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!
4/17/2018 10:12:06 am
Beautiful, Lynn. You are obviously living your purpose. You're such a joy to be around.
4/17/2018 10:23:55 am
Thanks so much for your lovely compliment, and for all of your wonderful insights!
4/17/2018 10:47:55 am
Lynn thank you so much gor sharing that. Self doubt is my constant companion snd adversary. Your story really hit home
4/17/2018 11:22:40 am
So glad that you liked the post. I was a little apprehensive about sharing my feelings. Glad that you "got it." I am sorry, however, that you experience self doubt too. No one needs it! Sending you positive thoughts.
4/17/2018 10:27:23 am
This hit home for me. I never had encouragement to pursue any form of art so I never had the confidence to take an art class in school. Thanks to your class I have a second chance. My confidence is growing through improvements and inspiration from others in the class. Thank you Lynn!
4/17/2018 10:36:08 am
Wow, thanks so much, Jessica. What you have written brought tears to my eyes and made my day. So happy to have helped you. Love having you in class. Please share my email or this post with others that you think may be helped by reading it. Thanks again!!
4/17/2018 11:02:54 am
Thank you for sharing this, Lynn! I love your work, your mission, and your swim cap!
4/17/2018 11:24:44 am
This made me chuckle. Happy that you like the swim cap and grateful that you love my work and mission. Thank you so much for reading my post and for commenting here.
4/17/2018 11:32:04 am
Love this! funny how many of us had a mission in life at a young age and self-doubt sometimes takes over. This made me think about being about 9-10 years old. I felt pretty invincible then - then puberty hit and I began to question myself and just wanted to hide. But, slowly I'm digging out and rediscovering that little girl! I think you are living your mission now and continue to make your great art!
4/17/2018 08:01:14 pm
I didn't feel invincible at 9 or 10. The negative voices had already seeped in. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and THANKS for your compliment regarding living my mission and your kind words regarding my art. Especially thank you for taking the time to read my post and comment on it. Merci!
4/17/2018 08:01:50 pm
Thanks so much. I hope that it helps you!
4/17/2018 12:26:25 pm
Lynn, great story. I feel identified with this as well. Throughout my life I’ve had so many feelings of self doubt. I love the suggestions that Debra gave you!
4/17/2018 08:02:50 pm
Thanks so much Dora. It is a great suggestion, and I am so happy to share it. Thanks for reading! Look forward to seeing you again in Lancaster!
4/17/2018 01:35:31 pm
Never would have guessed you had any self doubts during our formative years, Lynn. Then again, we were wrapped up in school, dance recitals, marching band, etc. And let's not forget our acting abilities as potato latkes and dreidels! Whatever influence they have had on your art, we certainly are all the better for it because you continue to make such beautiful works. xoxo
4/17/2018 08:04:10 pm
We were most excellent latkes and dreidels! Thank you so much for being my friend for a lifetime and for your kind words. xo back at ya!
4/17/2018 03:17:05 pm
Thank you for the insightful article, Lynn. Self doubt, so damaging and so hard to get past. Fascinating prespective, just need to figure out what to use to anchor my thoughts to.
4/17/2018 08:05:14 pm
Thanks for reading and for your comments, Cathy. I hope that you find something easily to use as your anchor!
4/17/2018 07:26:13 pm
Hi Lynn, this is such a lovely blog and you explained yourself so well. Meeting you in Reston made an impression on not only me but others in the room. You were positive , caring, emphatic and funny! 😉
4/18/2018 06:54:10 pm
Hi Monica, I am now able to post this reply. For some reason, the computer was fussing with me yesterday. Thank you so much for your kind words. I was so happy to have met you in person in Reston, and I can't wait to see you again in Ireland. Glad that you did some work on your self doubt issues too. That feeling of inadequacy is so counter-productive and can seep into so much of what we are trying to accomplish. Thanks for reading my post and for commenting! Sending you my best.
4/18/2018 10:08:43 am
Beautifully put Lynn! Thank you for being brave enough to share your story.
4/18/2018 06:50:20 pm
Thanks for taking the time to read it Natalya. I appreciate it. Yes, I was a little bit hesitant to share this. Awfully personal. But I thought that it may help others, so I threw caution to the wind. : )
4/18/2018 06:55:26 pm
Hugs to my dear friend who brings confidence to the table with grace, a smile and often a laugh. You had us all fooled. But, totally appreciate your sharing, as we all have little gremlins running thru our mind at times. Very true statement shared by your coach ... every time you have touched someone’s heart, no matter how, you have succeeded to enrich your life and others. That is success. ❤️
4/19/2018 12:19:25 pm
Thanks so much for your kind reply. I think that everyone does have gremlins that attempt to undermine. I hope that what I have written can help others because my coach surely helped me. Thank you, thank you for reading and for your lovely words.
4/21/2018 09:47:18 am
So timely for me. What a wonderful story.
4/22/2018 04:56:52 pm
Thanks, Robin. I do hope that it was helpful. So far, it's working for me. : )
Beautiful story! Thanks for sharing. Your work is so amazing that it's hard for me to imagine you thinking it's now wonderful. I do know we all have those insecurities and I love your way to remind yourself that you're living your mission and that its such a wonderful one! Hugs -
4/30/2018 01:06:15 pm
Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment, Claudia. I truly appreciate your kind words, and hope that whenever insecurities strike, you find comfort in the knowledge that we all experience them. And sometimes, just sometimes, we have a solution that knocks us out of the negative mind games. Hugs to you!
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