Sometimes You Need a Good Stretch

by

Whether it’s trying a new recipe, a new jewelry technique, or finally tackling a task you’ve put off because it scares you, sometimes you need to just step outside your comfort zone and s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

When I first became interested in making jewelry in 2007, I was hesitant to try anything fancy because I was afraid of making something ugly. (Nevermind that I could simply take it apart and redo it!) The truth was, my inner perfectionist had little tolerance for making mistakes, even though that’s how we learn and grow.

The good news is that I decided to stretch myself and make jewelry anyway, even if it meant I *might* create something less than beautiful. And you know what happened? I made a lot of hideously ugly pieces until my knowledge and skill caught up to my level of desire…and it didn’t kill me. (Who knew?)

Fast forward to today. I’m even more in love with making jewelry and I want to share what I’ve learned with the world. So, I need to stretch again and get the Bling Artist Club website up and running ASAP. The holidays are coming up, and I have a bunch of awesome tutorials designed especially for this time of year. However, if the site isn’t ready or I don’t share it on social media, nobody will know about all the coolness inside and that’s just sad.

Lucky for me, the 2019 Stretch Yourself Challenge opened on September 3rd and I hopped on it faster than a monkey on a banana tree! The SYC offers fifteen different mini challenges ranging from writing blog posts and sharing them like mad to hosting webinars and virtual summits, speaking at live events, and much more. I’m taking on getting this site done by the end of September, and if I finish early, I’m going to take the next step and launch the Bling Artist Club YouTube channel.

So stay tuned. There’s a TON of bling-making goodness about to be unleashed on the world!

40 Responses
  • Benecia Ponder
    September 7, 2019

    Wonderful post! I love how you you put it “…until my skill caught up with my desire ” it’s easy to get trapped in a comfort zone when you think you have to be perfect from the very start. I hope you kept some of those “ugly” pieces to remind you how far you’ve come and the beauty that comes when you pursue your dreams.

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you SO much, Benecia! Yes, I DID keep those pieces! They make me smile every time I see them. They’re so ugly, they’re actually kinda cute. 😀 LOL

      Your kind comment and the comments of our fellow Stretch Yourself Challengers have made me want to record a quickie video about being okay with “ugly” work until it eventually transforms into work we’re proud of. I’ll even SHOW those ugly first pieces and the reaction my mentor had when she saw them…it’s hilarious!

      Hey! That could be one of the first videos I put on my soon-to-be YouTube channel. WOOHOO!!!

  • Jennifer Burke
    September 7, 2019

    From one recovering perfectionist to another, thank you for just getting out there and doing it! And for reminding us that stretching, embracing all our interests and goals, and then sharing them with the world won’t kill us! 😀 Don’t worry about any “ugly” web bits, pieces of content, or videos – you have bold bling and dreams we need out here!

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you, Jennifer!!! I really appreciate your encouragement to not worry about “ugly” web bits, content, videos, etc., because my inner perfectionist is always looking for opportunities to swoop in and rain on my parade. 😛

      You know what’s funny? Your comment sparked something for me, and I made up a new acronym: FOMSU – Fear Of Making Something Ugly. It may not be as *sexy* as FOMO, but it’s every bit as powerful. Here’s to kicking FOMSU to the curb!

  • Melissa Brown
    September 7, 2019

    “I hopped on it faster than a monkey on a banana tree!” LOL, I loved that comment!!! I love the dog stretching in your feature image, too. So glad you’re in the Stretch Yourself Challenge and so happy the world will be knowing the coolness inside the Bling Artist Club! Can’t wait to see!

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you so much, Melissa! I love to have fun and make people laugh, and I want to make the Bling Artist Club a happy, fun place to be. 😀

      Here’s to getting to know you in the Stretch Yourself Challenge as we both push ourselves onward to wild success! Woohoooo!!!

  • Sabrina
    September 8, 2019

    Glad you decided to go over your “perfectionism”. I think in your line of work, it’s important to understand that what is beautiful to your eyes can be the total opposite to some else as beauty is subjective.
    Well done on taking actions and open your art to more people!

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      You’re so right, Sabrina, when you say that beauty is subjective. Everyone has their own style, their own taste, and it’s important to understand that my work won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Further, I shouldn’t let it bother me, because it’s definitely not personal.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wisdom. I look forward to reading more of your writing because you have an incredible depth of understanding. Cheers!

