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The Artist's Undefeated Attitude - 3 Ways to Get Your Mind Right

Is this year turning out any differently for you? I've already heard artists tell me that they had all these great intentions, but it's the end of the month and they can't seem to get going.

So I probe to find out what is going on underneath their frustrations. Are your goals too big, too vague or too challenging? Maybe you have just the right goals, but the actions are out of synch? Or are you buying into the whispers that say you are the same person so why should this year be any different?

You can easily fix the goals and the actions, but if the whispers of self-doubt turn into screams, you had best start there. In the words of Cool Hand Luke, you have to "get your mind right" or the most perfect plans won't amount to what you wanted.

Your attitude is possibly the strongest influence on your success as an artist.

"My optimistic attitude with a sense of gratitude and wonder has been key to helping go through the inevitable droughts of being a creative person."
Anne Marchand, Abstract painter, A.C.T. Graduate

We all have days when things don't work as well as on other days. When things don't go well, it's easy to berate yourself and fussing tends to make things worse.  Before you know it, you are swirling into despair - all from thoughts that you add to what actually did happen.
Break the cycle and start by creating space for better thoughts:

  • Make Affirmations.
    Flip the negative and make positive statements about what is in your control about what went wrong. Make sure that you actually believe another course of action is possible. Use these "mantras" when self-doubt creeps in, remind yourself of what is working and what you do best.
  • Meditate or pray.
    Meditate to clear your mind of day-to-day distractions and build a clear space for your creativity to flourish. If you are religious, pray for guidance from the higher power you believe in. Establish this habit of having faith in what you can do, and it will be harder for doubt to take hold.
  • Turn Obstacles Into Opportunities To Improve.
    If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. One of my mentors taught me that inside every obstacle are the seeds of an opportunity.

    Looking at your flaws is humbling - and good practice. The first time I was able to look at a piece and say "Wow, that is really awful!" was a freeing moment because I realized that I was developing a critical eye for my own work. In that particular case, I threw the piece in the trash. In later cases, I looked for anything I could do to save the piece. After all, there was nothing to lose. In some cases, I was able to discover a whole new technique.

Henry Ford put it this way: "Whether you think you can or you can't, you are right." Your attitude doesn't cost time, money or energy, and is entirely in your control, so turn it on and use it in your favor.


P.S. If you want a better return on all the time, money and energy you invest in your art business, join me and a group of committed artists to learn new "tricks" to marketing your art in the new teleclass series "9 Marketing Strategies to Get Exposure for Your Art." Classes start January 31st, 2013.
If you can't make every class, don't worry - there will be a PDF outline and recording for each session.

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