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15 Things Only Truly Artistic People Would Understand

15 Things Only Truly Artistic People Would Understand

Artistic people are a special group of people whose creative capabilities are engrossing and laced with such gentleness that ordinary people have to take notice. Their ability to coax the miraculous out of the mundane is not only exciting, but also frequently paradoxical.

Distinguished professor of psychology and management, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains it best in his seminal book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People:

“I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.”

That’s right; each of them is a multitude. Here are 15 things only truly artistic people would understand drawn largely from Mihaly’s Creativity:

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1. They get inspired at the least expected moment

Artistic people know they can’t decide when their next big idea will come. Sure they can have many great ideas, but they really don’t know when their greatest idea will come. It just will, in the least expected way, at the least expected moment.

2. They are passionate about their work, but can also be extremely objective about it as well

Artistic people are passionate about their work, but also objective and detached from it in such a way that they can accept criticism and response. That happens because they know without being objective art lacks credibility and is not very good.

3. They are humble, and yet proud and confident

Artistic people are always willing to learn and grow their skills no matter how good they are. Meeting them, you will be struck by their humility and self-depreciation. But amidst this humility and modest demeanor is deep seated pride and confidence in their ideas and creations.

4. They are here, but they’re not

Artistic people are dreamers. They alternate between fantasy and reality with considerable ease. When you’re conversing with them, you’ll get the feeling that they are present and at the same time they’re not. That’s because they can fly away with their mind at any given moment into a world that is different from the present, and yet rooted in the present reality.

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5. They tend to be both extroverted and introverted

Artistic people seem to exhibit both traits simultaneously. They can be a lone for long spells of time creating and also be in the thick of crowds showcasing their work. Other times they simple sit quietly on the sidelines observing and absorbing the passing show.

6. They are conservative and disruptive at the same time

Artistic people have internalized specific aspects of culture, so much so that they can breach or preserve both traditional and modern norms at will in their creative expressions. That’s the reason why artists can be so disruptive and unnerving in society sometimes.

7. They follow their heart even when their mind tells them otherwise

Artistic people tend to take more risks and worry less about problems than the average person. They understand a thousand fails can bring a million satisfactions. And so they never give up on their art or creative ideas. They stick to them no matter what others or even their own minds tell them.

8. They embrace their genius even if others don’t

Even when others misunderstand their art, artistic people stick to it and remain true to themselves without compromise. They treasure their creations and would rather be authentic than popular.

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9. They live on the edge of joy and depression

Because artistic people feel so deeply about their work, they can quickly fall from joy to sadness and even depression in an instant. They are sensitive human beings whose delicate hearts, while the source of their brilliance, is also the source of their suffering and emotional anguish.

10. They draw inspiration from their surroundings

Artistic people can seize moments or events in their surroundings and create something brilliant in an unusual way, including moments of internal and or external troubles. As Mihay says, “creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals.”

11. They have immense physical energy and grit, but they’re also subdued and laid back

This is evident in the way artistic people work. They display remarkable physical energy and can work long hours behind closed doors with great zeal and enthusiasm. At the same time, they project an unmistakable aura of calmness and freshness while working that is quite awe inspiring.

12. They are free spirited and yet quite disciplined

Artistic people are so free spirited that they often come across as carefree, playful and even irresponsible. But that “carefree playfulness” helps unshackle their creativity, while their dogged self-discipline and perseverance in their art drives them on when less driven individuals would quit.

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13. They don’t subscribe to strict gender role stereotyping of masculinity and femininity

For some strange reason, the most creative and talented male artists are usually more sensitive and less aggressive than their non-artistic male peers, while the most creative and talented female artists are often more dominant and tough than their non-artistic female peers.

14. They are smart and naïve at the same time

This tendency is heightened by their hunger for originality in picking and generating unusual associations of ideas, and brilliant fluency in executing those ideas and switching from one perspective to another. This dimension of their personality is what makes artistic people equally smart and naïve.

15. They battle Resistance every day

Artistic people wake up each morning fully aware that they need to push themselves to grow. But there is always the fear, anxiety, or (as Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, calls it) Resistance that stands in the way, telling them that they can’t do it; that they don’t have what it takes. No matter how masterful an artist gets, that fear never goes away. But, truly artistic people learn to battle Resistance and subdue it day by day.

Featured photo credit: Man hand holding retro photo camera outdoor Lifestyle concept with autumn nature on background via shutterstock.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. 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. 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.

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

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 times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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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 are feeling bad that 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.

How Do You 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.

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. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, 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 in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You 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 that we may care more about. 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:

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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 will 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 of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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[2].

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 because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. 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. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

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[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    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.

    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.

    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…” as this will give 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 way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    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. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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