The Stories We Tell About Our Art – EP 277

Does your art practice feel limited? Is your mindset preventing you from achieving your full potential as an artist? Our possibilities are determined by the kinds of stories we tell about our art. On this episode, I’ll teach you how to notice the negative stories that keep you from the art practice you want.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] Why our stories matter and finding our super power
  • [7:04] The power of awareness in changing our mindset
  • [9:43] Exposing the false stories we tell ourselves
  • [18:00] Choosing the story that serves you best

We are our stories

Your mindset impacts every single thing you do. That’s why your thinking and the stories you tell yourself matter so much to your art practice. We mistake our stories for reality. We react and respond as if our stories are 100% true. And when we do that, we miss opportunities. We may default to a response that isn’t helpful. One that doesn’t move us towards what we actually want, and instead pushes us further away from our goals. Although the feelings our mind generates are very real, a lot of what causes them on a day-to-day basis is completely made up in our minds. We tell ourselves stories, we believe these stories, and then because our brains don’t differentiate between what’s real and what’s imagined, we experience real emotional consequences of something that actually isn’t happening.

Becoming self-aware

Here’s the thing though: YOU are the author of the stories you tell yourself. It is both a great power and a huge responsibility. And while you’re not Spider-Man, you ARE an artist. And artists made him so who really is the hero? All jokes aside, when we understand that the imagination is the artist’s superpower, we start to approach our minds differently. But like all superpowers, it’s important to first understand the power and then learn how to harness it for good. Step one is simply bringing awareness to the stories you tend to create. Simple awareness can have a huge impact on your thinking and your experience as an artist.

You want to start noticing where your mind goes. It takes practice to start distinguishing between your story and the actual circumstances of what’s happening around you. This skill alone can have a profound impact on how far you are able to take your art and your art career.

Live from the right story

Our ability to be aware of our thinking is a uniquely human attribute. When we are aware of our thoughts and beliefs, we have the possibility of directing them, curating them, and choosing the ones that will move us towards the life we want to create. Stories like “I’m unorganized”, “I’m an introvert”, or “selling my art feels pushy” make things uncomfortable at best. But the real tragedy is they take away your power. The reality is that you get to decide how you interpret the circumstances of your life. A room full of people looking at your art can be an incredible opportunity or nerve-wracking experience. That’s why it’s so important to separate the facts from your story and to choose the story that serves you best. Maybe directing or changing your mindset feels like a lot right now. That’s ok, start small. My challenge is simple: just notice. Notice the thoughts running through your mind. Keep track of the narratives that pop up about your art practice. What stories are you living from?

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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