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7 Signs You’re A Natural Born Artist Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

7 Signs You’re A Natural Born Artist Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

You are a born artist. You know it. You feel it, even if sometimes doubt creeps into your life that you weren’t “meant to be an artist.” Let me tell you something. If you were born an artist, you will forever have the potential to be an artist. It’s up to you to be able to recognize those qualities within yourself and nurture them throughout your life. So, how do you know if you are a natural born artist? Here are 7 signs you were meant to express yourself.

1.You Enjoy The Beginning As Much As You Do The End

Do you know what our society focuses on?  Results. We want to know the Return on our Investment, the big reward, the ending that confirms we did a job well done. But the reality is, by focusing on the end you completely miss the true reward of the journey—and even more, the messiness of the beginning. A natural born artist loves the beginning (and more often than not, struggles to get to the end). Artists love diving into new projects, exploring the unknown, and take as much pleasure in approaching a blank canvas as they do stepping back and looking at the final product. Actually, there is no “ending” for artists. A finished painting or song or sculpture is just another stepping stone on the journey.

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2. You Love Appreciating Other People’s Art And Are Somewhat Hesitant To Share Your Own

The true mark of an artist is this: You love appreciating the work others create and yet you are a little nervous to show your own. It’s a common trait among those who pour their heart and soul into everything they do. A natural born artist feels compelled to connect with other likeminded people, and thoroughly enjoys hearing about someone else’s process and ideas because it fuels their own.  But when it comes time to share yours with the group—gasp! You freeze up. Well, take this as a sign of approval. If you’re scared or nervous or hesitant to show what you’ve made, it’s because it was made from the heart. That’s a good thing.

3. You Are Sensitive To Your Surroundings

Everywhere you go, you feel in your skin and bones what is happening. You can feel people’s joy, their pain, their fears and their excitement. When you are with a large group of people, you can feel the way everyone is interacting with each other. When you are by yourself, you are very in-tune with your own emotions. You love spending one-on-one time with people because it gives you the opportunity to share an intimate connection. You are sensitive in all these ways and more and that’s what fuels your art. No matter what you are feeling, you can channel it into whatever you create.

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4. You Are Your Biggest Fan And Your Own Worst Critic

Natural born artists often times get criticized for being overly confident, cocky, even narcissistic, because they love their work. They believe in what they are making and they are ambitious about putting it out into the world (even if they are slightly fearful to do so, as mentioned in #2). But with that element of self confidence there is also a high level of doubt and forceful critique. You are constantly faced with feelings of imperfection, wondering if what you are making is “good enough,” and have convinced yourself time and time again that it’s time you just give up…

5. You Always Return To Your Craft

Building off #4, a true sign of a natural born artist is someone who, no matter how hard they try or  how many times they are told to quit, they can’t. As an artist, you know deep down that regardless of whether you become a multi-million dollar mainstream success or a creative soul that no one knows except your closest group of family and friends, you always return to your craft. You pick the brush back up, you write another song, you tell another story—and no matter how much time goes by, it always feels like home. You remember why you loved your art so much in the first place.

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6. You Have Notebook After Notebook Of Ideas

An obvious sign of a natural born artist is the notebook. You have dozens of them—all over your apartment, in your bedroom at your parent’s house, and always one in your backpack. This is where you jot down notes of short stories you want to write, inventions you wish someone would invent, lists of songs you love, all the places you want to travel to and long rants against the barista who didn’t get your order right and the government for making you pay taxes. Your notebook is your safe haven and it’s filled with all the scraps of your artistry in progress.

7. You Care More About Personal Expression Than You Do Acquiring Money Or Belongings

Everyone wants to be “successful” in their own way—and to a natural born artist, that means having your voice heard by the world. You would rather be poor doing what you love than wealthy showing up to a soul-sucking cubicle every day. You care less about brand new clothes and more about brand new paint brushes or guitar strings. You spend your money on your art. You invest in yourself. You find coffee shops and art galleries where you can practice in front of an audience, and having someone give you feedback on what you’ve made is worth more to you than any paycheck (although you still have to eat, so you like that too).  The point is, you know your purpose, and that purpose is to share who you are through your creativity.

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Featured photo credit: Chamille White via shutterstock.com

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Nicolas Cole

Author, Writer, Columnist, Ghostwriter

7 Signs You’re A Natural Born Artist Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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