One thing we hear a lot about in relation to artists is dealing with rejection.
Learning to ride the wave of disappointment. However today, I’d like to discuss
something far more insidious and therefore far more dangerous.
What is this hidden thing? It is negativity. Negativity is like a highly infectious
disease. And, as with an infectious disease we need to quarantine ourselves
from it as much as possible. The question is - how do we do that?
The first task that faces us is to root out our own negativity. Now you may
consider that you are a reasonably happy person and don’t feel at all negative.
However negativity has a way of creeping into all of our lives. Often it is only
small things. That throw away thought - “I don't think I'll enter that exhibition-
because I know I’m really not up to scratch yet!”
Or - “I like this painting I just did, but Mary’s really is much better than mine!”
And on it goes. Here are some flags for negative thinking.
Some of these things fall into more than one category.
• Comparison - with others or with your self, past and present
• Judgement of others work - negatively so yours reflects better.
• Judgement of others work - negatively so theirs reflects better.
• I'm not good enough or I'm not enough.
• I don’t really have enough talent
• I don’t have enough time
• I’m too tired
• I don’t have a space where I can paint
• My studio isn’t big enough
• Self Doubt - several of the above fall into this category and are different
more subtle aspects of it.
And the list could go on and on. Every one of these is an excuse which can stop
you from creating and deny the world from having your unique creative gifts.
Not until you catch your self in these negative thought loops, can you take steps
to create another habit. Often these thoughts are habitual, learnt from our
parents or peers.
Changing is a three step process -
Next week I will share with you wht the steps are. In the mean time, during the coming week, try to observe yourself. Look at the negativity flags above and notice where and how they are popping up for you.
Write them down even if you can. Do you notice a pattern? For example, are you being triggered by any particular thing?
This will prepare you for change. After all we can't change a negative behaviour, unless we are aware of where and how it is impacting us.
NEXT WEEK: Negativity - What Impact Is It Having On Your Art?