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5 Things You Need to Unlearn As an Artist to Find Your Creative Freedom

There are norms and standards in every community, culture, and nation. That’s how things work around, and if you want to fit in, you must do what everyone else does and follow the norms. This is why, from a young age, we have been instructed by our parents, guardians, elders, and educators in the proper ways to sit, stand, act, express gratitude, and request something and anything and everything so that we can fit in.

For everyone’s good, I suppose, they teach us that. However, I think we should have also been taught how to deal with our internal struggles, including how to say “no,” how to prioritize oneself, how to deal with rejection, how to ask for help and how to be contented with our life.

Since we are only taught to just follow that set pattern and when we try to set ourselves free from those set patterns and norms we are bombarded by millions of negative emotions and thoughts like What if I let down my family? What if I fail? What will people say if I did something like this? These are just some negative thoughts plaguing our minds whenever we try something new.

Now you must be thinking why do we feel such emotions and negative thoughts? I believe it is because we aren’t taught to be self-reliant, and that is why we struggle with negative emotions. Our lives are ruined by our constant need for others’ affirmations and acceptance.

Thus, I set out to discover the most widely-held misconceptions that individuals are actively seeking to dispel. And in this article, I am sharing the list of 5 things that I discovered that we should unlearn if we want to have a happy, peaceful and contented life.

If you want to find out what they are, you should keep reading.

Choosing others over you

There is merit in offering assistance to those in need. But remember that showing concern is one thing, and becoming accustomed to it is quite another. Since we tend to please others at the expense of ourselves, we are frequently taken advantage of.

So, establish the rule that you won’t berate yourself for helping others. Always be there for someone who genuinely needs your support but don’t do things out of pity so that they can be happy.

Please understand that when you overextend yourself, you hurt yourself. Always putting the needs of others before your own will lead to burnout and over-commitment. A lack of self-discipline in the form of the ability to say “no” will make it difficult for you to prioritize your health and the success of your professional endeavours.

So learn to put your own needs before those of others and stop apologizing for it. If your health isn’t excellent, you can’t be there for your loved ones when they need you, so please take care of yourself. Please understand that it’s essential that you learn to say “No” and that you never feel bad about doing so if you want to have a happy, peaceful and contented life.

The idea that you have to do it all alone

It’s human nature to feel that pleading for assistance betrays our strength. We think that if we seek help, we’ll be considered a bother, and think that if we ask for help, we’ll upset them.

When you are in dire need of help and you finally gather the courage to ask for it but then suddenly your brain starts telling you that no, don’t disturb someone else. Why are you asking for help? This is your work you must do everything alone. Why someone will do your work? Stop asking for help.

These are all our negative thoughts that bombard our minds when we try to ask for help and trick us into thinking that we have to do everything all alone no matter how tired, sick, exhausted or burned out we are.

You have to understand that you are a human being and that is a fact that you must accept. All the feelings of exhaustion, frustration, and burnout are real. You shouldn’t feel bad about needing assistance. No one will judge you poorly, and those who care about you the most will be overjoyed to lend a hand.

Next time no matter how much you find it difficult to ask for help, please reach out. Reach out to your friends or your loved ones. Ask if they can help you with a task so that you can have a bit of relaxing time. Because as artists, we already have so much on our plate that if someone could lend a helping hand, it would make our lives a bit easier. So ask, reach out, be expressive and stop doing anything and everything all alone because there are people out there who love you, and it makes them sad that you do so much that you don’t have time to look out for yourself.

So next time you are tired, call a friend or loved one and say hey! Can you please help me a bit? Or if someone says can I help you with something? Just say yes! No matter how much your brain tries to trick you into saying no.

Undermining your success big or small by not celebrating

We should also unlearn the idea that we shouldn’t rejoice in our own accomplishments because it’s not really monumental or because someone else has them better.

Stop thinking, so what if my one article got published? My friend from high school has already published three books, and all the books are so amazing. Don’t tell yourself, “So what if I made a sale? All of my other artist pals have daily sales.

