How To Be An Artist

If you are making art because you find doing so satisfying then stop reading right now and go make some more satisfaction.

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Irrational Idea №1: The idea that it is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved or approved by virtually every significant other person in his/her community.

It’s impossible to be liked or loved by everybody. No matter how popular you are, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you.

Even if you could get everybody to like or love you, you would never know if they liked you enough, or if they still liked you.

Different people have different tastes. Some people might like (for example) your new hairstyle; other people might hate it. Therefore, no matter what you do, some people will admire you, and some people won’t.

Getting people to like you takes time and effort. If you try to get everyone to like you, you won’t have any time or energy left over to do the things that you want to do.

If you demand others’ approval, you’ll always be doing what they want you to do, instead of doing what you want to do with your time and your life. Your life will no longer be your own.

If you try too hard to be loved or approved, people will soon tire of your constant sycophancy, and they will not respect you.

There’s no harm in trying to be popular, but it’s best not to try too hard. In other words, it’s self-helping to want to be popular, but it’s self-defeating to need to be popular.

Having love and approval means you’ll find it easier to have friends, to find and keep a job, to find accommodation, etc. But just because other people approve of you doesn’t mean that you’ll like yourself. It’s better to strive for unconditional self-acceptance; i.e., you accept yourself, regardless of what others think of you.

It’s not pleasant when other people don’t like you, but it’s not awful, it’s not the end of the world, and it’s not fatal.

Irrational Idea №2: The idea that one should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects if one is to consider oneself worthwhile.

Nobody can be good at everything. If you’re good at (for example) sports, it does not mean that you’ll be good at music. Most of us aren’t outstandingly good at even one thing, let alone every thing.

It’s good to be successful when you can. But by trying too hard to succeed — especially if you try to succeed at everything — creates unnecessary stressors. In other words, it’s self-helping to want to succeed, but self-defeating to need to succeed.

To be successful often means you have to compete against others. That means you have to pay too much attention to what other people can do, instead of what you can do. You can’t control what other people can do, or how well they can do it, so you end up competing against something you have no control over.

Very often you have little or no control over your own abilities. For example, you can’t be a successful musician if you were born tone deaf.

You don’t need to be successful to be worthwhile. Being alive and able to enjoy life makes your life worthwhile. Nothing else matters.

If you’re too busy trying to be successful, you won’t have time left over for doing things you enjoy.

If you’re afraid of failing, then you’ll be afraid of trying. Your life will be boring because you’ll only do things you know you can succeed at, and you’ll never get to try new experiences.

Fear of failing means you won’t enjoy what you’re doing. It also means you’ll worry so much about failing that you won’t be able to concentrate fully on what you’re doing, and so you will probably make a mistake or fail completely.

The best way to learn how to do something is to just do it. The way to succeed is to practice, practice, practice and to learn from your mistakes. Mistakes and failure are not awful; they are a normal part of learning. Human beings fail and make mistakes all the time. If you make a mistake, it doesn’t make you worthless — it proves that you are a normal human being.

Irrational Idea №5: The idea that human unhappiness is externally caused and that people have little or no ability to control their sorrows and disturbances.

Other people can’t harm you unless they beat you up or rob you. But those things don’t happen very often. If someone abuses you or calls you names, it’s not their words that upset you; it’s your words. You might think they’re harming you, but really it is what you tell yourself that causes your pain.

Whenever you say “it hurts me, when people are unfair,” or “I can’t stand it, when things go wrong,” you are saying nonsense. Whatever “it” is, “it” can’t hurt you. What you really mean is “I upset myself by telling myself that it is awful when people are unfair or when things go wrong.”

Most people believe they can’t control their feelings, but they’re wrong. Although it’s not easy to change the way you feel, it’s not impossible. -
Dr Albert Ellis



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Jerald W. Blackstock

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