Create Your Own Masterpiece: 3 Simple Ways to Achieve a Self-Aware Mindset

How often do you listen to the self-doubter, complainer, fear mongerer and the critic within? They make a mess, they’re loud, and distracting.

Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t use these self-centered “opinions” or thoughts when trying to create your own masterpiece? Yes, you are the masterpiece.

What if you thought of yourself as the ultimate masterpiece?

You would not add negative elements, ugly colors, or hateful messages to that piece of jewelry, music, poem, painting, or pot. But so often we think nothing of allowing these elements to become part of who we are, how we think and ultimately how we treat others.

What if you just said no, or better yet, what if you decided to commit to things in a bigger way as either a “heck yes” or a “heck no”!

It is easy. You make the decision. It’s a mindset. Everything is a mindset.

  1. Play from the heart — Serve from the heart!

    Approach each task in your life, in your work, in your relationship by first asking yourself:

    • how can I best serve this piece of work, this person, this relationship
    • how can I show how much fun this is and how much I love them — yes love!

    With this attitude your self-aware mindset tells you to go for it, that it's possible, that you are capable, and that you’ve got nothing to fear. It’s your heart’s voice.

    This is because your attitude is not coming from a self-centered mindset. Do you see the difference? The difference between being self-aware and self-centered is about how you think and view the world. Being self-centered disconnects you from others, creates barriers and obstacles. Self-awareness comes from service and love through the mere act of thinking about how you can make a difference to others.

    It is the voice that encourages us to try something new, to try that technique, to solder that joint, paint that canvas, or to go for it and invest in yourself!

    Ultimately you create for others; for their enjoyment, for their benefit, etc. If you don’t, this may be why you are not yet truly successful.

    A self-aware mindset is your true north, your true voice. Without this key ingredient, success will be impossible.

  2. Practice Makes Perfect

    This is where habit comes in and hard work! Postive thinking alone won’t account for all of your success. Success is also a result of practice which becomes habit. This results in mastery and an essential part of the fabric of the self-aware mindset.

    You need to practice sawing out that metal, or throwing that pot, or painting to achieve depth… with consistency… until you can master it. Make it important enough to set aside time to practice that technique.

    Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, researched successful people in diverse fields and consulted with experts, and 10,000 hours or a decade was the tipping point before they were seen as significant successes.

    The sooner you learn to make it a habit and you put in the hours, the sooner you become a master.

  3. Be Committed but Not Attached

    Once you’ve mastered that technique, and your ready to present it to the world, you must be committed but not attached.

    What does that really mean? Through a self-aware mindset, you realize that some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting (SW, SW, SW, SW).

    You go out, shower them with love, and present the work that you created with love. You are committed to sharing it with the world. However, if at that show they don’t buy, you are not attached to that result… to the sale… in deciding your self worth.

    You instead step back and ask yourself what could have been different, what marketing could have helped me, what sales technique, placement in the show, etc. A self-aware minds doesn’t begin to doubt whether they are good enough, nice enough, or smart enough.

    Being self-aware we know that our bodies are more attune to feel pain and hurt more than joy and pleasure. It’s a defense mechanism. So it is much easier to go right to the negative feeling or place, rather than focus on the positive.

    Being self-aware and proactively training your thoughts will create the ultimate masterpiece… YOU!

Don't forget to leave a comment and get entered to win a F*R*E*E give-away from Whole Lotta Whimsy! Drawing is March 31st, 2012!

35 Responses to Create Your Own Masterpiece: 3 Simple Ways to Achieve a Self-Aware Mindset

  1. The whole artical spoke to me, but the last line contained of something I never thought of before. The fact that we are geared to pain as something we remember more. The positive is harder to matain because of this. Very good artical, gave much food for thought.

  2. Great advice! To commit to practicing is a huge step – now if we could all get those nasty little distractions out of the way . . .

  3. Thank you Tonya for this great artical. It really speaks to a right understanding of our thoughts and how they can impact us and our creative process.

  4. I'm not sure how but if feels as though you have been in my mind! Great advice and much to think about.

  5. What a great article. My inner critic is so loud, I have to wear earplugs! Thanks for the wonderful advice.

  6. Interesting thoughts.. for a person like me, I am very critical of my work to the point that I think I am lacking in progression because of it. When I was going to school for art, I didn't have that problem, but now self-doubt is creating alot of problems with motivation. This article was helpful for sure! Thank you!

    • Jael,

      When you were in school, could it be that you were creating purely for the joy of creating? Now you possibly are creating with expectations on what others (customers, peers) think of you and of the work.

