Overcoming Self Doubt

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I’ve just finished my most recent oil and palette knife painting. I’m pretty pleased with it. However, as humans, or artists, or whatever, we tend to be our own biggest critics. I pick out every little thing that I could have or should have done better. I compare my work to other palette knife paintings and I feel like mine isn’t as good or that it looks too cartoony. I know that’s not a word but you get where I’m going. I feel like I can’t or won’t ever be as good as others or good enough to sell my paintings. I feel like maybe this is stupid. Maybe I am wasting my time. My friends and family will think its a joke me devoting so much of my time to painting, rather than working.

Self Doubt is something that stops many people from pursuing and/or realizing their dreams. This is something I have to keep reminding myself of. I remind myself that I enjoy this and it doesn’t really matter if people think I’m crazy or don’t believe in me. I have to remember that I am trying to do work that I love and I love to paint. I have to remember just to keep going, and keep trying, and keep practicing. Self doubt is always going go be there no matter what dream or goal you are trying to pursue. The key is to learn to overcome it and keep going.

Something that does help me some is to read inspirational messages. I follow many inspirational pages on Facebook. I like to read inspirational articles or quotes on Pinterest as well. A lot of the messages go to show you that you are not alone when you have self doubt. Many of the messages are telling you that if your are experiencing self doubt that you are most like on the right track. There are many quotes and messages from famous artists of all kinds reminding you that they were once where you are now: an amateur who lacks confidence in his or her work. Here is an example of a pin I saved to my phone:

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Things like this do help to keep me motivated. Whatever works to keep you motivated and reaching for your dreams are definitely worth your time or observation. Do whatever you need to do to motivate yourself to chase that dream. There’s no reason that you can’t write that book, or become a pianist, or chef, or veterinarian, or lawyer, or whatever it is that you aspire to become. If anyone else in the world has done it, and it is a passion of yours, there is no reason that you can’t make it happen for yourself. Its all about the love of the dream, practice, persistence, hard work, motivation, and overcoming self doubt. We can all be who we want to be. And if for some crazy reason we can’t, at the end of our days we will know we tried and gave it our best!

Pursuing Your Passion

Are you pursuing your passion? I realized that the reason I couldn’t find total happiness is because I was not. I had great jobs, but hated them. They didn’t make me happy. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything worthwhile. I felt like, although I was working, I was wasting my life away. I think as human beings we need to feel meaning and purpose in our lives. And I just didn’t.

Everything else in my life was great, except the way I made money, or spent my productive time. After reading a few different (self-help) books, I accidently figured out what was missing in my life: passion and purpose. Have you ever heard that saying that if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life? Another question that I came across and asked myself: if there were no such thing as money what would you be doing with your life? And another concept that led me to pursue my passion is the concept of flow: “In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does” (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)).

Ok so what do I love to do so I would not work a day in my life? Art and cooking, these are my favorite hobbies. If there were no such thing as money I would love to open up an artsy themed restaurant with great food. The walls would be covered with a ton of artwork, including my own. And finally, what produces that feeling of flow for me? Again the answer is that I totally loose myself and track of time when creating art or cooking. So to me it was finally obvious what would most likely make me happy. I chose to pursue art, painting actually.

It actually worked out that I got laid off of my day job. I still have a part time job at night so I could get by and spend time in the day painting. I haven’t completed as much as I would have liked to by now but I am definitely getting some practice time in. This is what I call everything I’m doing now since I am learning, practice. I am very inspired by an artist named Leonid Afremov who paints the most beautiful, colorful pieces with a palette knife. I am determined to become a pro at palette knife painting. It is a very difficult painting style to learn. However the vibrancy of the colors and the thick textures you can achieve have me obsessed with mastering this. I hope to one day sell my paintings online.

This is the first oil painting I had done in many years. Only the water is done with a palette knife.

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These two are complete, and completely done with a palette knife.

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And these are two that I’m working on now

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And I did have one that was kind of a flop because the paint cracked in the cactus’s. Apparany this is due to applying thinner layer over thicker layers. Oops!

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Thanks for visiting!😆