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Maybe you haven’t been able to make your art for 6 months and now feel disconnected from it. Maybe the last painting or sculpture you made wasn’t as good as you imagined. Maybe your last show wasn’t as successful as you had hoped.

Even though these slightly disappointing events occurred in the past, they do, sometimes, have a way of bogging down the present. And if the present is affected then, of course, so is the future. It is so easy to let the not so rosy past bring us down. Why? How can we shift this mindset?

First we have to recognize that something is probably missing. It is the secret sauce needed to not only survive but to prosper. Not just in our art but also in our life.

It is the one essential gift that only we can give to ourselves. It comes from ourselves to ourselves.

It is the gift of Forgiveness.

So your imagined painting didn’t turn out as well as you thought. Forgive yourself. You tried something new and it belly flopped. Forgive yourself. You didn’t sell as many paintings as you desired? Forgive yourself.

Art making – pursuing the creative life is neither simple nor easy. It is a noble pursuit. It is about paying attention. It is about showing yourself to the world even when you might not feel ready.

So practice giving yourself forgiveness. Let go of the notion that your past challenge or difficulty is a reflection or predictor of what can become in the future. In fact those setbacks, those disappointments give you the experience, the feedback to better aim and achieve success in the future. The setbacks are merely adjustments on the way to success.

Every day is new. And so are you.

How do you not let the past affect your future?

Nicholas

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