Goal setting is an important part of any artistic journey. However, we often think goals are about achieving the thing and getting to the end rather than treasuring the gold that can be found along the way. On this episode, I want to share how setting goals is the way to mastery and how missed goals can be the path to creating the art practice of your dreams.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:01] The real power of goals
- [4:48] Unpacking the gift of resistance
- [14:10] Exercising the skill of overcoming doubt
- [28:43] Lessons learned from goal setting
The momentum of vision
Where do goals come from? Perhaps you’re all cozied up in your studio, and inspiration suddenly strikes. Your mind gives you potent images of the painting on your canvas hanging at a huge gallery show at the end of the year. The wheels begin to turn as you envision what that would actually feel like. A dream scenario starts to form. Your brain begins to imagine the outcome of this goal and propel you forward into making your vision a reality. It’s only a matter of time before you start the planning process. That vision and the feeling of unstoppable momentum, is what we have to tap into when things get difficult. Just because your dream feels invincible now does not mean everything will go according to plan. There will be setbacks. You will have doubts. But every time you do, just access that vision and allow it to pull you forward again.
Plan for resistance
After you’ve sold your brain on your heart’s vision, it’s time for the next logical question: How can I make this happen? This is what’s called the planning stage of goal setting. And here is where things start to get interesting. Some people love to plan! But for others, planning is a source of anxiety. Fear freezes them, and they start to catastrophize. They get stuck in black and white thinking that says it’s either going to be amazing or a total disaster with nothing in between. This makes starting impossible because it feels like this big, scary, horrible, awful thing. And the truth is we ALL do this. Whenever a human brain encounters the unknown, its first instinct is self-preservation. It wants to run away because it feels dangerous. But what if I told you these moments are our greatest opportunities to step into growth?
Get to know yourself
Setting a goal will stir the pot and reveal all the thoughts between you and what you want. Because your brain is going to offer you all the reasons why it’s not going to work. And when that happens, nothing is actually wrong. It’s just you being very human. It’s also where the real treasure lies. Whatever it is, big or small, the greatest value in creating goals is what you learn about yourself along the way. When we recognize that these moments are opportunities, we can let go of the judgment and criticism for having them. Goal setting is an amazing practice that helps you level up so many of the skills that create an upward spiral for you in your art practice. Even if you don’t make the goal, maybe you learned how to manage your emotions so that you’re not afraid to feel the negative parts. Setting goals is an invitation to step into mastery. To purposely choose thoughts that serve you and perspectives that empower you. And to understand something about yourself that you wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
Resources Mentioned on this episode
- The Savvy Painter Growth Studio
- The Savvy Painter Community
- The War of Art (Book)