Twelve Traits of the Avoidant Artist

  1. We grew up in an atmosphere of invalidation which resulted in ambivalence about our artistic expression.
  2. In any given twenty-four hour period we find ways, consciously or unconsciously, to avoid doing that which gives us the most joy -- expressing our creativity.
  3. We have withdrawn from our art by investing ourselves in lifestyles, relationships and work activities incompatible with our artistic purpose.
  4. Our creative energy has often been blocked by despair, depression, rage, obsession, compulsive behavior and/or addiction. We block significant relationships from our lives –professional, social, love, family and friends.
  5. Self-defeating thoughts and societal myths turn in our heads: “Art is not practical” – “Artists are neurotic” – “You'll starve” – “You have to be trained” – “You are too old” – “It’s too late”—“You are a fraud.” We have accepted these as true when, in fact, they are not.
  6. We have felt intimidated by other artists' success. Jealousy, envy, fear, self-pity, perfectionism, resentment and other character defects block our faith in our creativity. We do not feel worthy of the success we achieve or desire.
  7. We often feel “not safe.” Afraid of becoming a target for criticism, harm, and rejection, we prefer to be invisible and stand forever on the edge of beginning, caught in the Avoidant Phobic Syndrome.
  8. We have thought of our art as divorced from reality, denying ourselves the right to follow our dream. We forget that artists are entitled to their right work and deserve the happiness and success that right work brings.
  9. We doubt that we can earn an income from our art. We have difficulty determining the monetary market value of our art. The concept of supporting ourselves through our art has seemed overwhelming.
  10. We deny our responsibility to fully develop and realize our talents. We fade in and out of commitment to our true self. We are afraid to set the priorities and make the necessary sacrifices to fulfill our dreams.
  11. Our time is unmanageable. We have difficulty following through on projects and frequently sabotage our efforts. We want to work at our art but don't know how. We become impatient with the process, forgetting that the results come in God's time, not ours.
  12. We have been afraid of our creative energy and have mistrusted our creative instincts. Lacking spiritual awareness, we have not seen ourselves as channels for the Infinite Creative Process.

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