  • Tara
    September 8, 2019

    Rena — I love the idea behind your site and you have an awesome tagline. You really have interesting background. This challenge has brought so many of us with diverse interests all together. It’s fun to see what people are up to! Great pic of a dog stretching – so cute!

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you for your kind compliments, Tara! I’m trying to make the site visually appealing, so it makes me happy to hear that I’m on the right track. 🙂

      I’m also loving the diversity within the group, and all the different projects. It’s amazing how much we can learn just by watching what others do. I feel like I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of the challenge, and it’s only Day 6! It’s mind-blowing to imagine how much more we’ll grow over the next 24 days!

  • Joyce Dias
    September 8, 2019

    All that Glitters… is sometimes more than Gold! I love how you are making your Bling sing! And the cute puppy stretching and the monkey in the tree help too! Great post and wishing you shining success Rena!

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you, Joyce! I can tell that you have a very sparkly spirit. 😀 I look forward to getting to know you in SYC and cheering you on to abundant success!

  • Brook Packard
    September 8, 2019

    Bravissima for feeling the fear – fear of ugliness – and doing it anyway. What a great insight about fear, skills, and desire. And yes, it won’t kill us. One of my favorite pieces by the writer William Zinsser is on the right to fail and the freedom that follows.

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Grazie, Brooke! I’m determined to not let FOMSU (Fear Of Making Something Ugly) stop me from living my dream. And thank you for mentioning the William Zinsser piece. It sounds amazing…I’m definitely going to find and read it!

  • Teresa Miller
    September 8, 2019

    Wow. This post gave me goosebumps! I was artistic (mostly drawing but some painting) as a child and all through high school but then just stopped doing it as an adult. I’ve been wanting to really get back to my artistic self but I’ve been so hesitant because I know that my skills aren’t there any more. I’ve been trying to convince MYself that creating something ugly is the only way to get started. Then I read your post and felt like you were speaking to ME. And congrats on your progress with your jewelry, I just know that your new Club website is going to be a big hit!

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Oh, Teresa, I’m so glad my post spoke to you. I’ve recently come to realize that FOMSU (Fear Of Making Something Ugly) is the #1 cause of creative block. (Okay, I made up that fact, but I honestly do believe it.) Anyway, I have good news for you: Don’t think for a minute that your skills aren’t there any more!

      In the realm of art and creativity, our skills are NOT “perishable” like the skills of an athlete who gets “rusty” if he/she doesn’t practice. The truth is, our skills have been improving without us even realizing it, because our perception and discernment continue to grow and sharpen as we move throughout life. We sharpen these capacities simply by being observant of beauty, making visual comparisons, etc. I’ve literally gone years without picking up a brush to paint or a pencil to draw, only to discover that my work is better and faster than the last time I engaged in it.

      So…GO FOR IT!!! DO NOT let FOMSU stop you from creating!!! It’s a life-sucking trickster that LIES. Your best work has been patiently waiting for you all along and will show up as soon as you’re ready, as evidenced by your willingness to accept that there *may* be a few “turkeys” to push out of the way before it gets to the front of the line. 😉

  • Kat Sturtz
    September 8, 2019

    Enjoyed learning more about your jewelry beginnings. Amazing, isn’t it, how we can sabotage our best intentions with worry. See you in the challenge.

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      It really IS amazing, Kat. The sad thing is, the worry is usually unfounded, or can be overcome by simply taking action. 🙁

      Cheers to being action-takers and FINISHERS! I look forward to seeing how you rock the challenge!

  • Kelly
    September 8, 2019

    Rena you know it tickles me to see you chasing your dreams with this! Who knows what September and your stretches will accomplish?

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you, Kelly!!! I just love you! 😀

  • Kristin
    September 8, 2019

    Love this!! One of MANY things these challenges have taught me is that progress is SO much better than perfection! The things we create might not always be perfect or beautiful, but the fact that we are taking action means we are growing and learning and moving forward in our lives and business. THAT is what truly matters! So glad you’re going for it! Excited to be stretching with you!!

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Amen, Kristin! This challenge is definitely teaching me that progress is better than perfection! Growing and learning and moving forward are SO much more important. I’m loving seeing everyone just GO FOR IT and letting it all hang out. Freedom is FAR more beautiful than perfection could EVER be!

