How To Take The First Step To Becoming A Successful Artist
I’ve gone through a whole mental rollercoaster ride through Inktober, and I’m only halfway through it! It’s crazy how much I’ve been learning about myself, and what I’m capable of, and I’m starting to feel a sense of achievement for how much I’ve grown in the past 6 months.
When I look back on how much time I was spending at my job, I realise how little positive impact the work I put had on my life. If I compare right now to then, I feel like I’ve accomplished a year's worth of growth in a matter of a few months. The longer the time grows since I quit my job, the more and more glad I am that I did it.
But that’s not to say that my job was preventing me from doing ANYTHING. When I started my previous job, I was using it as an excuse for my problems: I didn’t have any time to focus on my own art because a full time job takes up all of my time, my job doesn’t make use of my drawing and painting skills and therefore my skills are waning because of my job. I thought my job was the problem, but really it was myself. Yes, the job wasn’t right for me and it didn’t bring me happiness or quench my thirst to grow personally - but my life is completely in my hands, and I was ALLOWING my job to become the problem - I was allowing it to have control over my life.
I’ve started reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and I’m really connecting with a lot of the things it talks about. About needing to possess certain values in order to be a happy and successful person. It talks about The Character Ethic, and about having an inside-out “paradigm” - where you view the world in a way that you solve problems by fixing YOURSELF - whether it’s altering your situation by choosing to react a certain way, or working on something about yourself; or if it’s adjusting your attitude to a situation which you have no control over. This is much easier said than done, as even if we understand it, it’s much more difficult to actually be able to accept it and to live in harmony with it. Most often, people look for a shortcut, expecting to be able to skip some vital steps it takes in order to change, to try to save time and effort and still reap the desired result.
Through reading this book I understood that I was previously thinking with an outside-in paradigm. As it says in the book: “what I have seen result from the outside-in paradigm is unhappy people who feel victimised and immobilised, who focus on the weaknesses of other people and the circumstances they feel are responsible for their own stagnant situation.” This was exactly my situation - I was blaming my job for my problems, saying that I was in my negative situation because of an outside influence. Since then, I’ve shifted my way of thinking to an inside-out paradigm - of looking inward, to work on myself in order to change my situation.
But how do you have that paradigm shift from outside-in, to inside-out? Well, in the book it says, “admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education.” When you admit ignorance you admit that you need to learn - and when you admit you need to learn, then you’ll find mental blocks will come down that were keeping you from changing the way you think in order to grow… and you’ll find it easier to accept new information as true, even if it goes against your original way of thinking - which is realising that by working on ourselves instead of worrying about conditions, we are able to influence the conditions.
Taken from the book:
The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it. This literally turns a failure into a success. It is not what others do or even our own mistakes that hurt us the most; it is our response to those things. It is important to immediately admit and correct our mistakes so that they have no power over that next moment and we are empowered again. Then, as we make and keep commitments to better ourselves, even small commitments, we begin to establish an inner integrity that gives us the awareness of self-control and the courage and strength to accept more of the responsibility for our own lives.
Now, I don’t know about you, but reading that definitely made me feel much more empowered over my own life and destiny. I highly recommend reading this book if you’re trying to become your best self, as what I’ve discussed here is only a small part of what’s been spoken about in just the first quarter of the book.