      What if you went back to creating for the love and joy of sharing your gifts with the world? To immerse the love into every hammer mark, paint stroke, or lick of the flame. To be committed but not attached to the outcome.

      Create with abandon of judgement, criticism, or fear. Set some affirmations, do a journal brain dumping of your fears, and then follow it up with written affirmations. Get it out of your head, get centered, and be self-aware.

      Could this possibly change the way your work is perceived? Could it change the way the piece is created?

      Would you then wake up with feet hitting the floor to go create? I can't wait to get to my computer in the morning to share the love with anyone who will listen. It's my gift to share with the world and I'm excited to do it.

      I'm here to support you….half the battle is becoming self-aware and present. Good for you for sharing and taking that next step!

      Wishing you creative joy and many blessings 😉

  7. Thank you for this very thoughtful and relevant article. I grew up in a home filled with negativity and was "trained" to be way too critical of myself for many years. Even after years of therapy I can still find myself letting those negative inner voices whisper to me and affect my outcomes in many areas of life. These thoughts definitely contribute to difficulty starting and finishing certain projects, etc. and I will always keep trying hard to become more self aware and kind to myself. :)

  8. Tonya: I have been "lurking" around your site for a very long time, sighing and wishing and aching. I am in my mid sixties and have spent the last 25 years struggling to fit my creative needs into the demands of single parenthood, caring for an increasingly ill and dependent (now deceased) mother (my life-long best friend!) and my own physical traumas. I often had to choose between caring for myself and caring for others. Others usually won out. Now my 30-year old son has given me a gift that is greater than he will ever know. Because of his offer of financial (and emotional) support, I just three weeks ago was able to free a HUGE chunk of time every week for my long slighted creative work. He offered this chance to me back in September, but it took me this long to defeat the negative demons and embrace his offer. I now feel the way I did after my divorce–the world is once again full of infinite possibilities. Your article couldn't have been more timely! Thank you so much for that validation. Is it possible the whole wide world awaits me? Kathleen

  9. Every morning we all should look in the mirror and tell ourselves,"Today will be a worry free, complaint free, criticizing free day! Today I will see only the positive, even ….foremost in myself! I will look for things on which to compliment others. I will smile today, more than yesterday. I will thank God for taking care of me, today."

  10. Thank you for all the continuously inspiring articles, Tonya. Practice makes perfect resonated with me tonight. I find that the "practice" is not only in making your art, but also practicing being self-aware, practice playing from the heart, serving from the heart, and practicing your "commitment to yourself". As many female artists, who wear many hats in the family, It is often so easy to put your own work, your desires last. So practice, practice, practice!

  11. "Being self-centered disconnects you from others, creates barriers and obstacles. Self-awareness comes from service and love through the mere act of thinking about how you can make a difference to others."

    Tonya, this is so very true. And the step past "merely thinking" about making a difference to actually making that difference is…love.

    Because of family and work obligations, lately I have not been able to carve out the time to create, to really work at my art. You can imagine how I miss it! What I do is take moments here and there to THINK about the work, and to work through ideas in my head — and then document them in my art notebook. But it doesn't take the place of being in my studio and working.

    So keeping that last step in mind — love — and making a difference in other's lives now, whether by art or physical service, I think will enable the art to flow once I can get back into the studio.

    Thanks for the thought.

  12. Thank you…for reminding me in so many words that these creative gifts need expression and they are gifts I am to share not ignore or doubt.

    • Oh my gosh…Sherry you hit the nail on the head.

      These are gifts given to you to share….**get out of your own way**…and don't doubt or criticize them. Just do what the Divine intended! Yes!

      Beautifully illuminated 😉

  13. Tonya,thank you so much for this article! it's not the first time i hear that, but it is so easy to forget when your'e in doubt of your capability… and it is so good when someone reminds you why you started to create and how to do it.

  14. Wow. What a good kick in the pants. I love how you've described self-aware as the opposite of self-centered. So clear, so logical, so easy (sounding, anyway!) I'm going to post this up where I can see it every day. Thanks Tonya!

  15. Thank you for writing this terrific piece Tonya. In today's difficult market, your article spoke to me on many levels. I found Malcolm Gladwell's research interesting. Making a habit out of logging my hours "to become a master," sounds like a very reasonable goal with many rewards. Since the downward shift in our economy, luxury purchases such as jewelry, have been put on hold for many. During that time, I've struggled with my own self worth as an Artist and the worse the economy gets, the harder it is for me to keep my own self worth in check.

