Art Therapy: Are Mistakes Necessary?

Thursday, August 20, 2020


Art Therapy Post: Are Mistakes Necessary?

I want you to read this quote and really think about it's meaning. We can be so quick to give up on the things that we aren't instant masters in, the things that challenge us, the things that push us out of our comfort zones. Not one single person became a master in any skill or occupation overnight. Their journey was not a straight path of successes. They made mistakes, they had ups and downs, they had to fail.. in order to succeed.

What is an achievement or a success? It means something accomplished with considerable skill, effort, or courage. We all seek these achievements in life - they make us feel proud of ourselves, they give our lives meaning. They can be something as big as getting a job, a car, a house, or something as small as finishing a colouring project. Regardless of what that achievement is, it is important to our self-worth. Now, I want you to think about this... what does that achievement mean if there is no work to get it? Would it really be an achievement anymore? Do you congratulate yourself for everything you accomplish in a day? Or do the things you have to work for make you appreciate their worth more?

You can only have an achievement when there is something to strive for; a challenge = something to overcome = an achievement to be had. Don't underestimate the importance of these challenges in all areas of life - without them you don't have growth, you don't have success. So, how does this relate to our colouring? All the time I see people ready to give up because they were pushed, because they were challenged, because they didn't instantly master a technique. They approach learning as something that should be easy, and if it isn't, it isn't worth it the effort. But we don't realise it's not our skills that make us incapable, it's our attitudes that stop us from learning and that determine whether we give up when something is hard.

The only failure you can have is when you give up on something, as that's the one time you can't improve. Perfection and ease of doing a technique do not equal success. Success is progress, is having a go, learning new things, pushing beyond what we already know. Growth = success. Successful people aren't afraid to have a go - if they make a mistake, they know that mistakes aren't the end. The mistake is a golden opportunity to learn and improve, and as a result, gets you one step closer to your goal. Every single person whose colouring you admire has made every mistake you have made, if not more, but instead of letting that stop them, they've accepted it as their growth and progress in becoming a better colourist. They treated their mistakes as lessons in both what TO do and what NOT to do, which helps inform our achievements.

Stop defining your success by your ability to master something, and instead define it by having the courage to start, by looking at your growth each time you try, by comparing only with yourself. When you can let the pressure go, you can focus on the process of learning and of creating bringing you the joy, fulfilment, and achievement you are looking for. Your process and progress is your achievement, not a finished product at the end. So it's time to ditch the attitude of perfect = success, and instead remember that the ups and downs are what give us our achievements Embrace every single challenge because it is making you not only a better colourist, but a better you

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