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Guestblog take-over: On Courage & Confidence

By Sara Karpanen

We’re excited to announce a guest blog collaboration with Echo member Sara Kärpänen – freelance writer, multimedia artist and founder of Women of the Wick.

Sara will dive into the essential topics that affect us as creatives, entrepreneurs and humans, and share some of the insights from her highly recommendable podcast “Girl Get A Real Job“. In this first blog post, Sara sheds light on Courage & Confidence.


‘Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.’ —Nelson Mandela 


I once wrote, “the hardest thing is to start” with a black marker on the front of my desk wall in desperation. But that is not entirely true; starting is not the hardest part.

It’s often more challenging to continue—even if no one shows up to our class (apparently that happened to the author and super podcaster Jay Shetty when he gave his first talk at a university), when our passion project doesn’t get the funding it deserves or our world’s best business idea doesn’t take off immediately and when we get the ‘no thank yous’ and ‘better luck next times’ responses on repeat.

We. Have. All. Been. There. In those situations, it may be hard to remember not to take the rejections personally. How do we find the enthusiasm and strength to push forward? Wouldn’t it be easier to give up and forget about making the world a better place?


Illustration by Nina

Continuing the work after a so-called failure is probably the most important part of the work. (I don’t want to say where the magic happens, you get the plot.)


Allowing ourselves to try, and fail, and get back up again, is an act of love itself.

Allowing ourselves to be seen in our quirkiness, awkwardness, and gorgeousness.


That is the point where we all meet and the sweet spot where I am interested in operating as an artist, curator and writer: to allow ourselves to be seen, heard and listened to, authentically and unfiltered. That is the work.


It’s easy to build a mask and hide away from our feelings of unworthiness with alcohol, stress or filling our calendars with endless projects and plans (me!). We are afraid to pause and look at what’s underneath. When we do have the courage to peel off these layers, we can find something long-hidden and unhealed.


We don’t have to be perfect. Continuing requires asking the right (and difficult) questions. The next time you face a mental hurdle and feelings of unworthiness, pause and gently (very gently) ask yourself:

Where did I learn that belief from?


You can try to recall an event, perhaps a person or a specific place or memory. Allow yourself to feel all that comes on the surface. Feel it, write it out. Once you have acknowledged the thoughts and feelings, be willing to let them go. Then ask yourself:

Is that the whole truth? What would be a more authentic version of the story?

Write a new story from the place of love. For example:

I choose to be seen.

I choose me.

I choose peace.

We will likely need to repeat the steps over and over for many years, even decades. But it’s worth it. I’d love to hear any comments or thoughts on the exercise if it resonated with you.


If you are interested in continuing the work, we have our next workshop coming soon on tapping into our creative potential. Stay tuned! 

For more information and tickets for the next Sacred Circle for Creatives event visit Eventbrite. This event will take place on Wednesday 26 May at 6 pm. Echo members and Women of the Wick subscribers get 30% off with code: WOW.

Find Illustrator Nina on Instagram and her prints here.