Before you Give Up

Before you Give Up
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

Since the start of the year, I’ve been working on learning a new art process – monoprinting. A single print is created from the impression(s) of a painted plate onto paper. My goal in doing so was to create small works of art in a fraction of the time so that I would have items to sell at a fraction of the cost.

Ha! I thought it would be much easier . . . and quicker.  I have yet to create anything of worth. I’m not sure this will be my thing. And I’ve invested so much time already!

Do you ever feel like giving up on learning new skills, losing weight or changing habits? Change is hard. The question I always ask clients who are short on success is, “Is it still a worthy goal?” or “Do you still want this?” If the answer is ‘yes’ then it’s time to change something up, like scaling back the goal or tweaking it somehow, so success can be achieved in increments.

A wise friend recently said, “When you stop running after what you seek, what you seek starts running after you.” In other words, are you trying to catch your shadow or are you facing the light?

Focusing on the process versus the result is yet another way of looking at this. As I said above, I wanted to learn a new process, but maybe my goal or result orientation has been getting in the way. I have deadlines, after all.

Trying hard is pressure we apply to ourselves that can get in the way of inspired action, creativity, intuition and presence. Presence is the answer, really. The trouble with goals is they have us oriented to the future. You know, timelines, deadlines, deliverables, results.

I know you might be thinking that trying or working hard got you where you are. Maybe. Or was it more about clarity and commitment?

Whatever you seek, have patience in, and pleasure for the learning curve. Be willing to fail. The ego hates that. But personally, I hope there will always be a learning curve.

There are all kinds of artists who crank out the same stuff year after year, because they know it sells. Frankly, consumers often like that predictability and can be grumpy about the evolution of an artist.

As far as my monoprinting goes, it’s not like I haven’t learned anything. There are still things I’d like to try, and a few hundred YouTube videos I haven’t seen. I guess I’m not giving up.

How about you? Before you throw in the towel answer these questions.

  • Is it still a worthy goal?
  • Are you willing to fail?
  • What have you learned?
  • Are you chasing your shadow or facing the light?
  • Do you need more clarity?
  • Are you anchored in the present moment?

Hang on. We could be ready for a breakthrough.