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Negativity - What Impact Is It Having On Your Art?


These are the steps I was discussing in a previous post a couple of weeks ago, before Christmas and New Year interrupted that flow.

• We need to first identify the culprits

• Then be aware when we are using them

• And then when we catch our selves, replace the thoughts or behaviours

with one that serves us better.

So lets take a look at just one of these...

Self Doubt - aka - I’m not good enough.

What mask am I wearing today?
What mask am I wearing today?

I'm not good enough is one of the most debilitating emotions that an artist can have. We are quite fragile creatures when it comes to our art. There is a lot of uncertainty that floats around in relation to not being good enough, which impacts many different aspects of one's art practice - not just the work itself.

Sometimes it is useful to try and identify when you began believing this thought about not being good enough, because if you have it, you can be pretty sure that it pops up in other places in your life as well.

This is a very common one - and one that I’ve wrestled with for along time. It is a

belief which more often than not took root as a small seedling,

when we were children, and grew into a large tree with many branches.

Two major causes of the INES (I'm not enough syndrome) are parents and peers

when we are kids. I believe I got my INES from my mum - not because she told

me I wasn't enough - in fact my parents were very supportive, however my mum

had the INES in spades! And to top that off my dad was a perfectionist and so

good at everything he did. So of course that just amplified my mothers total lack

of self esteem. She was a 1950’s mum living in the shadow of her husband.

So how did I root out that tree? Well I began by lopping of the branches one by

one. I’m pretty sure there's a bit of the root still lurking down there somewhere,

but hopefully not too much now.

I began the journey with lots of tears, not very appealing I know, but I had to feel

my way through it until that feeling was gone. I would allow myself to think about a time when I felt not good enough and then lean into that feeling. I found there were specific

events that triggered the feeling and whenever I thought about that event this awful grief welled up inside me. The amazing thing was that when I was done crying about it,

that feeling was gone. I can think about those events now and it is like looking at

it through a dark mirror - There is the ghost of the memory and no emotional

attachment any longer. This the most empowering and liberating feeling. I felt so

much stronger inside and what's more, those kind of events never triggered that

awful feeling again.

I was no longer shackled to the past!

In relation to my art practice, this meant I no longer felt that my art wasn't worth much. The more I valued my self, I found the more I valude my art work. Next week: Is making a mistake a negative thing?

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