Each day I set myself far too many tasks. I used to call it driven, thinking big, bad-ass-ery. I have just realised that I was driven alright, but I had no idea I was driven almost solely by fear. Fear of not achieving everything I want to achieve, fear of not being good enough, fear of my mum actually being right when she told me I wasn’t talented enough to make it as an artist. I’ve done an awful lot of ‘unpacking’ on this particular voice in my head, but it’s there constantly, telling me that I’m not good enough.
The voice isn’t very nice to me. If I spoke to anyone the way the voice speaks to me, I’d expect to get a punch in the face.
I have worked out how to live with it, but I haven’t completely beaten it into submission. I’m told even Beyonce gets vervous before going on stage…
I can get the voice to shut up a bit by journaling each day. Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way attributes her prolific success as an author to a process of stream-of-consciousness writing each day (three pages!), she calls Morning Pages. When I’m feeling like rubbish, they are more like Mourning Pages and I have been known to burn them afterwards.
Journaling is definitely the best and fastest way of quieting the incessant need for validation. (“Please tell me I’m good….”) Meditation helps, too. I am a massive believer in having a daily meditation practice. I have a mantra, my mala beads get a workout most days followed by a bit of Vipasana. all until my husband interrupts my cushion-time by waggling his penis at me.
Personal development loves a quick-fix, while spiritual development says you gotta do the time. I promise you, a daily free-writing process is the number one way to knock that voice on the head quickly, letting you get to work.
THEN THERE”S THE WORK… Getting to work, creating something, ANYTHING, will go a long way to quieting the voice. There is nothing like action to put it in it’s place. Sure, the voice will criticise and carry on, because that’s how the voice stays alive.
The voice may be with me for the rest of my life, I don’t know, but I’m not going to let it get in the way of making the things I want to make and living the life I want to live.
Excuse me, the easel is calling….