Now that’s a very powerful question – with equally powerful ramifications.

If I want to move forward in my work, I know there’s a point in time when I have to step back and ask the question, ‘is this working?’

And, I ask that question with each piece of work I create – so I’m getting pretty good at assessing and evaluating my answers.

Questioning yourself and your direction is like unlocking a doorway to a secret garden –  you can see the potential, but only if you allow yourself the opportunity to actually begin to tackle that conversation.

And it sometimes takes a great deal of courage, introspection and insight to even consider unlocking that garden door to debate self-critique and new ideas.

Recently, I began working in a completely different format – inspired by research into the epic medieval embroidery, the Bayeux Tapestry.

Success wasn’t assured, but I knew potential and opportunity were waiting there for me to do something entirely different if I wanted it.  I was at that see-saw moment when I had to question what was right for me.

Fortunately, I opened that doorway to my very own secret garden, knowing I could well fall flat on my face – but I didn’t.

Not only is the format working, not only am I enjoying stitching narratively, but it’s also pushing me to refine my processes to achieve even more successful outcomes – and that means looking harder at what I do and how I do it.

Now we all want our work to be successful, and sometimes, hard as we might try, that just doesn’t happen.  I’ve been there too – so I’m not trying to say it’s all sunshine and light trying to figure out the correct questions, then figuring out the equally important error-free, correct answers.

But there are times when you just know you have to go down a path to make that change, try something different and just run with those ideas that are now floating to the surface.

To keep your work flourishing and blooming, don’t be afraid to step back and question.  You’ll know what those questions should be.

And you’ll know the right answers too.

cathy jack coupland