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trying to keep the negative thoughts at bay

trying to keep the negative thoughts at bay


I was so excited to get into the print studio this morning. It’s time consuming and hard work, but it’s so much fun to see the images come to life on paper. I made a cup of tea, checked the blocks over for any dust or specks or spots that needed fixing and got to work.

An hour and a half later I had one good print, two or three passable ones, a pile of bad ones that I’d already torn in half and a big mess to clean up.

It was just that kind of day. The kind of day when, no matter how good your intentions or how high your hopes, you crash and burn.

No big deal, right? I can print the blocks again another day and the next set of prints will be better.

What was interesting, though, was that wasn’t where my mind went with this printing misadventure. When I took stock of the first few prints that weren’t working the first thought I had was, “I stink at this….what made me think I could be good at this?” And that negative thought lead to an onslaught of others ranging from, “have you seen yourself in a bathing suit?” to “you can’t do anything right.”

As the thoughts got meaner and more general, I pulled myself up short and forced myself to answer back. “Tell yourself something else, right now!” I commanded.

“Just because you know how to do something, doesn’t mean you’ll do it perfectly every time,” I kindly thought to myself. “That’s okay.”

And almost instantly, like an evil cartoon bubble getting popped, the other thoughts went away. I still felt frustrated that the day hadn’t gone the way I wanted it to but I’d been able to stop that mean inner-critic who wants to turn us away from creating.

You have to have permission to do things badly now and then or you’ll never be able to move forward.

So hit the road, negative thought-gremlins. I’ll still be here to print another day!

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