Photographing my paintings yet again. Third time’s a charm! I can feel the self-doubt and fear creep in.
I asked myself to put everything on hold until I finished these paintings. In a few cases, paintings I hadn't completed in years.
How did I do it? How can I ignite the momentum to do what comes next?
A solid plan of actions. Sticking to it pretty well, adding in space and compassion for setbacks. Speaking of sticky - this is often where I've gotten stuck.
Having NOT completed a painting in years but making a decision that I wanted to was the spark I needed to start anew again. For the umpteenth time.
Embarking on paintings completely different than anything I’d ever done before left me a bit, how to put it, afraid. I was afraid to paint again, even though I wanted to and I was afraid of what I wanted to paint. Leaving me in a heap of self doubt mixed with a bit of loathing that took a few days to bounce back from but bounce back I did.
The thing that helped me get over my urge to not even start and also quit constantly along the way was the pretty good plan I’d laid out for myself to follow. It helped get off on the right foot for and really helped me keep going when I got stuck. Getting stuck has been my specialty. By stuck, I mean quit.
Breaking down the actualizing of a dream into bite-sized nuggets of win. For me this was 3 months chunks. That’s totally from coaching. I didn’t invent but I decided to try it and it didn’t work.
KIDDING! It totally worked.
By working I mean, I did finish. Did it go exactly according to plan?
CLOSE. I was super close. Close-enough that sharing the steps in order to help someone else do it to and tell myself to keep doing it because it worked and it will work again, and again, and again.
CLOSE. I was super close. Close-enough that all my fears of failing erupted, yet close enough that I could see how far I'd come, how much I HAD accomplished, and best of all how close I was to finishing exactly what I had planned on. More actually. More because I had dreamed up and gathered new ideas that I wanted to energize into existence.
Looking around me at not only the paintings that were very close to being done. I saw new paintings I’d started along the way. Helping to very clearly show me the progress I’d made. I’ve also recorded video and taken pictures along the way so I can see how far I’ve really come in my project.
I still was going to give up. Falling into the mindset of a painfully faithful old friend with some harsh - negative - self - talk.
That’s when I used my trusted method of telling that shit talking voice, full of fear in my head, "thanks for thinking of me, now go away. I've got paintings to finish". Freeing me from the cycle of negative talk, allowing me to get back to work.
Turns out I was a only month off. The work to do has been mostly finishing touches and what to do next?
What to do next?
Cue: oh shit moment! Now I’m here. This part that I want and I fear the most.
Creating visually is so revealing in this: Making reality what dances around on our heads. I had an idea of rainbows flowing like rivers. It was a darker time in my life, full of turmoil. A relationship ending, a parent retiring, a self-prescribed mission that I would live with this parent and be there for her the way she was there for me. That’s plenty. A relationship ending, a parent move-in instead, I’ll throw in career loss. What the hell! No reason to paint a pretty picture where one doesn’t exist.
That sums it up perfectly: no reason to paint a pretty picture where on doesn’t exist.
Until that changed.
It all changed with a vision. A vision I wanted to make reality.
Learning and changing along the way and the shift in perception. Not only of myself but the view from others perspective. That used to scare me. What’s going to happen when I do this thing I’m passionate about doing and the people around me see me differently. When it came down to it I HAD to choose me. I chose to do the thing for me because I was pretty miserable and now I’m not and the people that love me dig that. ***This is a profound shift: think of it? Taking actions while navigating what others think is a detriment to making the progress that will have the greatest impact on those we love. I now scream out, STOP! When I start thinking about what other people are thinking. What a waste of time and a serious hindrance in making our own thoughts more impactful.
Spending too much time on what other people think gets in the way of actualizing our own vision. Practicing keeping our thoughts the forefront of our execution is the essence of productivity.
Want to be more productive? Stop thinking about what other people are thinking and get back to work.
A thing or 2 I learned can help others: to either not make the same mistakes I made, or confidently know it is possible to come out the other side triumphant. How fun does that sound? Triumphant! With more love not less. I gained. I want that for everyone.
This isn't a shtick.
This isn’t a sales pitch. Unless you want to buy a painting. Which would be lovely but not my desire in sharing the process. The process to success should be free.
Idealistic? Maybe. Take a look at my paintings though. Rainbow Paths. Rainbow visions. I look at them and feel something. I feel a little brighter, lighter, a smile often crossing my face.
I’m thinking of an actor. Guess which one? Again, kidding. I’m thinking of actors that have had to play roles that were unflattering, ugly, hard. Glenn Close!! That’s the one! From the movie Fatal Attraction. I know people that still hate her because of that role. How powerful is that? Doing something so authentic and well that it creates a visceral reaction.
That is my goal here. To have you loathe me for creating something that ignites a visceral response.
Not so much that.
More to present something that lifts the spirit, making the moment better, if only for a moment.
Leading up to this I was so angry, hurt, disillusioned, and so very regretful in all aspects of my life.
I wanted to paint my whole life and I had failed.
Until I had the vision of flowing rainbows to lift my spirit and get me to pick up the paint brushes, grab a canvas, and get back to doing the first and foremost thing I have found joy in my whole life.
My previous career was in healthcare and my motto became ‘no guarantee’. It comes from health insurance when benefits are checked. At the end of getting insurance benefit details, for healthcare, the sign-off was and probably, as well as unfortunately still is something to the effect of, “a quote of benefits is not a guarantee of coverage”.
Even to write it now, I get a touch of that visceral response.
That shit wore me down over time. I eventually lead almost every question I was ever asked with - no. Eventually I would have to go around and around to get to being open to a - yes. This also wore me down. In the end it wore me clear out of what I thought would be a long and prosperous healthcare career. I so wanted to help people until it got to the point I was hurting myself and others because of how 'no guarantee' had affected my whole person.
It is true, there are few guarantees in life and the old adage, ‘death and taxes’, lacks the optimism and joy I now lean into so I came up with the Shearer Guarantee. My name has been a consistent and silly teasing throughout my life. Giving homage to anyone whose name is way more a target than mine, while also letting them know, no one gets off easy.
My Shearer Guarantee:
If I have an idea and it keeps popping back up, it’s wanting to come into existence.
If there is something I want to accomplish I make a plan to what I call, ‘energize vision into existence’.
I’m worthy of not only loving but being loved. If I don’t love and care for myself first, as a serious priority, I am no good to anyone else.
I can work on my faults.
I can do better.
My Shearer Guarantee to you:
If you have an idea and it keeps popping back up, sometimes over and over, it’s an idea that wants to come into existence.
If there is something you want to accomplish, make a plan breaking it down into the smallest of steps. What I call, 'energizing vision into existence’.
You are worthy. If you don’t honor that first, you are not as good as you can be for others.
You can work on those things that seem to be holding you back.
You can do better.
You can give it a try and see what happens after say, 90 days.
It’s those things in life that we can have control over the outcome of that make life truly worthwhile, and they ignite forth from us. Internal - eternal? It seems like eternal as I write it so maybe it is as well. They come from a triple D threat: drive, determination, desire. We ignite the drive through a desire and our determination is what energizes vision into existence.
What I have deemed Creativity Unleashed.
I raise a toast to a plan coming together, and another one now waiting at the ready.