Here are some of my remedies for erasing self doubt when they crop up.
Do you ever have self doubts? What causes it and how can we overcome it. Are we predestined to be self doubters?
The definition of self doubt is: a lack of faith or confidence in oneself, the act or state of doubting oneself, lack of confidence in one’s own motives, ability, etc.
Ever feel that way? So what are the causes of self doubt?
Being raised by narcissistic parents who give their children negative messages about themselves. When you are told by a parent that who you are or what you do is never good enough, then the seeds of self doubt are born and nurtured.
That doesn’t mean that, just because you have had a wonderful, nurturing upbringing, you will never feel self doubt. Even a person with a good self image, is hard-working, reliable and is an all around good person can sometimes have self doubt. Those seeds can be planted so deep or from a different source that you don’t even know they are there until TaDa, you come upon a situation and then they sprout like weeds.
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” …Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
We sometimes feel self doubt for various reasons. Fear of failure, fear of success, feeling like an impostor, the inability to give yourself credit, questioning your abilities, and on and on.
How They Pop Up in My Life As An Artist
As an artist and creative, self doubt pops out its ugly head sometimes. That is only natural as I am putting myself (through my paintings) out there all the time for people to judge me and my message. Making myself vulnerable so to speak because my paintings are a part of my soul, a deep part of my being so I question my abilities from time to time. But I have to have trust in myself that the talent I have been given goes much deeper then myself and I have to let it out there. I also tell myself that I am not the only one in this self-imposed battle of being so joyful and excited when I am in the whole process of creating a painting but let down when I am finished with it. That is when the self doubt comes rolling in.
So What Can You Do to Alleviate the Self Doubt? These are some of my remedies:
1. Have a list of encouraging words or of accomplishments handy. I have a list of all the great things that have happened in my art life and when I question my abilities, I read it. It always makes me feel better and back to the easel again. Those negative thoughts and vulnerabilities go back where they belong.
2. Go do something else that takes your mind off what you perceive is going on. I take a walk, go dig some dirt in my garden, go visit a friend, or just lay down on the sofa and read a good book. When I come back to my easel, those thoughts have disappeared and I look at my finished painting in a new, positive way. Refreshed and ready to get back to work.
3. Be kind(er) to yourself. We are always harder on ourselves then we should be and obsess about things that probably will never happen. Try to feed yourself positive thoughts everyday so that when those negative ones crop up you can just tamp them down immediately. If you try to live a healthy life, nutritious food, water, exercise, and enough sleep, I find those thoughts don’t crop up as often.
4. Stay away from toxic people if you can help it! Yes, I know that isn’t always possible but if you put them in that category in your mind and realize that they are toxic, sometimes that is enough to help you get through it. I don’t allow toxic people in my life anymore if I can help it. Just too much trouble and upkeep. And they take up so much of your time in your mind. So get rid of them if you can.
What are some of your self doubts and remedies?
Please share and comment below. Come on, it really helps to share them. It makes them feel less weighty when you know others feel the same way.
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Now represented by Ellis-Nicholson Gallery, Charleston, SC; Magnolia Emporium, Charlotte, NC; ArtHouse 429, W. Palm Beach, Fl