• Carolyn Land

The Critical Voice in Your Head

Trust that still, small voice that says, ‘this might work, and I’ll try it’.”  Diane Mariechild

Last week I wrote about finding the genuine you.  In order to do that, you have to get rid of that “critical voice in your head” that says…I can’t do this, I have no talent, what if no one likes it, what am I going to do with it… etc.  Yes, we frequently sabotage ourselves with thoughts of failing or who cares anyway.

I also know some artists are still trying to find a footing during this pandemic.  Many shows have been cancelled, art groups are not meeting, galleries are closing, workshops are cancelled, and a great deal of the art world has gone virtual.  Not good for those who are challenged by all the virtual and digital options out there. It’s not easy!

In the Distance

In the Distance                     Collage


I read several articles this week about setting goals and writing them down.  I dug out my old, “The Artist Way” book.  Author Julia Cameron was a strong proponent of writing things out.  I first took this course some 20 years ago and went on to teach it several times.  I re-read my original notes.  I was shocked at my own honesty and what goals I set for myself.  What surprised me more was, I have achieved each and everyone I wrote out. It made me think that it may be time to set new goals and re asses exactly where I want to go. The art world is changing, my life situation has changed, and I think that periodically we need to remember that things do change, and we need to reset our thinking. I need some new goals!

Usually the more attached we are to doing things a certain way the worse things end up.  Why?  Because our focus is on the wrong place.  Instead of focusing on the joy we get from doing something, we are focusing on the product, what is going to happen to it, or how others will view it.

I think I am in a healthy place when I say, “I paint for me”.   Not only because I think when you are finding joy in your work it turns out to be some of your best work, but its health value is unmistakable.

My husband asked me this week if I knew how many painting Van Gogh sold in his lifetime?  I remember reading it was 1, but the fact is arguable it could have been two and some drawings.  Whether our work finds a home now or after we are long gone, we are making a mark that will last longer than we do.  Make it genuine!  Make it your voice!  Stop that voice in your head with the negative slant and go for the joy!

Maybe for now, we need to enjoy the experience.  Rethink what is happening and write out a new set of goal for ourselves.

Psychologists have proven that those with an optimistic outlook have greater productivity, have more motivation, and enjoy a higher quality of life.  Go enjoy the act of creating.

Stay safe.  Carolyn

Stay safe.  Carolyn

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