Those of you that know me are most-likely well aware of my tendency to put a lot of pressure on myself to perform and obtain what I consider perfection. I’ve done this in many facets of my life and for as long as I can remember.
I guess I’ve always felt like I needed approval of some kind, a form of approval I guess that wasn’t quite fulfilled for some odd reason. Even though people have complimented me throughout my life, I have always felt, and still feel to this day, that I’m not good enough. Not just on a personal level, but also through my skills and whatever it is that I do.
Last winter, I consulted with a therapist in order to get more of a grip on myself – I was often beating myself up inside, constantly zeroing in on my shortcomings and berating myself for not having done things to perfection. My therapist gave me more of an objective view on myself. My problem? I was comparing myself to others too much – apples to oranges, obsessing about small things only I would see and then repeating all these things back and forth in my mind. The question I was to ask myself for a few days in order to see the cause of my problems “How do I talk MYSELF into feeling bad”.
After a few sessions and a few weeks of work, I felt much better about myself, the negative self-talk went down to nearly non-existent and I felt great!
So why this discussion now?
For the past little while, I have been feeling rather frustrated with myself and, subsequently, with just about anything else. I think part of this is linked to my need for a creative outlet. I’ve always been a creative person – drawing, painting, writing, pottery, dancing, etc. I seem to have completely lost touch with this. For 2 years now, I have wanted to take a pottery lesson but have yet to sign up for one. Lately, I’ve been looking for drawing or painting classes that have a decent class schedule and don’t cost and arm and a leg. So far, it’s not looking so good.
At this point, some of you might be asking why I don’t just pick up my sketchbook, some pencils and draw. Or take out a canvas, my brushes and tubes and paint! And I fully agree! Here’s where pressuring myself comes back into the picture. I’m terrified that I won’t like what I put out.
While many people like my paintings, I always see something wrong with them. And while I like to draw, I find that any figures I try to draw always end up looking horrible! God forbid the model I am drawing ever sees the sketch I’ve made of them – they might never look at themselves the same way again.
The thing is, I know that I am blowing it way out of proportion, but I can’t help myself. At this point, I am stuck and I know I am the hurdle that keeps me back. I’m not too sure what to do at this point. The things I’ve always enjoyed doing, the things that used to relax me are now becoming stressors when I do them, and I get stressed when I cannot do them.
I’m hoping to find some decent lessons on YouTube. I was hoping to find some relaxation techniques to do before doing artwork, but maybe I’m the only one with this issue.

The lesson of the day
– Don’t be like me; don’t let a stupid fear of failure get in the way of doing something that will make you happy. Don’t listen to all that negative BS that’s in your head because that’s all it is – BS! Stop aiming for perfection and just aim to be happy and satisfied and stop beating yourself up because you think that you’re not good enough. No else else thinks that, just you, and it’s only preventing you from being the best you could possibly be, it’s keeping you from being happy. Just stop!