What’s the biggest roadblock on your journey as an artist? Quick, head over to the nearest mirror and you’ll see it: it’s YOU.
Most people are the biggest inhibitor of their own art development. Every self-deprecating or fearful thought is another brick in the wall separating you and your most creative, successful artist self.
These are thoughts like:
What if this looks bad?
Is this a waste of my time?
What if people won’t like this?
If these thoughts sound familiar, I have a message for you: GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY! Art is not about other people or “good art” versus “bad art;” it’s about expressing what is in your heart. That’s a pure, healthy expression that nobody can criticize or take away!
Reframe Your Thoughts About Your Art
It’s important to recognize the thoughts that you have that interfere with your art process so you can reframe them. Don’t beat yourself up over having these thoughts, because they’re part of your human nature. We humans are wired to prepare for the worst-case scenario, creating “what if” imaginings. Sometimes this helps us avoid potential pitfalls in our lives, but these thoughts run roughshod over a creative practice.
Try these types of reframed thoughts:
Instead of “What if this looks bad,” think “What if this comes out amazing?”
Instead of “What if this is a waste of my time,” think “All time invested in my art leads to growth.”
Instead of “What if people won’t like this,” think “My work delights me, and others appreciate my creativity, artistry, and dedication.”
Science is continually proving what was previously only considered a “woo-woo” concept: Our minds have a powerful effect on our bodies and our lives. There is nothing more powerful than a positive mindset, confidence in yourself that you’re worthy and that you can tackle the challenges that you’ll face, and conscious thinking to frame situations in ways that help you feel good and remain motivated.
Believing you can do something is often the biggest hurdle! How many times have you thought, “This is never going to work” while struggling with a task—only to find out it was a self-fulfilling prophecy! The things we think become real in the world, so make sure your thoughts are positive!
The next time you have a self-deprecating or pessimistic thought, pause. Take a deep breath. Then come up with a positive, self-affirming statement to replace the thought. Here are some examples:
I am an amazing artist.
I’m creative and talented.
I bring something to painting that is one-of-a-kind, uniquely me.
I have a lot to contribute and my art is important.
I want you to repeat this statement like a mantra silently or out loud for at least 10 seconds. Then return to your task, rocking a renewed, confident mindset.
What Would You Do if You Could Not Fail?
The question of “What would you do if you could not fail?” gives us the freedom to imagine our potential, if only we could unshackle ourselves from the fear of failure. And yet in our art practice, our art business, and our personal lives, we will face both failures and successes. There is no “yin” of wins without the “yang” of losses.
So rather than worrying about avoiding failure, we should shoot for potential successes again and again—submitting to calls for art, launching new collections, hosting open studios, seeking publicity—and see any rejections or failures as natural parts of our growth journey. There isn’t an artist (living or from history) who hasn’t faced failure or rejection again and again. Join their ranks in getting over your fear of failure/rejection and you’ll also be able to celebrate wins!
I Got Out of My Own Way, and Everything Changed
There’s no way I could have achieved my art career and art business if I’d let my thoughts of “I’m starting too late,” “It’s too much to figure out how to build an art business,” or “What if I fail” derail my efforts. I had to move past self-doubt and tell myself “This is your dream and you CAN do this.”
Now I help my coaching clients take control of their thoughts and make progress towards their art goals! If you think one-on-one coaching would be helpful, let’s talk about it.
I hope that you’ll take down the mental roadblocks you’ve put up, whether it’s about confidence, technique, or time. You can become the artist of your dreams. I’m cheering you on!