If you were to think of yourself as an artist, and of your life as your masterpiece, then there’s lots you could learn from the art-making process to apply to how you live your life. Starting with your attitude.
As an artist, you’d have a rebel attitude. This means that above all you’d value your freedom. Namely, the freedom to love yourself and express your creativity. You’d show up every day with the intention of making your art. No matter how stuck or frustrated you may feel that day.
Because you’d have learned from experience to trust the creative process.
Making art is inherently about not being afraid of getting it wrong. And the same goes for getting unstuck.
Whenever we feel stuck, the trick is to use the action of creating momentum to our advantage. We can create momentum that carries us to new better-feeling thoughts.
Everything in Life is a process. We can make big things happen in small steps. You can start today, wherever and however you are. Even just a little is enough. Every little bit counts.
Jump in. Get messy.
You’ll always mess up before you figure out where you’re going. Not only that, but all hell breaks loose as soon as you make up your mind to start. It never fails. But it’s only your way of self-sabotaging yourself because you’re out of your comfort zone.
Be okay with being uncomfortable.
Remember that the bad paintings need to be painted. No bad paintings, no breakthrough. No mess, no clarity. Things just get messy before they become clear. If you’re not messing up, you’re not taking any chances. And if you’re not taking any chances, you’re stuck.
Let things get messy. It’s the first step to getting unstuck.
Because with your very first step, you’re already moving in the direction of your desires. No matter how messy it feels, you’ve created momentum. Whoopee!
Go downstream. Move through.
Don’t complicate things. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Stop thinking you need to prove yourself. Stop paddling upstream. You don’t need to work harder to deserve what you want. You already deserve it.
Struggling or pushing ahead is always counterproductive.
Don’t be impatient either. Move through the process step by step. You can’t avoid the parts you dread. You can’t skip ahead. Impatience is simply another way we deal with being uncomfortable. We don’t like or understand what’s happening, so we force the results, only to find ourselves repeating our efforts over and over.
The only way off the hamster wheel is through.
Ask any artist, the joy is in the happy accidents and aha moments. But you’ll miss all those if you’re impatient. So catch yourself getting antsy and keep going ahead anyway. Enjoy the process, enjoy the journey. Let yourself go downstream. And be curious about everything you discover along the way.
The momentum you’re creating will take you where you need to go.
Remember it’s not about getting to a destination. Treat every single step you take as the first step. It’s about taking the leap to go ahead over and over again without any fixed idea of where you’ll end up.
It’s always now.
Your power to getting unstuck is always in the present moment. Your past thinking habits got you here. And your current thinking habits are creating your tomorrow.
Your focus creates and sets the direction of your momentum. Use this to your advantage.
Whatever you think about long enough has a snowball effect. So don’t focus on what’s driving you crazy. Focus on what’s feeling good. That way what you’re thinking about will snowball into more good-feeling thoughts, instead of more exasperating thoughts about all the things that drive you nuts.
And that’s your power. You get to choose what you think about.
Remember you’re already in the habit of creating momentum. The question is, in what direction is your momentum moving? Focus on what feels good.
It’s never done.
The process has two constants. It never ends and it’s always changing. With or without your approval. There’s no controlling change. We can either change with the change by being willing to try, or we can fight and resist it. We do have that choice. But the difference between feeling stuck or feeling ease is in our willingness to try.
If you can internalize your willingness to try, then you’ll never avoid your work again.
Trust in the process. Once you’ve got momentum, every step leads to the next step, even if it doesn’t look like what you were expecting. The creative process is an adventure. You can show up in spite of your fears of not knowing how or not understanding why things are working out for you.
Your source of avoidance is always your resistance to try.
Remember it’s never done. Your resistance to trying is only your fear of messing up. Making art is inherently about not being afraid of getting it wrong. It’s about trusting in the process so that whatever feels “wrong” is just the next step. And every step is always the first step.
You can’t get it wrong.
Perfection is a big fat lie and it will keep you stuck all your life. Perfectionism is a learned coping mechanism that keeps you safe and in your comfort zone. It may have served you well at some point in your life, but it will keep you from finishing projects and most importantly, from trying new things. It puts your joy on hold.
If you can accept that the creative process is never done, then you can rest assured that you can never get it wrong.
Consider the possibility that your future self has already figured out whatever is holding you back. So what you’re looking at is essentially something that you can’t get wrong and won't even remember in the future.
Yep, there’s a future version of you that’s already been there, done that.
Your future self is way better at everything you’re working on now. And quite frankly, a tad bit embarrassed by some of the stuff you’re coming up with. Just like you’re embarrassed by some of the stuff you did ten years ago, don’t ya know.
Truth is, you keep getting better as you go. So the idea of perfection is pretty much pointless.
Remember whatever you’re working on may turn out great or it may turn out awful and it doesn’t matter one bit. Not one little bit. Because it’s all inspired. It’s all part of the process of moving in the direction of your desires.
There is no right or wrong way to make your artwork. There is no right or wrong way for you to be inspired. Have a grateful heart for what you’re creating. When you feel grateful and trust in the process, you’re in love with life.
And when you’re in love, you’re inspired.
When you’re inspired you feel purposeful. You don’t need to understand anything to feel inspired. You don’t need to search for any answers. You know your purpose is to make your art your way. You’re following your joy. You’re giving your joy by sharing yourself through your art. You’re thriving.
You’re in the process of making a beautiful life.
Remember life is supposed to be fun. Show up with a grateful heart and a curious mind. Let things get messy. Stop paddling upstream. Focus on what feels good. Be willing to try. And keep in mind that you keep getting better as you go.
When making art, it’s never about what you’re creating, but how you’re creating it. The same goes for life.
The action of creating momentum is your shortcut to getting unstuck and living the life you want.
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