Happy Monday everyone!
Recently I was in an art class, and we had an assignment to create a portrait only using a marker. Now for me, this was asking a lot. I am a perfectionist, meaning I always start my work with pencil or drafts. I measure, I practice, and I always take hours to complete one project.
So when I was told no pencil was allowed, my mind immediately started thinking how hard this was going to be for me. But I tried to push those thoughts aside and just start on my portrait. Knowing we only had about an hour to complete this, I wasn’t stopping to step back and look at the project as a whole. Instead, I focused on the marks that were too dark or too thick. The ones I couldn’t erase and the ones I couldn’t change.
As people walked by my desk they said “oh that looks really good” or “ wow can you do mine”. I smiled and kept on working, internally thinking they were just being nice. In my mind, there was no way this could be “good work” since I was going fast, had no time to prepare, and couldn’t alter mistakes.
The one thing that really bothered me as I was working wasn’t my peer’s comments but instead my instructor. This particular instructor is one of my favorites because he always stops and talks to me about my work, helps me make adjustments and teaches me new tactics. But this time he only walked by, stopped, looked at my work and then walked away. Of course in my mind, the only logical explanation was he didn’t like it.
In retrospect, it is funny to me how closed off my mind was. Nevertheless, I continued my work, determined to finish. When the bell finally rang I only had to finish shading the background which I knew would only take 5ish minutes so I decided to stay after. I honestly didn’t want to have to pull this assignment out again.
When the class had all left, it was just me and my instructor. He came back over and saw the progress I had made. I said to him how this was really pushing me out of my comfort zone. He didn’t really answer at first, then he said it was one of the best in the class and that this was some of my best work. He looked at me and said, “if you can’t see it, open your eyes”. While I was nodding, smiling, really not believing what he was saying, those words- open your eyes- struck me.
He left the room and I stopped working. I picked up my work and walked it across the room and propped it up. Then I walked to the other side of the room, turned around and critiqued my work. Open my eyes. I put out all of the thoughts that went through my head during the whole class and genuinely looked at my piece. It was good. It was one of my better pieces. I should be proud of it.
The point wasn’t about my art though, instead, I learned something even more valuable, to “open my eyes”. It’s funny how when we get something in our minds we can be so stubborn and won’t listen to reason. Lately now, when I realize I am doubting myself or I am only looking at one angle of a situation, I remember to “open my eyes”. Honestly, it is amazing how that one little phrase means so much.
As you go through your day to day life, I challenge you to “open your eyes”. To see the bigger picture. To stop doubting yourself, and recognize that you are enough. You are talented and capable. There is going to be so many people in this world that don’t believe in you, and that’s fine because it doesn’t matter. All that matters is you and what you think of yourself. So start knowing that you are enough, and stop having a fixed mindset. Start believing in you.
What do you do when you start doubting yourself?! What are the best words of wisdom you have ever been told?! Do you believe in yourself?!
“You were made to do hard things so believe in yourself.”
*Photo Cred // Unsplash and Over*