Burying The Lies That Are Holding You Back

A Marketing Message from Art Publisher B. Eric Rhoads

Van Gogh, room where he diedRoom where Vincent Van Gogh died

 A few weeks ago I visited the
grave of Vincent Van Gogh, in the quaint little Northern French village of
Auvers-sur-Oise, as part of our 
annual art cruise. We were walking the same
streets and trails Van Gogh traveled and painted.

Van Gogh has become the model of the "starving
artist." How many people have told you the life of an artist can't be a
good one because it's such a struggle?

It's a lie.

Though adversity stimulates growth and
life's problems do typically make us better people and artists, the idea that
success in their lifetimes is not possible for artists is simply a lie. In that
same town, artists such as Daubigny, Pissarro, and Corot were great successes,
as were many artists around Normandy and Paris. Yet we hold on to this romantic
notion that we as artists have to struggle.


TheChurchVanGoghpainted500w

The Church Van Gogh painted

What lies are holding you back as an
artist?

We have all been held back by lies — lies
others have told us, lies we absorb, lies we tell ourselves. You can either
choose to believe them and allow them to affect you, or you can choose to prove
them wrong.

We all cling to the lies we've heard
from family members, friends, teachers, and colleagues, yet those are the very
thoughts that may be keeping you from achieving success. After all, it's a lot
easier to give yourself an excuse for failure when it's common knowledge that an
artist as great as Van Gogh had to struggle all his life.

It's time to bury the lies.


VincentandTheo-500w

Vincent and Theo buried together

Last night I watched a movie called "Seven Days in Utopia," about a golfer
who could not perform at his peak because of the voices in his head — things he'd
heard from his father, mother, teachers, and friends Those voices unknowingly interfered
with his success. The premise of one scene in the movie was to focus on truths
and to literally bury the lies. The golfer is instructed to write his epitaph, in
order to help clarify his priorities. (I do this in my Marketing Boot Camp
video
.)

What are the critical voices in your
head saying? Though we each have our own, here are some of the lies you may be
holding on to:

  • Artists never really
    make a lot of money.
  • The life of an artist
    is filled with sacrifice.
  • Artists are weird.
  • Artists are social
    misfits.
  • The artists who are
    rich had special advantages.
  • Success is about who
    you know.
  • No one wants my
    artwork, really.
  • Being successful will
    prevent me from painting what I want.
  • There is no room for
    more "greats."
  • The only successful
    artists are modern artists.
  • I have to put in my
    time and can't succeed till I'm older.
  • I'm too old to get
    good.
  • I don't deserve
    success.
  • My parents were
    right, this art thing will never amount to anything.
  • I'm an artist because
    it's what my parents wanted me to do.
  • I could never sell
    enough paintings to quit my day job.
  • There are so many
    artists who deserve success more than me.
     

What lies are rattling around in your
head? It's time to find out.

Shut yourself in a quiet room and start
writing down everything you know about yourself and your art. Take careful
notice of what creeps into your mind. Now ask yourself which of those thoughts are
lies, which thoughts are limiting you and giving you an excuse for failure. Whether
those lies come from others or are things you've told yourself, it doesn't mean
they should have power over you.

You'll find this exercise to be
cleansing, and you'll find that you've been spending a lot of your time letting
untruths govern your life.

Every single artist I know, including
some of the most successful artists in the world, have to deal with some form
of negative self-talk. The only difference between the successes and failures
is that the successes have learned to push most of it away the second they
realize it's there, and they don't let it affect their performance.

What about you? Find the lies and bury
them. It will change your career and impact your success immediately.

Eric Rhoads

PS: I battle negative thoughts every
day of my life. In fact, it's a constant battle, and sometimes the lies win.
There are things I've avoided because I tell myself I'm not the right fit, not
good enough, not smart enough, not successful enough. In fact, after the first
Plein
Air Convention
, where I presented Marketing
Boot Camp,
I told myself people
wouldn't be interested in a
Marketing
Boot Camp II
, about how to get into galleries, how to make websites sell
more product, how to build a brand, and how to use social media for success. In
fact, I almost decided not to do it. What swayed me was a call from an artist
who had followed my advice and seen her career transformed. Then and only then
did I stop listening to the lies in my head. This may seem like a silly
exercise, but do whatever it takes to remove negative "truths" that
are really lies that hold you back.

By |2013-10-30T19:37:02+00:00October 30th, 2013|Uncategorized|12 Comments

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12 Comments

  1. Susie Rachles October 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Hahaha… so nice to hear that someone as accomplished and successful as you has self doubt! I very rarely am able to get through a painting without thinking “oh man what were you thinking? “. I always feel like my past paintings were strokes of luck and now this one will show the world that I am a fraud. Seriously!
    BUT… self doubt is better than an unrealistic over inflated opinion of your skills and thinking you are at a level that you clearly have not obtained. Self doubt will keep you more humble and keep the fire lit under you to learn more and try harder. That is what I love about my art world, I have miles and miles to go on this journey and I am learning as I go. Every day is a wonder and I love the artist I meet along the way.
    Yes, self doubt is good… it keeps the fire hot!
    Susie Rachles Indiana

