A few years ago, I visited the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with an artist friend – and I went again two years ago, with another friend. Both times, I joked about submitting a piece of artwork or a photo. But I did nothing about it.
Last year, when I started painting more regularly, I thought about the Summer Exhibition again, and decided to challenge myself to enter one of my paintings.
So on 4th January, when registrations opened, I registered my details on the Royal Academy website and purchased an Entry Form for submitting artwork to be considered for the exhibition!
And then… I ran away.
Or, to be more precise, I signed up for a two-week online photography e-course. That kept me busy, and prevented me from painting. To make matters worse, the photography e-course was challenging – so I ran away from that too!
Since completing the “Shine” challenge, I’ve been getting down to some painting. I’ve got until 15th February to submit one piece of artwork – and I already have a painting in mind, if I don’t come up with anything spectacular in the next 9 days!!
I’ll let you know how I get on. 🙂
Being an introvert, I need time to mull things over
Around this time last year, I was having a bit of a wobbly about delivering a talk at the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin. I had been quite bold in proposing a topic for a talk, and then I… umm… ran away.
Is it just me who’s starting to see a pattern here?!
The problem was that, as usual, I had jumped into a potential challenge with both feet, without actually having any kind of plan of execution.
So when the deadline loomed, for sending in a summary of the talk, I panicked because I didn’t feel I had prepared enough of the talk to be able to summarise it.
For example, I hadn’t had many responses to the questionnaire I posted on Survey Monkey, to know whether I was going to get any meaningful data that could be included in the talk. So, rather than embarrass myself, I decided to drop out.
The relief I felt, when I “dropped out” was short-lived though, because – deep down – this was something I very much wanted to do.
I had simply given in to my own resistance – which is always at its peak when I’m considering doing something that’s really important to me.
So I’m glad that I was given a second chance to submit the summary – and also that I went to Berlin and delivered a talk about introverts as polyglots at the Polyglot Gathering! 🙂
“The Way You Do Anything Is The Way You Do Everything”
It’s been interesting noticing how I handle the challenges that I create for myself – because it’s also how I handle the challenges that Life throws at me. As people are constantly telling me: “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.”
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, after the initial shock I started researching complementary and alternative therapies online.
I also turned vegan for around 6 months, as a way of communicating to my body that I had received the message loud and clear, and was trying to figure out what it meant, and what to do with the information.
Turning vegan was a huge challenge for me, because I have never particularly liked vegetables – but I realise now that it was simply something to do, to distract my conscious mind from getting caught up in negative thoughts and panic.
When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the spine in 2014, and in the brain in 2016, I spent a month watching television in my pyjamas.
I mostly watched old films and re-runs of programmes I had previously enjoyed, which dealt with creative challenges such as converting an old water tower into a comfortable family home.
The three key elements were: creative, uplifting and/or funny
My sister said she was amazed that I managed to find so many programmes to watch – but that wasn’t the point. It didn’t really matter if I watched the same thing several times over.
The point was to distract my conscious mind while my unconscious / subconscious mind could figure out what to do next. And as long as what I watched was creative, uplifiting and/or funny, it sent positive messages to my unconscious mind to reinforce my self-belief and my determination to get well.
It’s a form of hypnosis. That’s all hypnosis is – distracting your conscious mind, while implanting positive messages via your unconscious mind.
So the next time I take on a creative challenge, I shan’t be surprised – or upset – if I get distracted doing something else for a while, to give myself a chance to figure out how to deal with the challenge.
As long as I don’t get too distracted… 😉
How do you handle challenges – either the creative type, or ones that Life throws at you? Are you like me, or do you have a completely different strategy?