Tag Archives: not good enough

612. Self Appreciation and Self Acceptance

 

One of the gifts from walking through the specifics to see what is behind the pattern of assuming and projecting what I am thinking and experiencing onto others is being able to see what I am still thinking, perceiving or believing about myself. The overall character within these assumptions has to do with ideas of me not being good enough for certain standards that I believe others have upon me, not being able to fully embrace me and particularly my creations and instead cowering up and preferring to not show anything because of still giving into all of these ideas of others being able to determine how good or bad something that I do is.

This is so particularly in the realm of showing artworks, and it’s similar to what other people that perform would experience as stage fright, that moment where one fears what others will say, how it will be criticized, judged, but never realizing all of that is self-created, it exists within me as all the thoughts, judgments, beliefs, ideals I’ve imposed onto what I create.

It has taken me some time to start breaking through it, and it also required this point of inner conflict for me to see to what extent I was holding myself captive with these beliefs about it. I also knew that just writing about it won’t sort it out, because I understand in theory what self acceptance is, what embracing myself means – but in terms of doing and living that in relation to my art, it had to do with actually taking the steps to show it. Art is meant to be seen and shown – yeah some people might say it’s not true, but here I focus on my current relationship to it – it’s a visual thing, it’s something that’s meant to be shown and so by preventing me from showing paintings for example, I had to confront the truth of why I wasn’t doing so, and that has to do with insecurities, ideas of my stuff not being good enough or creative enough or expressive enough – interestingly enough doing this within the realm that has very subjective and movable standards though.

This year has marked the return to creating art in general and that means painting for me, and walking through the plethora of judgments that I had imposed onto the process of creativity over years which led me to stop and give up on it for some time, holding a conflictive relationship with it all because of the judgments, the limitation, the standards, the ideas I projected about ‘how it must look’ and also trying to please people with it, within the consideration of also being able to sell it.

That’s a whole different point as well though where you have to make stuff that others can like in a particular market, but I’m sure that there can be different kinds of people for different kinds of expressions, which means that the real problem isn’t about ‘having others liking it to buy it,’ but it still had to do with me being able to embrace my creations.

I’ve spent many hours listening to creative individuals, mostly movie directors and artists that have gotten to a point of success because of standing behind their creations, completely embracing them as themselves, ‘sticking to their gut’ as they say and with that being able to persevere, not give up, embrace their mistakes and not be afraid of showing their creations to the world even if to them were ‘aberrations’ at first. I laughed at myself a few times while listening to them, it assisted a lot to know how it’s not easy to embrace something you create even for very successful people in the business and how everyone goes through this trial and error and dissatisfaction phase – even in a constant manner throughout their career – with their creations and how all that it requires is to keep at it, to keep moving, to keep testing.

Something I did differently this time around is to not say ‘no’ to doing commercial paintings involving themes I would have ‘never’ dared to paint before because of thinking it would go against my personal preferences. However it is through having said ‘yes’ to those things I resisted doing that I started breaking through some of my core limitations when it comes to creation and self-beliefs, which has been quite supportive.

Also on the practical realm, it assists with practicing stuff, being able to test out techniques and ways of painting I’ve never done because I had always only done ‘stuff I like’ which I’ve been able to still do and test out, but I’ve been mostly spending my time with fixed commissions which has assisted me to get comfortable and back into the practice, into the actual ‘doing’ that painting entails.

As part of walking the process of correction for these fears of judgments and comparison, I decided to start sharing and posting my paintings online on my Instagram page, because I had refrained myself from doing so throughout most of the year, so now I’m sharing some of the ones I made this year.

It is now the moment for me to test who I am within sharing: am I looking for recognition? Am I looking to be accepted by others or have positive feedback from others? And in that I decide to make it about sharing, unconditionally showing because that’s the key point I had been struggling with, showing my stuff. And yes it’s crazy because as simple as it can be for many to share stuff on Instagram or Facebook, to me it’s become a source of nervousness that I have to step into and simply direct myself to share and walk through the nervousness and insecurity in a moment before posting and then it’s done, it’s out in the open.

