Thoughts on Secret Thoughts

Let me begin by saying that I don’t suffer from impostor syndrome. Absolutely not. No way.

At least not until the moment I step up to the canvas and begin painting. Then, all bets are off.

For the last couple of years I have been asking myself just what is wrong with me. I have all the confidence in the world when I’m writing, and heck, even when I’m narrating. But I would just turn myself inside out when I thought about drawing or painting. It use to not be that way. Call it “beginner’s luck” or whatever, but I started off feeling successful with my newly discovered art skill, but as the years went by, I felt more and more like a fake, a fraud, and a hack — a full-blown impostor. It ground me to a halt. No matter how many times people told me that my art was beautiful (and I only believe about 50% of the people that tell me that), I didn’t believe anyone. This reaction made no sense to me.

I, like everyone else, don’t like to be judged or criticized. I know this is part of it, but I realize that there’s a certain amount of exposure that comes with creativity. I’m all right with it in my writing. But my art… it just feels different. I don’t even think I can explain it.

I have no schooling in art, writing, audio engineering, or acting. Oh, I’ve taken a class here or there, gone to a few conferences, read lots of books, and bloody well jumped in and started doing the work figuring out what I need to know as I go along. I have no fear; I know I can learn anything I need to know. I’ve even taken painting classes with Jerry Yarnell. But for some unknown reason, not being school in art, art history, color theory, etc., really bugs me. I have taught myself about artists I’m interested in and can identify their work on sight. I may not know everything about them or their work, or even their creation process, but I can say that about many writers too. Why do I not feel worthy of being an artist? If it’s just a matter that I haven’t put in as many hours as I have for my writing, why can’t I drag myself to do more, to practice?

I realized toward the end of last year that I really needed to work on this, especially if I was going to get back to painting this year. So, I focused on some articles and books for writers about overcoming self-doubt.

There’s still a part of me that venomously hates that word, especially in reference to me: self-doubt.

Now that I’ve spat the awful taste off my tongue, my search took me down some very strange places, places I really didn’t feel I belonged. At least not when I took it from a writer’s point of view. I got into things about intelligence and creativity, multiple talents, creative anxiety, etc. I’m still working my way through some of it. But, in my search and while I was looking for my next audiobook to listen to while I walked, I came across The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young.

While this book is geared toward women, it also addresses men and the impostor syndrome. It is not slanted to creative types — Valerie Young works more with students, professors, and professionals. I have many people in my life who I really think would benefit from listening to this book.

It was very hard for me to listen too. I kept thinking, “This does not apply to me!” I suspect this is what many women I know would say if I suggested it to them. I kept having to round myself back and remember that I was not needing this for where I was confident, but where I was weak, where I did feel like an impostor in my own life. In trying to stay focused on this and knowing that I was seeing where I felt other people needed to know about this book, I realized that deep inside, many women felt small and insignificant. I kept thinking about all the quotes that speak to the fact that if you feel fear about something, that is the direction you should be heading in.

I have long known exactly where my own feelings of inadequacy came from. So when Valerie describes coming to understand your Crusher, the thing that gave root to the impostor syndrome in your life, I already knew mine. I could feel it.

Now for me, because of how my life has gone, I could see oh so clearly how I overcame this Crusher, which could have stopped me from telling stories, and gave me the confidence that my writing has today. It was sheer, dogged persistence that I could reject my Crusher in regards to writing. But art was always so different. It was clear to see how that became my impostor path.

I didn’t agree with the whole book or the exercises to help, but how much of that was coming from the extreme self-directed part of me I don’t know. I did bookmark a few questions and places that I thought would be helpful if I started feeling like a fraud again. I really do want to conquer this irrational side of myself. It’s holding me back from achieving my goals.

Are you being held back because you feel unworthy or because you feel like an impostor who is waiting for someone to find you out? If so, this book might be worth your read.

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The choice is yours

This blog comes about because of a post I saw on Facebook. I’m posting a clip of it below without any names.

Simple enough until a Debby Downer had to comment that these was words of hope until the darkness smothered you. I am paraphrasing, but barely. I was tempted to leave a comment, but couldn’t bring myself to.

