When does striving for growth turn into unreasonable expectations?
As a creative you want to show up for yourself and your creativity. You know the whole consistency, momentum, taking action, being focused, and purposeful is important. Yet you can fall into the trap of expecting too much from yourself and your creativity.
Which expectations can hurt your creativity?
🖼 Expecting yourself to create finished art everyday.
Have you tried to make art everyday? It is difficult to ask yourself to produce artwork all the time. Your energy runs low and life gets in the way. Painting everyday is draining. It doesn't allow you any time to rest and restore your creative energy. Also it's not conducive to the creative cycle most artist work in naturally.
💵 Expecting a certain result and if you don’t attain that result it reflecting on your value and worth.
It's great to have creative goals. it's great to strive and better yourself. What's not great is if you put pressure on yourself to always achieve these goals and results. One thing about being a creative and artist that no one mentions is the constant failure. Running a small business you encounter more failure than the average person. It can wear on you over time if you expect to sell a certain amount of artwork or for a new collection to sell out. You'll lose interest in creating because you won't see the point if you never meet the results you want.
👍 Expecting validation through likes, comments, follows, and purchases.
Wanting validation is a normal human need. It's when you expect external validation and the lack of it makes you question yourself and your creations. The only validation you need is your own. Your like is more important than any other like you will ever receive. The amount of followers, comments and even purchases is not a reflection on how good you are. There are amazing artists that have zero online presence and find it hard to sell their work.
🏆 Expecting only the highest quality creations and skills you haven’t yet learned.
No artwork will ever be perfect. You can tweak a painting forever fixing every flaw you find. If your expectations of your art creations is keeping you from finishing artwork then your expectations are too high. If you never finish an artwork how can you reach your dreams? If you never share your work how can people purchase from you? if you don't make lots of art how can you increase your skills? Let me tell you a secret, every artist wants to increase their skills no matter how good they seem to you. There will never be a point where you are eternally happy with your art skill there is always more to learn.
🗓 Expecting to stay on a schedule or to plan without ever stumbling.
You'll be told to focus, plan, make a schedule, set goals, be consistent, and committed. What happens often is the over scheduling, over committing. You plan and plan but then fall behind and you can't keep up with your schedule. This makes you feel like a failure if you are always behind. You are not a robot, things will come in the way of your plans. Be flexible with your plans but firm with your goals.
How can these expectations hurt you?
😭 Lack of self esteem
🚮 Giving up on your art
🙈 Never seeing your ideas fully come to fruition
Now this is not to say to never have expectations.
Switch the focus to healthy expectations. Focus on steady slow growth, self compassion, exploration, curiosity, process, and the present.