In the business of happiness coaching, people are onions. Well, at least we are LIKE an onion, with several different layers that need to be peeled off to reach the core – who we truly are – and thereby create happiness and content from within rather than by buying Things and getting praise from others.
As long as these beliefs are kept unconscious – you don’t know that they are actually affecting you – they can keep you back from reaching your full potential. The good thing is, when you realize they exist, you can change them.
I’m sure you haven’t spent too many thoughts on it, but it is most certainly other people – not you – that have an image in their heads of what your life should be like.
“Rules” that are passed down to us by the attitude and beliefs of others. Most of the beliefs and life tips are shared with good intentions – but you are you and they are they. No two people can live by the same sets of rules.
Let me give you a few examples. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “No pain, no gain”. It’s most certainly supposed to help you, by letting you know that even if you have to work really hard, the reward will be worth the struggle.
But what if it’s not hard? What if the universe (well…) happens to be aligned and something good just falls right in front of your feet?
The Story of my First Paid Commission
Before I made my first commission as a photographer, in the beginning of the 2000s, I photographed at a small jazz festival in my hometown. It was just founded by a group of grey-haired fellas with the love for brass instruments and for the first two years, I visited and took pictures of them and all the other grey-haired and bearded men (yeah, back then there’s a major lack of female musicians). For the third year, I printed fifteen images, mounted them on foam board and hung them in the main beer tent. I had no intentions, but to show the pictures. Heck, I wasn’t a “photographer”. I just took some pictures and I wanted to share them.
During the second day, a man came up to me when I visited the tent. He had asked the people behind the bar who took the pictures on the walls, and someone had pointed him in my direction. Long story short; he was working at a local ad agency, he gave my information to their art direction and I ended up freelancing for them for over 5 years. I got my first client from drinking beer and taking some pictures (which is a fairly accurate description of my years as a concert photographer but that is another story…).
The thing is though, it felt like it was too easy. Like I hadn’t worked hard enough to earn this. But really, I had. I was a good enough photographer and my style suited someone. End of story.
Is there any kind of art that you would like to work with but you don’t because “You can’t draw, paint, photograph, sing, play”? Nooooo! You can! You might not draw like that particular illustrator, or sculpt like that particular chiseler or play the guitar like that particular musician.
But. It. Doesn’t. Matter. Because there’s no right or wrong ways to create art. You don’t HAVE to use a brush to paint on a canvas. Actually, you don’t even need a canvas. You don’t HAVE to use all six strings on a guitar to make music, one of them is enough if that’s what you want. You don’t HAVE to do anything. Anything that you believe that you have to do, is a mindset that you attained from someone else.
When you realize that – and allow yourself to play around and experiment – it will blow your mind. You will realize how
How to find and get rid of your limiting beliefs!
The solution is simple, but it might take a while to learn it though. If you want to get rid of limiting beliefs, you only need to start being aware of them. That’s it! If you know which ones that happen to inhabit your unconscious mind, you can simply choose to not let them dictate the rules by which you lead your life!
Use a notebook or the simple guide I’ve created for you to print and fill in (You’ll find it in the Cardboard Toolbox together with a bunch of other tools).
Start by paying attention to your thoughts, every time something inside says “Hold up, you can’t do this..” or “To do this, you have to be…” or anything alike. It could be something big (“I can’t call myself an artist until I have..”) or something smaller (“The eyes needs to be in focus when I photograph portraits”). Write them down, in your phone or a notebook, whatever you bring with you.
When you have some time, take a paper (or use the one I’ve already created for you) and go through the beliefs one by one. Ask yourself where the belief came from in the first place. Did someone tell you when you were a kid? Did social media imprint this on your head? Write it down.
Then ask you this; how does this affect my life and my art? Maybe you think that you don’t have the right to call yourself an artist until you’ve sold your first painting? Or until you can quit your day job to work full-time with your art?
Our brains work both ways. If you tell yourself that you are not an artist, your brain will find ways to make that true. It will hold you back.
Continue to be aware of limiting beliefs, and make a conscious decision if it should be a part of your life. You are the only one allowed to decide what you do.
There’s no right or wrong way to do art. Really. Just because a lot of people are doing it one way, doesn’t mean that’s the ONLY way.
What do you think?