I woke the next morning with this still ruminating through my mind.

I am not immune to the events of the world. Were I to be completely honest, I would admit my extreme dislike of humanity. I’ve spoken this aloud a few times, to which those around me delight in reminding me that I am human. A flaw in my character, believe me.

But I write because I want to have hope. Note that I didn’t say that I had hope, but rather that I want hope.

I do like several person on this planet we call home and cannot escape. But, I write to hang out with people who are champions and take on mantles that lead others into better lives. I write so that I can show people how to have courage, how they can choose to be better.’

The more I thought about this, the more I remembered that we all have choices. I usually say that in conjunction with people doing something that they want to do: write, paint, dance, sew, cook, whatever their talent is that they want to follow. But we have choices in our entire life.

I personally think that Debbie Downer is watching far too much news and hanging on every bad thing that happens in the world. Most people do. Now, I’m not advocating being uninformed, but I am saying, “Turn off the news!” When you listen to the talking heads (and that is just what they are), you pick up on their emotions. Those emotions influence what you are feeling along with their words. It imprints you, and usually negatively because good news doesn’t sell. Only misfortune gets ratings. So turn that crap off.

Then, when you read the headlines in the newspaper, as yourself if you want to bring that energy into your life or not. When you see a story about a girl being killed when hit by a truck, is that really something you want to spend your energy on? It’s not going to bring the girl back. Her family feels miserable. The driver of the truck, we hope, feels guilty and terrible. But it doesn’t change the situation. Do you really need to know more than the headline? Probably not. Why let it tap your energy any more? Make the choice to move along. Go read the story about Toys for Tots needing more donations. That’s actually something you might be able to help out with, to make a difference.

The Hermit use to be one of my least favorite cards of the Tarot, and one I got quite frequently. Then one day I read a great description in one of the books with a new deck I’d gotten. It talked about The Hermit, solitary, holding his light up for the world to see. He was a beacon, choosing to be alone, an individual of his own thoughts and actions. Someone could look upon him and his light and see a life worth living. He walks in the world, but does not let it taint him. Since then, I have taken that to heart and that is how I have chosen to live my life.

I might be human, but I am striving to be The Hermit. I want to be the reflection of what I wish to see in the world.

I don’t always succeed. I am, after all, human.

That won’t stop me from trying.

I realize I’m in charge of my choices. Every day, every moment. I can’t control the energy of others, but I know that I am responsible for my own happiness. Instead of concentrating on outside factors that I cannot control, I will focus on myself and what I can do.

This is my mission for 2019. I’d love for anyone brave enough to read this blog to join me. I may only be one, but I will be a light. If you join me, we make two. Maybe a third will join us, then a fourth. Be strong. Be love. Be the light.

It might be just what someone else needs.

Tough and thriving

Good news: I didn’t get sick. The OnGuard and Wellness Formula did the trick once again.

Knock on wood that it continues.

Yet, it was pointed out that I may have been what some may call “a little preachy” about my stance on health and wellness. What? No cigarettes? No alcohol? How can a person live?

My answer: how about a lot healthier!

Duh!

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A good deal on Books Gone Bad

I just heard about a promotion going on for the Books Gone Bad bundle and I thought I better hurry and pass it along.

Now until August 28th, you can get 40% off the bundle — the whole bundle! This isn’t just one book — at Kobo.

These books wait for you with spine-tingling surprises. Get started on your fall reading now.

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Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

 

Books Gone Bad

I am so thrilled to announce that Quest for the Three Books is in a new bundle coming out from BundleRabbit.

Books Gone Bad

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Much as the title says, it’s all about books that are not the pleasant little tales we like to think sit on our shelves quietly, making no noise, but there to comfort us when we need them.

No, these books have twists, turns, magic, betrayal… oh, so dangerous to touch. 

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Progress – July 22, 2018

Pre-bike ride of 12 miles:

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I survived.

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At least I was good during the bike ride and recovered well enough to go walk another half mile at the gym and then went and walked around an “craft” show. I use that loosely because it was supposed to be a craft show but was mostly an MLM show. Sigh.

Then I went home and got sick.

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