Back to School

I bet you thought I meant kids going back to school. But in truth, this post is about me taking a class that is taking me way out of my comfort zone. I picked up my paintbrush over a year ago to try illustrating a children’s book I wrote. This lark turned into one of the most fun projects I’ve ever worked on before. That initial book, Booster the Rooster Who Couldn’t Tell Time, led to a second children’s book that I just published. I illustrated this second book, The ABCs of Animals and Emotions, too. When I finished this second book, I decided to hunt for a class to improve my painting skills.

I came across an acrylic painting program that is taught online that works perfectly for my crazy schedule. I hemmed and hawed signing up and realized my hesitance was based on my fear and lack of confidence. I looked at what other students were painting before I signed up and immediately felt so inferior. I felt completely out of my league. I almost talked myself out of signing up. That is how strong my lizard brain was talking to me! But once I realized that was my fear brain guiding me, I did the opposite and signed up!

So what made me really change my mind?

First, I thought, what do I care what others think of my painting skills? I don’t even know them!

Second, Because I feel so inferior, then I really do need instruction to teach me more skills and allow my confidence to grow. It is when you don’t let your vulnerability stop you from doing things that confidence has a chance to grow. Is confidence going to grow when you aren’t putting yourself out there? Or does it happen because you DO put yourself out there for others to see?

Third, What am I hoping for by waiting? Am I going to get better faster by myself and keep repeating bad habits that I’m not even aware of? Am I going to learn new ways of seeing things all by myself or will I learn faster from the eyes of an artist that has been doing it a long time?

Fourth, What a fun way to learn more about myself and those things that push my buttons and make me feel vulnerable than playing with paints! Growing yourself doesn’t have to be painful all the time. It can actually be fun!

The photo below is my first assignment. Is it wall worthy? Heck no! Do I feel uncomfortable sharing this with you? Heck ya! But part of coaching people is showing them that we all are not very good when we are working on a new skill. Whether it is changing a habit that is no longer serving us or learning how to paint with improved skills, we don’t get it all figured out the first time we try. But sometimes those first efforts are where we learn the most so I feel it is important to share the beginning parts of learning about myself by using art and painting and not wait until I have a lot more figured out. This is the beginning of a very fun adventure so stay tuned in for more if you’d like to see what grows from it. Or better yet, join me in starting your own activity and share what you learn as you go!!!!

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