Overcoming creative anxiety is not easy, but it is not impossible. Creative anxiety is more common among artists than is actually shared. It’s only in recent years that we’re writing creativity and anxiety in the same sentence. Being an artist has a bad and a good reputation. It’s getting harder and harder as technology and the Internet grow. I have been an artist for many years and everything is changing. Challenges demand too much from humans and that is no exception for artists.
Being an artist is cool, sometimes it is also very scary. I am Mariapalito and today I want to share with you a very personal side of my creative journey. Some time ago fear took over me and made me doubt everything. This is how I overcome the fear of creating and failing.
Why Artists Feel Anxiety
- Imagination and anxiety emerge from the same place: Our mind is such a powerful tool. Sometimes we underestimate it or do not use it to our advantage. Artists tend to be more sensitive human beings, more connected to their feelings, and more imaginative. But the same mind that can draw, color, or paint; it is the mind that can become obsessed with negative and self-destructive thoughts.
- I could say that I hid from my own creativity for at least two years. Every morning, I sat down trying to create, but anxiety sabotaged my creativity.
- Anxiety destroys personal confidence: Living with anxiety is like standing on an ant hill and, before long, you discover that you have ants up to your throat. Anxiety starts little by little, negative thoughts and this destroys the creative process and your self-esteem.
Then the fear started taking over and I was just petrified just with the idea of trying. Being an anxious and very sensitive artist is not a very good combination, because it makes everything harder. It has been a long journey but I feel very grateful for every step I have taken.
- When you doubt yourself, you doubt your talents:
We all have particular talents, but when anxiety comes into an artist’s life, it makes us doubt everything. On the other hand, the Internet has turned the creative world into a fierce environment. There are very talented artists out there, and comparing ourselves to trendy artists makes us believe that we don’t have enough talent to succeed.
I was lost inside my fear, and I was not able to create. I was replicating over and over my own work without evolving in any direction.
How To Overcome Creative Anxiety
Overcoming creative anxiety is not an easy task, but it is possible. We could say that it is not something that can be solved with a single answer. I would say it is a daily practice and a process. Anxiety is not something that disappears overnight. It is a state of mind that can be triggered by different factors. Here I am going to share 10 ideas to overcome creative anxiety:
- Detach for the end Result: To overcome creative anxiety it is necessary to detach yourself from the end result. Start exploring new techniques and stop listening to the negative self-talk in your head.
- Live a more intentional life: This can create lasting changes. I decided to create the projects I needed for myself to relax and to connect with my heart.
- Stay away from the comparison trap:
- Keep yourself busy: Keeping yourself creating is the way to overcome your creative anxiety.
- Connect and feel good about yourself first: It took me a long time to connect with my art. Healing is a process and I needed to take the steps to go back to feeling good about myself again. Then I started drawing and coloring pages for myself, journaling, having a sketchbook, joining art challenges, and doing fan art.
- Avoid perfectionism: Your art creations don´t have to be perfect. They just has to be your own, and resonate with who you are.
- Your personal value is not related to your success:
- Don’t push yourself too far:
- Get inspiration in other places: If you’re feeling anxious about your creative work, start looking elsewhere for inspiration. Step away from the endless scrolling on Pinterest or Instagram. Go back to music, movies, books, or try to connect with your own feelings to create.