It’s fine if they’re successful at the moment. Your accomplishments are not diminished by theirs. So stop comparing your successes to anyone else and try to celebrate them even if your celebration means a day off or a good day at the spa or a nice dinner at a restaurant.

Value yourself, and celebrate your small successes because believe me when I say that if you don’t mark your progress personally, no one else will.

So next time when you achieve something then type a small message to your loved ones about your achievement or put status and share it with everyone that how happy you are because you finally made a sale or your article got published. You won’t believe the outpouring of support from those closest to you who are thrilled for you. So start celebrating your achievements no matter how small they are.

Not trusting your instincts enough

We fear offending others if we express our disagreement with them, so we often choose to remain silent, despite the fact that this ultimately causes us pain.

There are instances when we keep quiet because we fear making a scene or being judged negatively because of what we have to say. There are some instances when we want to create something different or something different, but our fears of being judged make us feel that we should not do it. We try to kill our instincts and do what everyone else does.

However, you shouldn’t proceed in that manner. If you never speak up for yourself, no one will ever risk making you upset or angry because they know they can do whatever they want, and you won’t react negatively. If you never follow your instincts, you will never overcome your fears of getting judged.

So, it’s essential to speak up for yourself and express your thoughts when necessary; otherwise, you risk losing your dignity and emotional stability for no good reason. It’s important to follow your instincts if you want to stand  out and create something different or even be different

Know that speaking up doesn’t automatically make you a bad person. It basically implies you have the wherewithal to express yourself or act on your first instincts.

So learn to speak up for yourself as long as it doesn’t constitute bullying, misbehaviour, or the intentional injuring of another person because everyone has the right to speak and do whatever they like in our free society.

Thinking everyone else has it all figured out

In today’s technologically advanced society, everyone can instantly connect with anyone else via any number of online social networks.

We are constantly bombarded with images of other people’s flawless lives, including their vacations, skincare routines, party shots, and physiques when we see pictures of their new house, their wedding, the two of them as the picture-perfect couple, and the newborn baby posts on their recent successes.

When we see such pictures, we think what a perfect life they have and how they have figured it all out and achieved it, and you start comparing their life with yours. When you do that, you do nothing but hurt yourself emotionally and mentally.

Not everything that glitters is gold, and you need to realize that. You have no idea of the difficulties that may be lurking behind their seemingly immaculate social media profiles.

What we see on the front does not necessarily mean that it is like that from the back. You have no idea how much someone has to face to achieve something or what they went through to have their own baby ultimately. You have no idea how many times they were rejected before they found true love. You have no idea how much they have been bullied or how much they have starved themselves to look a certain way. You have no idea how much they crave the sense of belonging with some perfect picture posts.

If you feel low after seeing all these posts, trust me, you are not alone. We all feel the same at times, which is what we have to unlearn.

So, don’t waste time contrasting your life with others on social media. If you have food in the fridge, a safe place to live, and good health, consider yourself highly fortunate compared to the vast majority of the world’s population.

Don’t let the fact that your life is less than perfect compared to the people you follow on social media get you down the next time you feel low about your life. When you feel bad about your life, do one thing: sit back, relax, take a few deep breaths, look around, and be thankful for everything, even the little things.

Trust me; you will achieve everything and anything at the time when it’s right for you. Until then, keep trying and working hard and stop comparing your life with the likes and followers of the virtual world and be grateful for all your blessings.

Written By: Rabia Khan.

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Rabia Khan

Rabia is a writer, a wife and a mother. she belongs to the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. She works as a content writer for Arts to Hearts and writes for emerging artists that are finding their ways in the world of art.
She has done her bachelors in Communication & Media Studies from Fatima Jinnah Women University and secured 3rd position.
She is friendly, honest, down to earth and a very hardworking person. She makes sure that she does her work with utmost dedication and with perfection. Her goal in life is to become a successful writer and wants to open an organization where she can help the underprivileged people to make their life better.

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