Coping With the Dreaded Doubts

It happens to most of us. You finish a painting and feel a certain sense of satisfaction. Then in the blink of a synapse you doubt, not only your ability to paint, but your ability to do just about anything. In this state all you need is the slightest negative comment and you’re finished! What do you do now…

 

Here’s what helps me. Try to break the looping of negative self defeating thoughts. The best way I have found to do this is to stop doing what I am doing and exercise. And exercise hard. A vigorous bike ride, a long walk or a gym class – all work for me. 

The next step is to focus on something positive. Returning to those who inspired me to begin painting can be refreshing. Bob Burridge a contemporary American painter has inspired me for some time. I recently read a quote from Bob that is well worth remembering. So here it is…

“You, the artist, have to develop to the point where your eccentricity blossoms. My advice is, “Don’t let anybody tell you what or how to paint.” Don’t let others limit you because they can’t imagine doing it themselves. People who judge you don’t matter…and people who matter don’t judge you. Do everything to support your own dream.”

Bob’s words are a reminder that painting is about the doing and whatever would prevent you from that is not worth focussing on. In short paint, paint, paint and keep painting. Paint yourself out of negative thoughts and don’t give up.

There! I feel much better now. Hope you do too. Thanks Bob.

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