Self esteem is a funny old thing. Most people who know me seem shocked when I express doubts about my art or my abilities as a parent or carer or employee or any role. People must see me so differently to how I feel inside. I assume this is the reality for many of us. Being our own worst critic maybe the one thing we seem to constantly excel in without too much effort.
Quietening that undermining self critic and trying to see the qualities in yourself that others see in you is probably one of the most difficult things to do. But yet, it must be done and not just once. It is a process that needs constant attention. I am not saying we all need to walk around shoving how wonderful we are down everyone’s throats or be arrogant about celebrating our own gifts. Allowing ourselves to think good about ourselves and that whatever gifts we have to offer in our time upon this earth is of real value, should be celebrated and shared. Unfortunately, not many of us do this in reality. Life is too busy, work all consuming, responsibilities to our family and friends leave very little time for self. To be selfish in a way that enables you to be important in your own life and to regard yourself with respect is not something commonly thought of as positive in our society.
I am lucky, in the last few months I have had to give up “paid” work for my health. Yes, I said lucky. For the past few months I have been concentrating on getting healthy, actually making decisions about what is important to me and start to value my role in life. Best of all, I have given myself permission to create guilt free (ok, sometimes I feel guilty that I may have something more financially productive or housecleaning to do but it passes).
I am important. I am worth the effort to get healthy. I am full creativity and I am pretty damn good at my art. I am driven to learn more about different art mediums and techniques, to grow as an artist. And that is ok to say, to put out there into the universe and onto Etsy! Twistyrob Designs on Etsy
As someone who loves creating things, putting my work up for sale is a huge leap forward in believing in myself and that my art is worth sharing. It also means creating some space in my art room as creating then keeping definitely leads to a fire hazard or a front row ticket to a recording of the show “Hoarders”.
Art has always been part of me but I can honestly say that I have suppressed it, put myself down over wanting to do it rather than something more career orientated in my chosen profession of Accountancy. I have devalued my gifts and ignored what my heart desired to do. In effect, I have placed no value on being true to me. All this to try fit into what I thought I was expected to do in our modern society. I had the brains, the schooling and ample opportunities to succeed in my profession. I have the opportunities before me that so many women have and still struggle for. But that didn’t fill my soul with contentment or joy. I enjoyed so many aspects of my work for such a long time, not the least being paid on a regular basis. But I was still not allowing myself to follow a path that would make me feel more complete. I was doing what I thought everyone expected me to do. Pity I never stopped long enough to really find out whether that is what “people” expected of me, or if that was what I expected of me or if that was what I respected about me.
But having to not work has forced me to slow down, look back, look forward and realise it is time to be me in the here and now.
Time to discover myself and who knows where that will lead. All I know for sure is that at the moment, creating art is truly fulfilling and I finally feel like I am starting to get to know my self. And I think I like this self that is being uncovered.