I think it is true of the art practice and life in general that we are far too often our worst critics.
This, in my case, is a form of tyranny that way too often cripples my creativity and makes me anxious, and I am absolutely sure I am not alone on this. This tyrant focuses in excess in the shortcomings, and often misses the bigger picture: that slow progress is still progress and that perfection is nearly impossible.
A while ago I read something, somewhere (my memory fails me), about most things in life being about self-forgiveness and it just resonated with me in the deepest of levels. I am excessively harsh with myself, and very unforgiving, and that is something that I learned I need to change.
It’s a very slow process, but as long as there’s progress that’s what matters, right?
As artists, as creatives (and as people in general, honestly), we need to let go of the little failures of the daily life, and stop letting them dictate our mental/emotional state. We need to stop seeing missing a day of gym, a day of writing —a day of any activity—, as the end of the world.
Routines are important. Discipline is paramount to success in any field. But everyone has a day off now and then.
All your paintings don’t have to be gallery-worthy, and just because words didn’t come to you today doesn’t mean you’re a failed writer, or an impostor.
This is little failures are just that: days off, missteps. And as long as we don’t let them become the norm, or defeat us, we are still moving in the right direction.
Just cut yourself some slack :)
This post is part of a series where I’ll be reflecting on what I’ve learned in my 20s.