By Jill Place, The Acting Intuitive
Starving Artist Mindset = Career Suicide
I must confess. I’ve been struggling with a starving artist mindset my whole life. Probably because I was encouraged to be a painter by my mother, had an art teacher as a mentor by the time I was 12, and went to a gifted program at prestigious Pratt Institute in high school. I also won a writing contest and studied voice from the age of 8.
From an early age, I also learned that being an artist was about “am I good enough”, “will they want me”, and “can I make a life in art”. I learned early . . . and don’t know where or when . . . that my art was something I did for my heart and making a living was another thing entirely.
I have no idea at this point of the origin of this belief. My parents didn’t get me, and yet they mostly encouraged my artistic expression. They weren’t thrilled that I eventually settled upon acting though; I can still hear them shrilly sucking in their breaths every time someone asked me what I was majoring in in college.
I know, however, that there have been tons of artists whose parents didn’t understand their career choice. But they did it anyway. So that’s not it. I think it all comes down to getting into the right mindset. I know tons of stories, ones I’ve witnessed firsthand and others I’ve read about. They range from the single-mindedness of Debra Winger, who I actually knew in her pre-Urban Cowboy waitress days, to Jim Carrey, who wrote himself an imaginary multi-million-dollar check for a movie payday, set a deadline to cash it, and got the real one within days of his deadline
You’ve got to have this kind of fierce success mindset because, even if you have the right marketing strategy and loads of talent, you won’t manifest a thriving career without it. If you believe in manifesting, you know that you can’t tell the Universe “I want that big part” while you’re also thinking “I’m afraid” or “I don’t deserve it”. You need to send a clear message. Otherwise, the Universe gets confused. And won’t give you what you want as a result.
I think the first step in changing your mindset is exploring your current beliefs. We’re go to do a lot of writing and some relaxation and guided imagery, so get comfy in what you normally wear for class and have your journal and favorite pen handy nearby.
So I’m setting an intention right now, and doing the same for myself, to give you the tools to spot your starving artist mindset by:
1. Exploring your starving artist story
I invite you to relax in whatever way you normally do. If you don’t have a relaxation practice, just close your eyes and visualize your breath as going all the way down to your toes, then hold it for a couple of beats, then breathe out. Repeat a few times. Then ask yourself to see the earliest time when you got the message that you didn’t deserve to make money from your art. Breathe and keep asking the Universe to send you a picture of this time. When you see or feel it, experience it using all your senses. Feel the clothes you were wearing, what sounds you hear, what you smell, see, touch, and even taste. One of my Clarity clients got the message that she could never go very high by an incident with a well-meaning aunt who cautioned her not to go into the attic in her childhood house. Whatever you experience, just dwell on it a bit sensually.
2. Recognizing how your story sabotages you today
Once recognize your core belief, take it a little further by seeing your story fast-forward into present day. What incidents arise, like my Clarity client, around never going too high? She believed that she, in present day, wasn’t good at networking or talking to people who could potentially hire her. She, deep down, harbored the belief that others were better than her even though she had done some really good work in major movies. Whatever you see, dwell on it sensorially.
Spend as much time as you’d like with this process. Then open your eyes and write down what you saw for future reference. Next week, well put some closure on your starving artist story.
Leave your comments about Spot YOUR Starving Artist Mindset Below
Share what you discovered in the process. Sometimes what you saw doesn’t make sense right away. So if you need some help interpreting what you saw, please ask me.