    Putting my heart and sole into each piece of work that I create and also into the back breaking shows that I participate in, I've found myself leaving many shows without much success. I rallied when I read your statement, " if at that show they don’t buy, you are not attached to that result… to the sale… in deciding your self worth." I had a eureka moment! Wow! That is so true! Even though lousy show sales are hard to swallow, never-the-less, they do not determine MY self worth! That statement will become the mantra that I live by from now on. My self worth is not and should not be determined by the results of my shows sales! I've come to realize that I must hone in on my own niche market better than ever, because when I do that my customers are thrilled with the work that they find in my booth. I also leave my shows feeling much more fulfilled and with a little cash in my pocket. Now, that's a win – win and that's what's it's all about. Isn't it?

    In summary, Tonya, it all goes back to what you said at the very beginning of your article, "Play from the Heart – Serve from the Heart." and "how can I best serve this piece of work…." With that said, when putting my whole heart and sole into a piece of Art, the work certainly doesn't stop there! Marketing IS KEY in any business and as much as we, as Artists, hate to admit it, it's a huge part of what we do, so we better learn to master that skill as well!

    Sincerely, Beth Blanc

  16. Tonya, once again an insightful, encouraging article. I want my work to uplift others, so it can be challenging to keep believing when pieces aren't finding a "home". SO EXCITED to be doing your class Tuesday and starting to move through some of the places I've gotten stuck! Ready to roll!!

  17. Tonya, thank you! You presonally helped me set up my workshop, both with your advice and your products. My kiln and everything that goes with it came from Whole Lotta Whimsy. I "read" you a lot. You're right, we are indeed "the masterpiece!" Not only that but we're also "the point!" Everything on, around, about, above, and beyond us was all created just for us, God's greatest materspieces! When He created us in His image, He gave us the desire and ability to also create too. And if we work (as you say above) from the heart, practice, and not become attached to the things we make, we can then celebrate our own creations. 😉 Great article!

  18. I found your article very inspiring. I am now going to make myself a schedule so that
    I put in a certain amount of time in my studio, a time for meditation and a time for
    life!! I have found that I was giving all of my time to my children(who are grown) and
    very little time for working on me. I need to practice some of the issues and answers
    that you have raised. Thank you for the wonderful article.

  19. Thanks for the reminder to get our head on straight. None of us truly want to be self-centered but how many of us put being self-aware into practice? Love is so much more fun when we focus on others. Thanks again!!!!

  20. Just signed up for your Tuesday night class. I, too, have been "lurking" around your site for months. Time to put a toe in the water. No big jump…just a dabble. Never been a jumper.
    I have no trouble finding time to make jewelry. I have trouble finding time to work out how to sell it. I want to sell online. Have been "wanting" that for a long time. Can't get myself to do it. I've done shows the past few years and have been medium successful…never as successful as I am hoping to be.
    I appreciate that you keep sending ideas even though I don't put them in practice always. It feels like you believe in me more than I do. Keep believing and I'll try to catch up.

  21. I find myself at the point right now where I am defining my worth as an artist by the pieces that I create and I am afraid to put them out there to be judged by the public. I find myself only selling to my friends because they do buy it. However, it is creating more doubt because I wonder if they only buy it because they are my friends. I am trying to step off the safety platform and sell to others but it is hard. So this article was right on target on #3.

    • Kim are you signed up for my free class tonight? You might want to attend as I talk about mindset, clarity and lots more!

      It's FREE and if you can't make it tonight ….by signing up, you can also attend Sunday am at 9, PT.

      Plus you'll get the recording and be entered to win over $800 in door prizes!

      See you there!

  22. Thank you, the whole article was great, but what especially spoke to me was the playing and serving from the heart. I often stress myself about needing to make perfect pieces and when they aren't perfect I feel that I'm not good enough. Doing things with love doesn't leave a space for those fears. This is advice that I, and many others, need to hear again and again. Thank you.

  23. Your site and information is just great.. We need more Artist that have made a name for themselves to share and help others grow.

  24. Very good article. For me, the very last part resonated the most. I find that in my life- general, professional, artistic… I become "attached" versus just committed. I also see this in many others. If we could only commit to avenues and ideas, but detach ourselves from the ultimate outcome, we might spare ourselves a lot of self-doubt! I am trying to make a change in my life in being more positive- and find that the biggest area of "negativity" comes from my own self-doubt! Very enlightening…
    Tonya, you are amazing. Just got done with the webinar and between that and this, I see some positive changes coming my way!

  25. This is a very nicely written piece that reflects the biblical principle … "and the greatest of these is Love."

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