There’s something about this time of the year where the words “not enough” show up a lot in my journal entries, and this year for the first time I’m in a place where I can simply notice these feelings rather than getting swallowed up by it.
“There’s not enough time, I didn’t create enough art that felt true to me this year, I didn’t connect enough with the people I care about, I didn’t set big enough goals” and so on.
What I’m really feeling in those moments is that “I am not enough” which is completely untrue. That speck of an insight is where real change begins for me every time (because let’s be for real I rarely learn the lesson the first time around) and the cycle of “not enoughness” breaks down.
I call this my scarcity mindset. It’s a nasty cycle that creeps up on me every now especially when it comes to sharing my journey and creative work. I was feeling a whole bunch of “not enough-ness” yesterday even after a great call with a gallery and creatively fulfilling day. Instead of going down a rabbit hole I was able to actually laugh at myself take a few deep breaths, go grab tea with a friend and take enough space from it to see what was really going on.
As a creator, I’m especially hard on myself. At times, I feel more at home with my inner critic than my inner beauty. It’s productive to evaluate the areas in my life where I want to grow but I have publicly been in the Fine Art industry for two short years and I’m continually surprised by how common self-bashing is in an artist’s vernacular. I think in the comedy world they call it “self deprecation".
Actually, this isn’t limited to the art industry because I saw it firsthand in my years in finance and in the tech startup culture, too. But since a lot of creative people see our art as an extension of ourselves, things can feel extra personal.
It doesn’t help anyone to think of myself as lesser than or to connect with others on that lesser than level! Sure, I love poking fun at myself and I’ll be the first to say I’ve got a lot of learning to do but I am now more mindful of not putting myself down. It’s taken a lot of practice and lightening up on myself to get to the place where most days I see myself and others as whole, perfect and complete beings.
So, my friend, whether you consider yourself a “creative person” or not, if you’re feeling the “not enoughness” right now, I’m here to say I feel you and I feel for you. I bet you have holiday cards to rush out, artwork to finish and feelings to sort through but try to invest in some quiet time for deep breaths and gratitude to stay connected to yourself. This year had a lot of ups and downs for me but it was beautiful because I got another year to live, love, create and connect with you.
P.S. Am I connected on Instagram with you? Come by and say hello!