It has been in my experience that the more I was able to tame the part of me that "got in the way," the more I succeeded, and with less effort. It wasn't easy. Like all artists I have this thing called an "ego." The ego has a hard time allowing you to take responsibility for yourself. It pushes you to do irrational things and in the end it lies to you and gives you bad excuses for your actions. In order to break free from the ego you have to rely on the perspective of someone close to identify where it is holding you back. Just make sure they are people you trust and that they support your vision.
For years Rebekah would tell me how I was complicating matters in my business and years later my coach, Tanya told me the same thing. Once you see where you are limiting your progress you'll be amazed at how quickly you can make changes in your life by changing your perspective.
You have to realize that you are responsible for everything that takes place in your life. Don't blame others for your misfortune - EVER. Blaming others makes you a victim and it keeps you firmly planted in a loser's mindset. Worst of all it removes your taking responsibility from the equation. What you can do withing the confines of your own mind far exceeds what anyone can ever do to you. Blame that part of yourself, not someone else. Have you ever wondered why it is that certain people can experience terrible challenges and yet they move on to do great things in spite of their circumstances while others remain victimized by them? Why is this? The answer is simple, great people tame their minds. That's it, plain and simple. Great people do not allow their thoughts to control them; they control their thoughts. They get out of their own way. The best part is that it isn't hard to learn how to do.
Free thought is the only thing in this world that no one can take away from you; yet, most of us allow ourselves to be dominated by self-created negativity. If you don't think I'm right, ask yourself a simple question related to your goals. Ask yourself the question, "Why haven't I secured gallery representation?" If you have a negative attitude towards that subject you'll come up with an answer based on fear such as, "I'm not ready," or "I can't get in because you have to know someone in order to succeed." Then your mind may wander, giving you alibi after excuse after blame turning you into less of who you truly are meant to be - a creator.
I look at myself in two parts - the body and the spirit. The spirit is pure, innocent, creative and full of ambition and dreams, something created by a higher power - God, the universe, source, whatever you believe in, to express love. The body is our "hardened by the world" state, the realist and skeptic among us.
I'll do this part first because it is the part of us that most people are familiar with. The body loves to put things in perspective, the perspective of fear that is. All things that come from the body are limiting and will keep you in that loser, blame-oriented category of victimhood. Absolutely nothing good comes from being a victim. If you think you can complain enough, cry or instill guilt enough that it will produce an olive branch from someone for help you're sadly mistaken. I've come across hundreds of artists over the years with this mentality. They keep their art safely in their studios waiting and hoping for some millionaire with a check. Sorry, it just doesn't happen. If you can't help but focus on the negative aspects of your career then life will deliver just that to you. Keep these negative feelings for a lifetime and watch how the body allows failure, bad relationships, depression and poor health. If you think I'm kidding look at the people around you and connect their problems to their attitude. You'll be astounded.
The spirit is where we would exist if we let ourselves go to express ourselves free from fear. I don't know why so many people refuse to believe it can happen. Look at the innocence in children. They enjoy what they do and create without limitations. Why don't we? Most of us limit ourselves by fear. As artists we're all sitting around looking at each other wondering how so and so's getting all the breaks. What we should be doing is looking inside and being creative. When I decided last year to do the Fire Sale and the Portrait Marathon, I took some big chances. Both of those events could have flopped and my reputation would have taken a hit. If it did that would have been a lesson I would have had to grow from. Instead I took the chance, believed in it, threw passion behind it and acted on all the hunches. I put my trust in my wife's encouragement and I simply got out of the way. The result is I've experienced miracles much greater than I could have imagined. Today I know I can accomplish anything and I know that anyone can do it too, with the right attitude.
Look at how you think, identify it and recognize your behavior. Write down why you’re angry or jealous at something. Dissect it on paper. At first, merely observe it and bring it to your own attention. Then start to take steps NOT to allow yourself to fall into that type of behavior. These are life-changing suggestions that take weeks and months to be altered but what you will begin to do is change the way you live your life. Trust me, I've done it. The more we can keep ourselves doing the bidding of our spirit, the better all of our lives will be as artists. It doesn't matter if it is looking to our spirit for inspiration when creating art, or the marketing of art. Trusting your spirit for creativity is the key to our doing amazing things. The suggestions in this post go far beyond just being an artist too. If you can get out of your own way, you will find that your relationships with others in your personal life will change as well. With this advice comes a more pure way of doing business, and I can tell you from experience, anyone can begin doing it today, regardless of any experiences you may have had in the past. So get the hell out of your own way, right now, at this very moment, and begin to live the life you were destined to live. The world is counting on you to spread your gifts.
If you are interested in getting the one on one help you need to accelerate your goals and make the changes you need to advance your art career free of limitations I urge you to sign up for an artist consultation at http://www.ericarmusik.com/artist_consultations.html. Have a prosperous and fulfilling day.