If it’s become your habit to apologize for your work, to hide from potential buyers, to avoid marketplace interactions, to dismiss yourself as soon as you can (as if beating others to the punch), then these are bad habits that you will want to change.
To change a habit means to work on it for months and even for years, not to work on it for just a few minutes. It is unlikely that, for example, you can change from not taking opportunities offered to you to suddenly taking them just by snapping your fingers. Rather, you need to be on a lifelong strengthening program, a self-coaching regimen where each day you remind yourself that you intend to manifest your strength and your confidence.
Remember: it is one thing to be quiet; it is another thing to be meek. It is one thing to be modest; it is another thing to be self-disparaging. It is one thing to be principled; it is another thing to live by the principle that everybody else comes first. You want to step out of the shadows and risk standing up for your work and for your future. Maybe you doubt your work: either stop doubting it or create work that you doubt less. Maybe you doubt yourself: stop doubting yourself and, over time, create a version of yourself that you have no reason to doubt.
Present yourself with strength. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, practice. Practice in your mind, in the mirror, or with an art buddy. Practice saying, “I love my new work.” Practice saying, “If your gallery has an opening for one new artist, it should be me, and here’s why.” Practice saying, “I know that you collect contemporary surrealists and I’m pushing the surrealism envelope, so you must visit my studio!” Practice saying, “Let me describe the nine ways in which I will be an asset to your gallery.” Practice saying, “I am doing excellent work and you should really take a look.”
It is not just what you say—it is how you look out at the world, how you think, and what you do. You are either looking for opportunities to show or you aren’t. You are either mulling over new marketing ideas or you aren’t. You are either thinking about your next sales opportunities or you aren’t. You are either calculating what might work in the marketplace or you aren’t. You are either a player in the game or a spectator in the stands. You are either fantasizing about what lucky break might come your way or you are taking action.
Remember: take action and present yourself with strength!
My next creativity coaching trainings begin in June. For more information and to enroll: