Did you know that one of the reasons we often fail at something is because we are actually afraid of succeeding. It is an interesting dichotomy, the opposite ends of the success and failure stick. I had a thought provoking experience last week, when I became the recipient of a third placing in an open international online art competition.
One of my friends posted the success on her Facebook page, thank you Kate, which then had many responses to my painting, more than I have ever received before. It is an interesting feeling to receive so much praise, something I'm not generally used to receiving I guess. There was a part of me that wanted to go into denial, downplaying my success, which is what I would have done in the past. You see, when you only have a few people praising something that you have done it is easy to explain that away and believe the, I'm not good enough story, the , they're only family story and the, what would they know story.
It is amazing how many Stories We Tell ourselves . I do love Byron Katie's question of enquiry when we are faced with these kinds of behaviours in ourselves . Her question is very simple - she merely asks - is that true? Now if I apply that question to those stories and I am brutally honest with myself how can I possibly continue to believe those stories.
I think one of the biggest struggles we face as artists is believing in ourselves. Outside validation is something that helps us along with that, particularly when it comes from our peers and others that we don't know, and who have no emotionally vested interest in our relationship.
So this week I learnt to appreciate myself and my work in a deeper way and to examine self validation in a new light.
NEXT WEEK: Me Time - What Is It And Why Is It Important?