When you consider a creative venture do you first see difficulty and roadblocks to accomplishing your goal? What phrases are you using to discount these ideas? Are you saying things like ‘That’s too hard;’ ‘No way could I do a whole painting like that;’ or ‘There’s no way I could write an entire book’ ? If so, then some challenges to those automatic negative responses are in order.
If you say ‘That’s too hard,’ break down what it is you think is so difficult: is it the style, the size, the colours you want to use, the time you’d have to commit to completing something? Figuring out what part is really scaring you allows you to focus on a challenge or a solution to that. If it’s how to mix the colours, then you can spend some time just learning how to do that and then tackle the project. If it is the size, then talk to yourself about how you can only paint one stroke at a time any way so that’s all you’d be doing. But first, when you say to yourself ‘that’s too hard’ remember to answer with ‘yes, it may be hard, but not that hard’. Or, ‘it may be hard, but I am ready for the challenge’. Remind yourself that you are capable and competent and that each venture is another chance to improve.
I think it’s ok to acknowledge the difficulty of a task. But to follow with an encouragement is the key. Talking to your self as your own personal cheerleader (without the gymnastics and shouting) is how to get through a tough project. Using phrases like ‘this may seem hard but with practice it will be easier’ and ‘this may be hard but I’m willing to make the effort’ will carry you a lot further than the defeatist lament (to be said with a whine) ‘this is too hard!’ If I find my self saying a lot of times while working ‘Man, this is really difficult!’ I then have to follow it with ‘but I’m going to keep making the effort.’ And with that encouragement, the piece gets done!
It’s ok to step back from time to time and see where you’re going. When you do, you’ll be surprised to find how far you’ve come. And hopefully your thought will be, ‘that wasn’t so hard after all!’