I recently had a conversation with an artist friend of mine about becoming a member of a small group. Her response held many reasons for NOT joining such as being over extended and time factors. The one that I zeroed in on was "I feel intimidated". I had to laugh because I knew exactly what she meant. There are so many times that I am intimidated by others. She is more polished.... her speaking abilities are so elegant....she has such energy....her knowledge about X is tremendous....she is so in control.....her work is sooooo good and the list goes on and on and on! What I have finally learned is that we like to think that we are unique... that we are the only one feeling this way. I love it when I hear comments like this because they ground me. I have confirmation that I am not alone in my feelings! BUT, what do we do to overcome them? I am sure that even the most accomplished artist feels intimidated in some way by some person. She may not show it on the outside, she may have found ways to disguise her intimidation, she may have learned to put that negative thought on the back burner, but there is always that tinge of intimidation with her. I struggle with this on a daily basis. I am trying little by little to control this particular feeling - intimidation. It is a killer feeling! When WE LET ourselves be intimidated we give up our sense of self. We give up our belief in our self. I am the only person that can allow myself to feel this way - no one can make me have this feeling, no one can give or take it. It is mine to do with what I want. I can let it overtake me, numbing me to the outside world or I can put it on the back burner - stuff it way down in the dark depths of my mind. We each have skills that we are very good at as well as lessons that we still need to learn. We all have much that we can share and teach each other - we have to trust in ourselves and each other and be willing to give and take. I believe that it is important to respect the feeling of intimidation as it keeps us aware that we have room to grow, but don't let it hold you hostage!