Habits, as you probably know if you bite your nails, can be incredibly hard to break. Our invisible mental habits can be even more difficult to overcome, but for that, even more important.
So, give yourself permission to drop these things. And give yourself the time and patience to break the habits.
Leave the “not enough” mood
Successful artists don’t frame things “not enough”. There is never enough time, there is not enough money, there is not enough trust, there is not enough of what there is in that moment to do or do what you need to do to be a successful artist.
“They all point to an underlying fear of not being enough,” says Crista Cloutier, artistic mentor and creator of The Working Artist. “And once you can deal with that underlying fear, the other problems fit in.”
Waiver of comparisons
This is the problem of comparisons: you will always be better at some things than other people and worse at others. Living in neither of them will get you nowhere.
You can stifle your creativity as an emerging artist by comparing yourself with someone in a 20-year career, and it can hinder your growth by comparing your work to someone just starting out.
Instead of focusing on how you compare to someone else, invest that energy by comparing your recent work with the work you did six months ago, a year ago, and five years ago. Have you grown up and where do you want to see yourself in six months, a year and five years in the future?
Compare yourself to yourself.
Stop making excuses
If you want to be a successful artist, you need to introduce yourself. You have to do the work.
If you’re like any other artist in the world, you’ve probably said to yourself at some point something like: “I can’t go to the studio today because I’m too busy / heartbroken / my family needs me too much / [insert excuse here] . ”
And you know what? It’s nice to do it. It seems justified and reasonable and like you are doing the right thing for yourself.
But artist Suzie Baker says she is “our FEAR disguised as a Resistance; that thing, or idea, or hard work, or Netflix, or doubt, postponement or refusal, that stops appearing and making our art ”
When you stop making excuses, you can begin to recognize the direction you are going and, if necessary, have the willpower to change that direction.
Stop working all the time
Of course, you have to show up in the studio even when you don’t want to do the job. But you also need to know when to leave and when to take the time to take care of your body, your health and your emotional and social well-being.
You can’t do your best if you don’t invest in your mind and body as well.
We have seen artists sacrifice both in the name of their craft. But you need your body at the most basic levels to create your work. Successful artists know that their success is a marathon and not a sprint, so you need to maintain your health to stay in the game.
Find time in your schedule to stretch, exercise, go for a walk, cook healthy meals, and chat with colleagues, family and friends.
Stop taking misinformed advice seriously
“When are you going to find a real job?”
“When will you grow up?”
“At what point does an artist realize he doesn’t have enough talent to” succeed “?
“It must be nice not to have to work.”
“It must be nice to work alone when you feel like it.”
The artist and creator of The Savvy Painter, Antrese Wood, notes that these toxic relationships prevent artists from reaching their potential.
But guess what? We can choose who to listen to and what advice to follow. You may have heard that we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with.
Spend it on those who push you to succeed, those who have been successful as an artist and those who inspire you to do so.
Not all tips are created equal.