I have been making art my whole life. I spent one summer in Hawaii when I was 18 cooking in a restaurant. Other than that I have never held a job. I have always made art. So I have gotten used to the ups and downs of working for myself. I have had to find ways to learn anything new I wanted to pursue. If I wanted to teach workshops I had to figure out how one goes about this…if I wanted to use oil paint I had to learn this too. When you start adding all the things up a creative might need to know it can feel daunting. Who knew we needed to learn about websites, photography, social media, pricing, galleries, leases on studios and time management? All I wanted to do was make art!
Every time I start something new I am reminded of how challenging it can be. There only is so much energy in the day. Often the thought of taking on any new learning can feel exhausting and inhibit us from beginning. How can I possibly do one more thing if I am already tired?
Well luckily, and this is something I often forget, the starting of something new, an infusion of new learning in your life, provides just the right amount of extra energy you need to succeed.
Here are the three primary sources of energy and where to find them so that you can accomplish that next big thing.
New gives you energy.
There is nothing like starting something new to wake you up. If you are slightly outside your comfort zone then growth is occurring and this is energizing. It might be scary but it is also energizing. This energy boost is used to get you through the beginning phase of starting something new. You merely need to begin.
Small, successful steps
Sometimes a new project or direction can be overwhelming. It can often feel this way when trying to accomplish too much, too soon. It is essential to take small steps and learn to really appreciate incremental learning. If, at the end of the day, you have accomplished one small step then congratulate yourself. Take the energy from the small wins so you may continue to achieve them every day. After so many years of taking on the next big thing, I have finally learned to feel pretty satisfied if in my day I merely “move towards” in any way, my long-term goal. If you can perceive your process of getting there as successful, then more likely than not, you will be.
Tell others what you are doing
When you share with friends or colleagues what you are attempting to do several positive, energizing things happen. Firstly, that person often will have words of encouragement or some insights that might be helpful. Their reaction is often positive because everyone wants to change aspects of their lives or their careers and by your attempt to change yours, offers them inspiration to do the same. You have, in fact, given them something quite valuable and in return they are looking for ways to help you.
The next benefit is really the most important one. By actually speaking out loud what it is that you are trying to accomplish, you are in many ways articulating to yourself the outcome that you desire. From my experience, I see how this clarification of intention has a way of bringing your desired outcome more easily.
I don’t know why this is so, but it is almost as if the universe is listening to those who are willing to speak their dreams and desires clearly. Once heard, people show up, alignments happen and life in general just seems to send help your way.
This mysterious wonderful aspect of life is often buried under the to do lists, and forgotten in the monotony of the day to day. Stepping forward with some degree of faith to try to do something new brings this somewhat elusive, beautiful truth to the forefront again.
And perhaps, for just this fact alone, it might be time to try, today, to start that next big thing.
What is your next new thing and have you begun?
In gratitude, Nicholas
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.