  2. Jerry Chautin October 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    …..The romantic “starving artist” image is exemplified by Rodolfo, a bohemian poet in the opera La Boheme….
    To read the full story about successful artists go to https://www.thecherokeescout.com/content/e-edition/2013/10/22/A07.pdf
    Jerry Chautin
    Business, real estate & financing columnist & content blogger
    Volunteer SCORE business mentor, Atlanta, Sarasota & Murphy, NC
    SBA’s 2006 national “Journalist of the Year” winner
    Follow me on http://www.Twitter.com/JerryChautin

  3. Esther J. Williams October 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Eric, thanks for a beautiful article. I have read the Seth books for the past 35 years. The thing that gets us into the most trouble is limited beliefs or false beliefs. Which in your words can also be said to tell ourselves lies. We tend to back ourselves into a corner or build fences around us. The very thing we desire is blocked by a fence of negative perception, we see through the fence but our pessimism form bars that can`t get through. The only way is to recognize those bars or negative beliefs and change them. It`s hard, I`ve been working on things for decades. The greatest relief is when we actually see our false beliefs fall off through self reasoning and life changes almost instantly. We can`t be perfect, but we all possess the power to change that which we are not satisfied with in our personal lives.
    My heart always holds a special place for Van Gogh because he was a tormented man, he was his worst enemy. He could not get the help he truly needed before it was too late. Let us not repeat his demise. If we have some latent talents, we need to let them shine.

  4. Arthur Kvarnstrom October 31, 2013 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Excellent advice and article. I come from a background of negativity and limiting beliefs. Therefore there is a lot to work to do. Fortunately, like Esther above, the Seth Books came into my life and pointed out the power our beliefs have over us. I’ve taken this as gospel and pay strict attention to my thoughts, weeding out negativity, when it becomes apparent. It is hard word, but definitely worth the effort.

  5. L.G. October 31, 2013 at 11:29 am - Reply

    That which you say will be great encouragement for lots of folks, but as I sit here praying to have enough strength to take off my pajamas and put on my clothes this morning, all I can do is look to it for a tiny ray of hope that will get me back into the studio I love. There is so very little help for folks like me who suffer from clinical depression and severe anxiety. Once I had great hopes of producing at least one great piece of art and increasing the standard of living of my family through my art. Occasionally I still find those hopes for a very short time, and the times I can actually feel that those dreams might come true are fewer and fewer.
    I love your work. You are an inspiring person to me when I am capable of being inspired. You are making great contributions to the world of art and specifically to those who just want to make art.
    Yes, there are still some “Van Goth”s out here, still looking for help and hope. Keep up your very good work.

  6. Aleada Siragusa October 31, 2013 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Vincent Van Gogh was so very unique in his approach to art, his contemporaries were successful partly because they rendered form more accurately, but it is certainly debatable that their work showed the passion which Vincent Van Gogh’s art displayed. As far as the world at large, I am sure people recognize Vincent Van Gogh’s name more frequently than any other artist in the Impressionist movement, perhaps because of the tragic life he lived but I hope they also experience the genius and mastery of a work done because of and in spite of his tortured soul. The miracle is that he believed in himself enough to continue his art through such adversity, and thank God for his brother Theo. To see his work in person and to also experience the texture which is an integral part of the experience is just wonderful. He is so much more than a starving artist and his is a success far beyond this material world. Perhaps it is our strength of spirit and life experience which is also reflected in a work of art, I hope so.

  7. Aleada Siragusa November 1, 2013 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Vincent Van Gogh was so very unique in his approach to art, his contemporaries were successful partly because they rendered form more accurately, but it is certainly debatable that their work showed the passion which Vincent Van Gogh’s art displayed. As far as the world at large, I am sure people recognize Vincent Van Gogh’s name more frequently than any other artist in the Impressionist movement, perhaps because of the tragic life he lived but I hope they also experience the genius and mastery of a work done because of and in spite of his tortured soul. The miracle is that he believed in himself enough to continue his art through such adversity, and thank God for his brother Theo. To see his work in person and to also experience the texture which is an integral part of the experience is just wonderful. He is so much more than a starving artist and his is a success far beyond this material world. Perhaps it is our strength of spirit and life experience which is also reflected in a work of art, I hope so.

  8. my website November 4, 2013 at 1:37 am - Reply

    That’s the kind of image that i really thing is super image like. If more images very real like this were out there we’d be super full of graet images in the world.

  9. Theresa Grillo Laird November 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    It’s very surprising to hear that you battle negative thoughts each day.Van Gogh was given so much negative feedback from such a young age, that it’s not surprising that he thought he didn’t deserve success. Many people offered him really good help in his artistic life but he truly was his own worst enemy.
    Negative voices are so persistent that even success on it’s own won’t shut them up. How about these for a random few.
    Only a few become great-How likely is it really that you’ll be one of them?
    You need money to make money.
    once you’re over 30 (or 40 or 50) you can forget about succeeding.
    You don’t have a clue what you’re doing- you call yourself an artist?
    How arrogant to think you can be great.
    Did you ever notice how many negative messages are exactly the same, but are just voiced from a different angle? Sneaky little devils, aren’t they?

  10. Jack Bair November 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Eric, Thanks for your choice words on a needful subject. I’m applying this as an artist and a voiceover actor. And I’m thankful for what you’ve done for the art world. Evidence you’ve paid more attention to the positives than the negatives. Cheers!
    Jack Bair, Michigan

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