The Voices in My Head
30 x 15
Oil on canvas
What do the voices inside your head say to you? Are they kind? Are they encouraging? Or are they negative? I think everyone who tries to do something creative or important or life affirming has to battle the negative voices in their heads. The voices that say, “You can’t…”, “You’ll never…”, “It won’t work…”, “Stop!!”, etc…
It’s not easy to overcome these discouraging liars. And do you notice that they often drown out the positive and encouraging words you receive? You can get a million compliments on your work, but if one person says something negative, that’s the thing that sticks with you!
When I’m dealing with the voices in my head, I try to do several things:
1. Work. Focusing on doing the thing that the voices are trying to get you to stop doing.
2. Look for the truth. Those voices are lies! When you hear, “You can’t,” try to remind yourself of all the times you’ve heard that lie in the past and did the very thing that you thought you couldn’t do.
3. Encourage yourself with stories of other people who have succeeded in doing the thing that you’re trying to do. If they can do it, with all the voices in their heads, so can you!
4. Educate yourself. If there’s something you want to do and you think you can’t, start researching, taking classes, reading books. The more you learn, the more confident you’ll become, and the less power the voices will have over you.
5. Guard yourself from people who speak negatively. When someone is always saying, “It’s so hard to be an artist,” or “Artists never make any money,” or “You can’t make a living doing this,” I put some distance between us. I’m aware of the challenges that accompany this profession. I need to know how to overcome those challenges, not give into them. So surround yourself with positive, life affirming voices who will encourage your dreams.
Finally, if those voices are driving you crazy, turn the radio up and START DANCING! That always works for me!!
If you get a chance, check out my new website: shelbymcquilkin.com . Not only can you purchase original artwork, but prints are also available.