How to Conquer Fear Of Failure & Create Your Best Art

Do you fear failure? How does that show up for you?

For me, it keeps me small by telling me that I should not draw objects in perspective because I am not good at it. The fear of making mistakes tells me I should not share my work online. It tells me that I shouldn't waste my time learning how to paint because I am no good at it anyway.

What does the fear of failure tell you? What are the stories that your mind tells you to keep you safe?

Last week, I was drawing flowers. I was trying to follow a Camilla Damsbo line and wash flower tutorial. I used the wrong ink for my line work and smudged my sketch while trying to add the watercolours. Instead of fretting and fuming over a drawing gone wrong, I just did more research and found a pen that works well with watercolours.

For the first time, I felt free. After ruining a good drawing, I did not feel trapped in doubt, fear and self-loathing. It's taken years to get past attacking myself for making a mistake.

The truth is that it's only natural to fear failure.

In school, failing meant staying a year behind as your peers progressed to another level. As an adult, it could mean losing your job, social network or family. However, a healthy mindset toward failure is necessary for learning and growth.

The reality is that failure and success are inseparably intertwined.

As artists, we need a supportive mindset that allows us to take risks and experiment with our art. Instead of viewing failures as roadblocks, we can see them as stepping stones towards progress. We need to condition our minds to understand that failure is an opportunity to learn, adapt and improve.

Embracing failure can also mean venturing outside our comfort zones and challenging ourselves to try new things. We need to get comfortable to push ourselves beyond what is familiar and stay curious. We must open ourselves to new mediums and ideas that can transform our artistic practice by letting go of the destination and embracing the journey.

Without failure, we may stagnate and never reach our full potential.

Moreover, failure forces us to confront our limitations and fear of not being good enough. We need to recognise that failure does not reflect our worth or talent. We can develop our skills and abilities through determination and persistence.

Developing a positive attitude towards failure can help us see it as a temporary obstacle rather than an attack on our sense of self.

Do you still fear failure? Have you experienced a shift in your artistic practice recently, like I did?

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