Self judgement via sloppy negative stereotypes

The Sparkle Experiment small creative play equals connection

Making art again after a big gap in time will use up a lot of mental energy because the brain has to work harder at things it’s less familiar with. Add to the mix feeling you’re not ‘good’ at art and it won’t be long before your brain sabotages your efforts. Most people talk themselves out of continuing via listening to the negative voice in your head (the ego) that judges every mark you make. It gets louder if you pay it any attention and will never leave you completely, even if you become a prolific artist.

Winifred Gallagher in New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change explains “The first step in stretching your experiential boundaries is to override your brains strong tendency to conserve energy by conducting business as usual. One of its favourite economies is to rely on familiar, sloppy but efficient categories and stereotypes: “I’m no good at sports/art/travel,” say, or “That kind of person/activity/place has nothing to offer me.”

As you can’t get rid of those sloppy negative stereotypes thoughts, the goal is to find a way to gently ignore them. Understand that the brains default is to be efficient by conserving energy and that shows up as the negative voice questioning what you’re doing. Thank the voice for it’s concern — “It’s okay I’m no good at art, because I’m having fun and I’m improving each time I try,” — and turn your attention back to making art. With time and practice the voice will soften and will loose its tight grip on your creative potential. Don’t trust that the judgemental voice knows what’s best for you, it’s just following autopilot intructions.