It’s not very surprising, but it’s also not very balanced. We strive and that means we always try to improve. In order to improve, we focus on the things we can’t do yet. Unfortunately, we often fixate on those things, ignoring all the good things we already know how to do.
Here’s where it all goes horribly wrong. If we spend all of our time thinking exclusively about what we cannot do, wilfully ignoring everything we already know how to do, we can, over time, convince ourselves that the only important things about ourselves, as artists and people, are the things we are inadequate in. Oops. Wrong.
We can be so hard on ourselves, so unforgiving, so unkind and so unfair. They say we can be our own worst critics and I think that’s true, because of the damage we can do to our own peace of mind and to our own self confidence. We can literally talk ourselves into a state of terrible inertia and unhappiness, simply because we distort reality by shrugging off all the things we’ve already learned.
That twisted viewpoint is enough to bring us to the brink of despair, tempting us to believe everything we do isn’t good enough, to destroy things we’ve made that really are good enough (but which we’re convinced are not) and to conclude that, as a consequence, we’re not good enough.
Take time out, every now and then, to deliberately list the things you can already do well. You’ll surprise yourself at how many things are very right about you. It turns into a very long list, very quickly. If that doesn’t make you smile, you’re not really paying attention or giving far too much weight to the things you have yet to learn and perfect.
In time, people cannot help but recognise and appreciate your abilities, especially if you don’t hide them away, while complaining about all the things you are unable to do with alacrity. If you are open and honest about your abilities, people will, eventually, if they are honest too, come to appreciate you.
So appreciate your own abilities now. Why not? Avoid the rush to recognise those talents and skills you have already developed. You’ve earned it. Well deserved, too!