We’re nearing the end of the Tao of Creativity series, and I’ve enjoyed sharing the insights I found in The Tao of Pooh that relate to being an artist and allowing your creativity to grow and strengthen.  I encourage everyone to find a copy of Benjamin Hoff’s book and see what further inspiration you can discover.  

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

We have the unfortunate power to be our own worst enemy.  We can talk ourselves out of doing things that would benefit us.  We can convince ourselves we aren’t good enough, strong enough, or creative enough to accomplish something we want to do.  The same brain that can create can just as easily destroy.

It’s time for us to tell that part of the brain to shut up and sit in the corner!

If you want to write, paint, sculpt, dance, or undertake any other creative endeavor, don’t let that pessimistic voice in your head stop you from pursuing your goal.  Even when others see our potential, we often refuse to acknowledge the truth that will empower us to express ourselves in artistic ways. 

Benjamin Hoff states, “No matter how Useful we may be, sometimes it takes us a while to recognize our own value” (117).  I believe this happens thanks to that irritating negative voice in our heads, but also out of a fear of failure or not immediately being an expert on what we set out to do.  We can combat these issues by pushing forward, working on our chosen craft, and learning from those failures and mistakes to improve our creative efforts the next time.

No one you admire in any form of creative art was exceptional the first time.  Overnight successes are a myth; they had to work as hard as anyone else to get where they are.  Think of someone you admire in the creative field you want to explore, then research their background.  I’m sure you’ll find that they didn’t knock it out of the park on the first try.  They had to work at it, refine their craft, and find what creative methodology worked best for them.

You can do the same, and it starts with you recognizing your value and pushing through any negativity you may create inside your head to get to your goals.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but you’ll be further along in your progress working toward your goal than being paralyzed by fear and self-doubt and never starting.

Your Happiness Starts with YOU

Whatever creative endeavor you set out on, it’s important that you enjoy what you’re doing from start to finish.  This doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges along the way, but you should be able to ride those waves of enjoyment through the process and come out at the end with a project you’re proud of, one that you’re happywith.

“Do you want to be really happy?  You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got” (136).  What are your strengths as an artist? How can you use those strengths to improve your weaker areas and make you even better as an artist?  Too often, we dwell on the negative, which infringes on our ability to be happy in what we’re doing.  That’s why it’s important to acknowledge our strengths and abilities and appreciate them.  

Happiness can be found through confidence, and confidence can be found in understanding and accepting our talents and skills.  It’s not arrogance to be proud of your abilities as a painter or writer.  That pride can be used to energize you as you work on your next project.  The skills you learned from the last thing you worked on can propel you forward and improve future work.  

The more you create, the happier you’ll be because you’re doing what you’re passionate about.  

And don’t we all desire to do what we love and enjoy?

Final Thoughts

By recognizing your value as a person and an artist and appreciating your skills and talents, you can silence the inner negativity preventing you from working toward your creative goals.  

Happy Creating, and I’ll see you next time!

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