I realize that I have to continue developing the habit of sharing and walking through those moments that to me feel like taking ‘leaps of faith’ where all that exists is trusting me, being able to stand behind my work and let go of ‘what ifs’, it’s there, nothing more and nothing less. 

So the overall outcome of this is realizing how I can only be the one that can stop me from creating judgments, standards, ideas or beliefs of how something must look, I simply have to be there every step of the way it takes to create something and that then becomes the accumulation of me being able to stand behind my creation in whichever way it results.

This reminds me of how unconditional I used to be when it came to art creation before, I was unable to destroy or get rid of anything that wasn’t ‘good enough’ because I understood it as part of my creation process, a part of me. That might sound a bit ‘too much’ but in principle it assisted me to be much more unconditional when it comes to sharing/showing my stuff, I didn’t hold a ‘high regard’ on it or anything, I had no standards and that’s what I want to go back to again.

I also recognize how preposterous it is to compare ourselves to someone else’s expression. I definitely agree how the process of comparison is one main distractor that keeps us from genuinely focusing on our own expression, weaknesses, talents, strengths and the rest of it.  So this is an active process for me, it’s probably one of the most ingrained things along with judgment, and that means that I also have to realize that what I do as art or creativity is not all that I am as a person, it’s a part, an expression – but at the same time realizing there’s much more to share, give and express as myself beyond creative expressions, which to me has a lot to do with being able to share, coexist with others and that’s basically one of the points where this self-acceptance and embracing myself has become a more settled aspect of me, and getting to enjoy that individuality that I represent, just like anyone else does.

So I have to essentially apply the same process to my creative process and results thereof, where I have to be the first one that has to stop nullifying myself by fearing showing myself to others in whichever form or way. What’s the worst that can happen?  If any criticism, judgments, dislikes come my way, that’s then a cool aspect for me to face and confront in my life, which would only allow me to know where I am still fearing to not have a ‘spot’ in someone’s preferences, where I still as a weakness, where I am still defining myself based on others’ preferences or judgments or where I would be measuring myself only according to certain traits or characteristics and diminishing myself to only that one aspect, while neglecting the rest of the person that I am.

What I mean is that it is also totally possible that even if we embrace our creations and stand by them, If we want to make a business out of it and people are simply not buying it, it doesn’t mean that everything I am is ‘lost’ or ‘a failure’ either. It would mean that I have to keep testing out ways to see what works with others in terms of selling it. And if not, I also realize this is not the one and only thing I’m able and willing to do in my life, so in this it also points out where I have to expand my horizons and not get fixated only in the idea of ‘having to be a selling artist’ in order to survive and develop myself in this world. This is something I’ve also been considering and yes, it exists as a point of awareness and consideration, yet in practicality for now, I am dedicating myself to it, because it is only through doing this that I can face many points I had neglected to look at before because of fears.

This is also how I’ve been able to stop judging doing artworks as something ‘menial’ or ‘unimportant’ for the world, because I stopped wanting to save the world or change other people’s lives. I want to focus on developing myself in whichever shape or form I can when it comes to art, relationships, work and in relation to how I interact with other people in my reality and see where I can give the most of myself, where I can contribute the most to make something work or be taken to the next step of functionality and success.

That’s also been a major shift for a while in my life, which in turn doesn’t mean I become inconsiderate towards the world or others, it simply means I stop neglecting my life, my creation, my potential and instead of trying to sort ‘everything and everyone else out’, I now focus on creating and developing myself, because through doing that and being the best for me, I am best for all at the same time.

So, I’ll keep focusing on these aspects in my day to day

I recommend listening to these series which was also supportive to walk through these points of comparison and stepping into self-creation and self-acceptance in it.

Monsters Born From Comparison

Stopping the Comparison Monster

 

Self Acceptance

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE

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