Once you have created your signature affirmations (see the post, “How to Create Your Signature Affirmations”), you need to create new habits to retrain your brain to default to them instead of the inner critic. In this post, I will show you three distinct methods incorporate into your creative practice that show you how and why it’s important to practice artist affirmations.
I started my art practice when I was in my teens, but I was so fearful of sharing my work due to low confidence and fear of what others would say that I gave up my art practice. I had no one in my corner, no support and I was always comparing myself to others who were so much better than me. How could I ever call myself an artist, let alone “someone who draws”.
I felt the call back to create almost 25 years later. It was impossible to “not create”. I pulled out a watercolor set that I had for years but in the past, I had always said, “I can’t” as I was too scared to start. “How do I do this? What if I do it wrong? What if someone sees my work and is critical?”
By the time I was ready to pull out the paints, I had done a lot of inner critic and affirmation work that I was able to apply to my newfound love of watercolor painting.
This inner critic/affirmation work started when I was 25. I was in my first year of graduate school for counselling. Emotional boundaries and confidence were not my friends. I accepted what everyone said about me as truth. I was craving understanding, a voice of my own and solutions to get out of my emotional mess.
In order to achieve confidence, I had to shift from self critical to worthy and hopeful. To learn more about this I turned to personal counselling, my faith, and affirmation work. Even though I didn’t believe I had talent and ability to be a counsellor, I chose to believe that my supporters weren’t lying. That was the beginning of choosing to dismantle the lies my inner critic was telling me and replace them with affirming value statements (or signature affirmations as I call them now).
As a creative, do you struggle with confidence?
Even though I share a lot of freebies and tutorials, I held back for years sharing my creations because I feared failure. As creatives, you and I can be held back due to negative thinking. It might look like comparing your ability to others or not having the confidence to pursue your creative talent or putting your creations out into the world.
Is that you? Have you ever found it difficult to cope with imposter syndrome, your inner critic, fear of failure, perfectionistic tendencies, and being hesitant to share your work?
If your answer is yes, I have a Free resource for you. It’s just a click away!
Journaling Creates Markers of Your Journey
Journaling is another important “vocalizing” habit to record your process through each step on your journey towards sharing your work with confidence. It is critical to write feelings, fears and successes in order to remind yourself of where you are and where you are headed.
Writing in a journal is a practical place to tangibly voice your inner critic and it’s affirmation counterpart. It is also a place to write out how proud you are of your accomplishments. Say them out loud or practice saying them in the mirror. Use the following prompts to explore your inner critic in your journal.
Below are some prompts to journal your creative markers in your journey thus far. This practice can help you see your success and visualize your future steps.
- Write down all of your creative “bright spots” that stand out to you as far back as you can remember. (Remember: This is not a tool to highlight the negative)
- Include accomplishments, achievements, accolades, important words spoken that speak powerfully to you.
- You don’t need to include dates or ages unless this is important to you.
- Use as much paper as you need, this is just a guide.
- This is a good exercise to do at the end of each year so that you can look back and “mark your success”
- As you survey your markers, what trends, words or patterns do you notice? Is there a clear creative calling?
- What are future markers you would love to add to your creative journey?
Visualizing Turns Your Creative Practice Into Sharing
Where do you see yourself in six months, a year, five years? If you do not visualize your future self, you do not have a purpose to propel you forward. Even if the image you have created for yourself does not happen on your decided timeline, you still had a purpose to work towards.
Use the following fill in the blank statements and questions to create your confident self sharing your work with the world.
In one year from now, I see myself _____________________________________________
In two years from now, I see myself _____________________________________________
Questions to Consider As You Visualize Your Confident Self Sharing Your Work With the World
- What does your art practice look like?
- Where have you shared your work?
- What have you accomplished to get here?
- Write out the obstacles you overcame to get here.
- What do others say about your work?
I encourage you to get a start right now on recognizing your inner critic so that you can confidently share your work. Grab your FREE Workbook – “How to Make Over Your Inner Critic: Recognize Fear & Step Into Confidence”
Vocalizing Solidifies the Truth
Vocalizing is an important tool for practicing affirmations because it gives a voice to the unspoken. If we do not voice our affirming belief, it does not have the ability to take root and grow. Voicing also helps our thoughts stand up and be accountable. We need to voice our thoughts and feelings to ourselves and others because vocalizing is essential tool to changing your brain’s inner critic pathway.
Vocalizing our why impresses upon our creative practice the importance of why we are doing what we are doing. It can be likened to a verbal contract between our beliefs and actions.
Accountability increases the likelihood of leaning intentionally into our why. We are held responsible for these creative practices if we share them with others and ask for encouragement and feedback.
Before voicing our affirmations, we need to give voice to our inner critic. Listen to how it sounds as you say it out loud.
- Does it sound belittling, demeaning?
- Would you say these words to a friend?
- How are you any less valuable than your friend?
Look at the following Perfectionist statements and their corresponding affirmations to see how different they sound.
To get started on recognizing your inner critic, and get all of the inner critic and affirmation checklists grab your FREE Workbook – “How to Make Over Your Inner Critic: Recognize Fear & Step Into Confidence”
I hope this post has helped you recognize the importance of artist affirmations in addition to how and why it is important to practice them. Please share your love with a comment or a pin. Thank you!
Blessings from my house to yours,