  • Rosie Battista
    September 8, 2019

    Rena, I love how you noticed that “It didn’t kill you”…. and reminded me of the saying, “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”.

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      That’s one of my favorite sayings, too, Rosie! 😀

  • Shannon
    September 8, 2019

    Fun! Those types of climbs seen to do well. I look forward to watching you rock it.

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you, Shannon. I’m looking forward to watching you rock it, too!

  • Lynn Leusch
    September 8, 2019

    Great reminder of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. This is additionally hard for perfectionists. Nicely done. Looking forward to seeing a lot of stretching and bling in your future.

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you so much, Lynn! The Stretch Yourself Challenge is teaching me that pushing past fear and perfectionism is the path to joy, creativity, and freedom. Here’s to stretching with you, and wishing you mega success in your SYC project(s) and beyond!

  • Karin Crompton
    September 8, 2019

    Please, please let that coolness out! Selfishly, I always need help with my bling. lol And I love what you had to say about being afraid to make something ugly … it’s the same exact thing in writing. We can always redo it!

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      I’d be delighted to help you with your bling, Karin! As for the writing, I’d say that’s a case of the FOWLS – Fear Of Writing Lame Stuff. And we definitely have the ability to chase off FOWLS! 😀

  • Julie Van DeWyngaerde
    September 8, 2019

    How fun to make jewelry! I’ve not really used my own creative abilities for making money, but after reading your post, I’m inspired.

    I love the idea of a challenge to get me out of my comfort zone. I tend to stay in my stifling box sometimes and even when I think that I’m stretching myself, I’m really not.

    Here’s to fun and success during this challenge. I can’t wait to see the jewelry that you create! 🙂

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you, Julie! I think at midlife, it’s time for us to have fun, be creative and enjoy inevitable success as we stretch ourselves! Let’s do it! Cheers!!! 😀

  • Samantha Angel
    September 8, 2019

    So glad to see you chasing your dream! I love the doggie stretch so perfect for this. LOL. You have a great looking website by the way – very clean and elegant. 🙂

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      OMG, Samantha, thank you!!! Coming from you, that means a LOT! You’re an AMAZING designer and one of my sheroes. I’m totally grinning from ear to ear! 😀

  • Tish Lee
    September 8, 2019

    So glad you’re stretching with us. Doesn’t it feel good to STRETCH? I know it’s scary, but it feels so good too. I laughed out loud when I read this “I hopped on it faster than a monkey on a banana tree!” So thrilled to hear that you love making jewelry and want to share it with the rest of the world! And what a cute doggy stretching pic, love that too.

    • Rena Tucker
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you SO much, Tish!!! I’m so happy my post made you laugh! And you’re right: it actually DOES feel good to stretch! I had no idea it could be anything other than terrifying, but now I’m starting to think it *might* become addictive. I’m soooo glad I said YES to the challenge! 😀

  • Renee Cohn Jones
    September 8, 2019

    Wow – you have BIG Goals planned for this stretch! Congrats on getting your site up and running (it looks great to me!!) Can’t wait to see how it grows and stretches in September and beyond! 🙂

  • Rena Tucker
    September 9, 2019

    Thank you, Renee! I’m sooo excited about growing my site! And I LOVE what you’re up to! I teach Elementary Art to 1st through 6th graders, so I get to see how crucial good parenting from healthy parents is to…everyone. So, cheers to YOU! I look forward to seeing what you create in the challenge! 😀

  • Donna Blevins
    September 14, 2019

    What a great way to start my Saturday, Rena! You coming clean and being transparent about your self doubts encourages me to do the same.

    You amaze. Your ability to create art with words in your blog and then in your replies is, on many levels, life-changing.

    I bet you have never considered that. In fact, on a personal level, I had glossed over it. You modeling it by taking action has become my motivation

    Cherish your creativity, nurture, and unleash it. Your club will bring peace into lives on many levels.

    Consider yourself hugged 🙂

  • Rena Tucker
    September 15, 2019

    Donna, I’m honored. And speechless. Which, as you know, rarely happens!

    To know that *I* inspire YOU makes my heart soar!

    The idea that this blog and club will change lives and bring peace to others is sheer BLISS for me.

    (I was aiming for sparkle, but peace??? Whoa.)

    Thank YOU for making my day. I love you madly! Hugs right back. 🙂

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