Thursday, March 4, 2010

Self Doubt...quitting cold turkey


A friend and I recently had a discussion over a bottle of wine about self doubt. I have come to the conclusion (finally!) that there is no room for it. I think I have a pretty amazing life and am so thankful for every day I get to live it. I am a confident mother to a wonderfully bright little girl and a loving wife to a really great guy. The area of life where traces of self doubt have crept in and set up camp is my art, my creativity.

I have been an artist my whole life. I am one of those people who could draw detailed drawings from an early age, and I was the kid in school that won the blue ribbons and was asked to draw the posters for events. One of my very favorite days in elementary school was when I was allowed to sit in the back of the class with a bunch of markers and transparencies and color them in to be used in a presentation to the class. To sharpen my skills, I would sit for hours with the encyclopedia and do pencil drawings based on the photos of animals.

So when did the self doubt start? Of course, huge amounts of time can be spent on analyzing my childhood and my parents, but I am to the point where I just don't want to, and am ready to forgive and let that go. In the scheme of things, my childhood wasn't that bad compared to others, and it all just starts to feel like a lame excuse..."if they had supported me more...." blah, blah, blah. They did the best they could with what they had.

Also I think I started to experience some traces of self doubt when I decided to start my business and take my art to a professional level. I believe this is a common experience among a lot of artists. Putting your art, which is essentially your feelings, your viewpoint, your Self out there for others to judge is a pretty big deal. And when you are trying to make a living as an artist, you can't help but get confused about your worth as an artist based on sales. Which is wonderful when sales are brisk, but when the economy turns, you start to care about what people think, and the ugliest doubt of all rears it's head...."Am I good enough?"

I KNOW the TRUTH is that I AM. There is plenty of practical, logical evidence when my paintings sell, in how many thousands of my books are selling across the country, how many commissions I continue to receive, and how my clients tell me they love my work.

My friend asked me..."why do you do it?" My answer is: I can't not do it. If I decided to not do any more art, my life would always be "missing something". The thought of that is sad and ridiculous. I do it because I have an almost constant flow of ideas that I want to bring to life. I do it because I feel like I have something to say. I do it because I still love to dip my brush in paint and play with colors and words. I love to cut paper and use glue and glitter and stamps and ink. I love to create things with my hands. I do it because my art makes people smile....I do it because it makes ME happy.

So the time has come to take a deep breath and let all the other stuff go. None of the past matters, critics don't matter, and self-doubt doesn't matter. It is not serving me in any positive capacity. It's only purpose is to hold me back. So, I'll take what I can learn from any experience I have and let the rest go. My intention is to create art....filled with the truth that I am more than good enough!
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1 comment:

  1. You...have a book out???
    Why was I not aware of this and how the heck do I get one???
    On another note, I completely relate to this post. You know how I feel about writing. No matter how many people tell me I'm good, all I ever hear are the doubts in my head or feel jealous because I'm not AS good as I'd like to be. The only way to fix that is to keep on keepin' on and squash the negative Nelly who tries to reside inside my head.

    ReplyDelete

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