This Way, 10x10, Oil on Canvas, ©Lynn Goldstein $575
How many of you suffer from bouts of insecurity? I know, right? Who hasn’t?
Feelings of inadequacy are threads that have been woven throughout the fabric of my life for as long as I can remember. Those feelings have stymied my success in ways that I can pinpoint, and ways that I am just beginning to understand. Most importantly, that lack of confidence has kept me from recognizing the best way to fulfill my mission.
Although I know that my moments of flagging confidence are not going to be vanquished forever. I wanted to understand a way to eliminate the feelings as much as I could. With that in mind, I spoke with one of my coaches recently, and she helped me with a trick that I think may be helpful to you if you ever suffer from self doubt. Again, who doesn't?
While unpacking the root of my feelings of inadequacy, I disclosed to her a story from my memories as a child, which I will share with you here.
How great is that little swim cap? Had to protect my hair. Here I am at 4 years old, loving life.
One of my first memories, when I was about 4 years old, was that I was on this earth to touch people in a positive way. In other words, at four years old, I knew my life’s mission. My fear of being labeled nuts at worse, or an extreme Pollyanna at best, kept me from sharing this mindfulness with others. However, since I have been carefully disclosing my remembrance to select people, their reactions have indicated how unusual that memory actually was.
After confessing this recollection to my coach, she asked, “How could you touch people in a positive way and possibly be inadequate?
A giant lightbulb went off when I responded to her question. I realized that it is impossible to be lesser-than if I am touching people in a positive way. Therefore, as long as I, or my art, are fulfilling that mission, it is good enough!
Here’s the part that helps me stay positively focused, and what you may be able to do to help yourself when your confidence wanes. I call it my “mind reorientation tool.” When I feel myself comparing my art, or my life, or even myself with others, and am tempted to let that lack of confidence rear its ugly head, I remember my mission. To help me even further, I have a picture of my four year old self taped to the side of my easel. When I look at that sweet little girl, who truly never knew a stranger, and smiled at all she encountered, I am transported back to a time when love surrounded me. This photo helps me to remember that as long I am fulfilling my mission, I am good enough, swim cap and all!
Now, here’s your task. If you are fulfilling your mission, whatever that is, you can’t possibly be inadequate. Think that over. Then, find something, it can be just about anything, to reorient your mind when the negativity starts creeping in.
I hope that this helps you as it has helped me. If you think of a little reminder that brings you back to balance, and would like to share what that is in the comments, I would love to hear from you. Who knows, we may all come away with great ideas to help each other!
Happy to have you here. This is where you will see work in progress, tips about making art, seeing art, and enjoying art. You will also see ways to live life like an artist.
To see work in progress, and more activity in my studio, follow me on Instagram.