Blessings to our Artist’s Way companion, Thalia, who courageously shared 20 of her fears that whisper (sometimes scream) that she dare not be an artist. Anyone else? Remember, you are in gentle, supportive company here.
I know that her experiences are bound to be very similar to those for all of us. I especially resonate with how the offhand sniping of someone whose opinion matters to us, like her best friend’s mother, can torpedo our confidence for years to come. It takes a lot of insight to uncover these toxic pools that flow into the underground streams of our sense of ourselves.
Some of my own fears about safety are very survival-based. Mine whisper that it is colossally selfish of me to devote myself to myeconomy is seriously threatening our future. My artsy yearnings might very well sink us. Or I might soleave me. Besides, it’s not fair to him, because he really is a talented artist who is forced to struggle in a shadow artist kind of job. creativity, especially when the frustrate and alienate my husband (who is the main breadwinner), he’ll
Others include my fears that delving into the deep realms of creativity may trigger some latent mental illness. Worst of all, I might discover that my dreams have been vanity all the time, and I have no talent whatsoever; that I am a hack. Better to wistfully dream my grandiose dreams, than to discover I am just a mediocre nothing. Woo. Such demons!
Well, good news, folks. None of this is necessarily true. Not for you, not for me.
One of the reasons we are urged in this exercise to come up with so many of these fears is that it forces us to dig into our underlying memories and layers of beliefs, many of which are simply false. Many of these fears are poisonous seeds planted very deep, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. They come from parents, teachers, our religion, our culture and even friends who are blocked by their own fears.
Julia notes, “Once we have cleared away the most sweeping cultural negatives, we may find we are still stubbornly left with core negativessubtle – but equally undermining if not confronted. Our business here is confronting them. we have acquired from our families, teachers and friends. These are often
“Negative beliefs are exactly that: beliefs, not facts. The world was never flat, although everyone believed it was. You are not dumb, crazy, egomaniacal, grandiose, or silly, just because you falsely believe yourself to be.”
Then she nails it:
“What you are is scared. Core negatives keep you scared.”
So, how are you doing so far? Not exactly a ton of laughs, huh? Well, now that we’ve dredged up our demons (and keep going if you think there might be few more hiding in your inner closets!), tomorrow, we’ll start to really deal with them.