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Topic: Feeling worthless and jealous of other's achievements

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. eggalicious
    eggalicious avatar
    2 posts
    31 March 2020
    Hi All,

    Hope you are doing well in this difficult time!

    I wanted to bring up a problem I've been having for the past few months, which has been with me throughout
    much of the latter part of my life - I am hyper critical of my own achievements, and have never been able to see my own self worth in the way that I see others. For context, I am a visual arts student and many of my friends are also studying arts/have creative hobbies.

    In the past few months I've become more depressed and my art making has slowly trailed off. I still draw semi regularly, and can doodle without much thought, but art has become less of a joy and more of a burdensome task. Often I see my friends posting pictures of their creations on social media and think - why aren't I more like them? I often feel insecure, weak, untalented, and flawed in comparison to my other artist friends. I know I have issues with self worth - and this often exacerbates my anxiety in regards to the quality of my own work.

    For as long as I remember I've found it hard to be satisfied with my own achievements. Even when receiving compliments from others it's difficult to internalize them rather than having them go in one ear and out the other! I think a lot of this stems from my perfectionism - I find myself a bad judge of my own work as one mistake could ruin my perception of the entire piece. I think I have placed high expectations on my own art making, and this has paralysed me. In addition, I've been feeling more melancholic lately and dealing with feelings of worthlessness has made me even less motivated to keep going (a self reinforcing cycle!).

    Does anyone else get this problem? How do you deal with your own insecurities when it comes to creative pursuits?

    Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it 👍
    Eggsy

  2. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    6933 posts
    31 March 2020 in reply to eggalicious

    Hi eggsy,

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for starting your thread.

    I can relate to your insecurities, for me it is with my writing. If someone says something kind I don't believe them but if they something negative I soak it up.

    You need a critical eye with your art but can you go with your gut feeling nad see the things you like in work as well things that may need a tweak.

    find instead of saying sweeping statements like I don't like anything I wrote, I may say I like my topic and I can work on the structure.

    For you instead of saying I don't like my drawing, it could be reframed as, I like the composition but I may need to look at my technique.

    Just examples and may not apply to you but you can get the idea.

    One person said to me would you talk to your friend the way you talk to yourself about your art. What would you say to your friend. I am sure you say something positive and encouraging and then a point for improvement if need.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Soberlicious96
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    466 posts
    31 March 2020 in reply to eggalicious

    Dear Eggalicious,

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.

    You know I've heard it said many times that artists are their own worst critics. We consistently compare ourselves (more our insides) to others (more their outsides) and in that unfair comparison, we come off second best. But you know what? It's an UNFAIR comparison. AND an unequal one too. think about this; if you have ever, even just one time, pasted a smile on your face on a day when you were not actually feeling happy, don't you think that others too could, and likely would, do the same? And if that's the case, is it not therefore possible that they too are also at times thinking their own artwork is not up to scratch?

    I was literally days away from self-publishing a book before it dawned on me that I was actually a writer! I have always enjoyed writing, but could not bring myself to actually use the title of 'writer' even though I had had smaller articles published before. And I never really validated anything I did as 'writing' until I published my book. Even here, doing this, is me being a writer. I just love any excuse to tap away on a keyboard. And if I can help others in that process, what a bonus that is!

    I am also a keen scrapbooker, photographer (won a first prize in a local show once too!), and of late have dabbled in a little bit of acrylic painting. And I am still my own worst critic on the bad days. But days aren't bad ones every day and I have learnt to be more gentle with myself at those times. It's okay too to have a break from things, and even to change tactic along the way. Sometimes a fork in the road can lead to a whole new adventure!

    So my suggestion is simply this; stop being your own worst critic! And stop also, if you are, comparing yourself to others. We all wear our own unique shoes and have our own unique fingerprints, and yours are just perfect the way they are!

    Anyway, I don't really know what else to say. I am no professional counselor or anything that's for sure. Just a fellow human being who has her own up and down days. I do hope I have helped a little bit? In the meantime, you can come back here as much as you like.

    Take care, I'll be thinking of you. xo

    1 person found this helpful
  4. eggalicious
    eggalicious avatar
    2 posts
    19 May 2020

    Hi Quirkywords & Soberlicious96,

    Thank you dearly for your responses! I apologise for my long abscence from the forums, I've been consumed with schoolwork & everything else, and have been losing track of time while quarantined at home.

    So much has happened in the month since my last post! I've been doing a lot of work to catchup on class, am attending therapy via Zoom calls now, and am stowly trying to become more aware of my social media intake. In regards to my art & feeling jealous of other's achievements - I am still struggling with frustration over my own growth & taking pride in my art however! I have been practicing mindfullness and when I find my thoughts drifting I try to focus on my breathing, rather than let them develop into a big negative muddle.

    Being forced to make art for school has helped a bit too :] Like how Quirkywords said that I could reframe my thinking in a way that's less critical and more constructive. I've been trying to practive being kinder to myself in these little ways - I read somewhere that your thought pathways are like water carving out ridges in stone; the more often you think something the more your brain starts prioritizing that thought. And Soberlicious - I very much relate to your experience of not seeing yourself as a writer! I think by nature, the competetive aspect of creative fields encourages self criticism. It's sad that the arts aren't seen as a valuable industry in the way that STEM fields are, and while its wonderful that many creatives are driven by their passion & a love of the work, I really wish there was more support avaliable for emerging arts practitioners. However! It's wonderful hearing that you wrote AND published your own book! I think thats a spectacular achievement and you definitely deserve some love & recognition for it <3

    The future is still so uncertain & that is terrifying! I see so many people my age who are more talented, motivated & confident than me, and sometimes that makes me doubt in my own ability to succeed. However, I am learning that it is important to embrace uncomfortable emotions (esp. in our current time!) and that you can draw back if something is making you uncomfortable.

    Thank you for the replies! If you see this would love to hear how you are going now.

    Hope everyone has a good night!

    <3 Eggsy

  5. quirkywords
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    6933 posts
    19 May 2020 in reply to eggalicious

    Eggsy

    Thanks for your reply and good to hear how you are going.

    like writing but am not good at art but I bought myself a visual diary and some pemcils but I have not had the courage to start and doodle. There are lovely trees on my work that Id like to sketch but my inner critic is not happy. I keep looking at the empty book.

    Post here whenever you like.\