yet, no ideas at all to fill all that space.
And anyone who has done any DIY will tell you the problem is just the same, if not worse, for a blank wall, and a blank room. And we had two floors of empty, echoing space to turn into something useful.
Now, the fear of the blank page, or wall, can be powerful. Making something new is challenging, and with challenge often comes trepidation. Being challenged pushes us out of our comfort zones. Some people enjoy exploring that new part of their reality, but for others it is more difficult. But there’s no reason it has to be debilitating.
Here’s a couple of quick tips I use for dealing with the pressure. First of all, breathe. Good advice at almost all times, but especially when you are dealing with strong emotions. A deep breath gives you a moment to settle, calm, and refocus on the situation.
Second of all, breathe again. Let the breath flow around the feeling and make space for it within you. No feeling is bigger than you are; you can always make space for it.
Third, breathe again, again. This time, focus on what’s important to you, on why you want to build that office/paint that wall/write that book. Connecting with your values and taking actions towards them can make the challenge feel that much more meaningful, and surmountable.
And finally, just start! Even one word, one dot of paint, or one chair dragged in from another room can make that blank page/canvas/wall suddenly not blank anymore. Now, it’s not about the blank space in front of you – it’s about improving what’s already there.
It can be a long road, at times, conquering the blank space. But, as we can attest now that we’ve settled into our new space, the journey is often worth it.
Best of luck with your next blank wall, and the masterpiece that will come from it.
-Daniel, Practice Manager