When was the last time someone told you “YOU ROCK!”? No matter when it was … I am here to tell you now that you DO! I think we constantly need to be reminded … mostly by ourselves and if possible it is great to hear it from the outside too. The 2 real questions are: 1) Do you know your value? (If you made a funny, unbelieving face when I told you above that you rocked then maybe not … LOL), 2) Do you let others know your value so that it gets mirrored back to you?
As Artists, we have a lot of value to offer others and the world. Mostly we do not see all of our values and even if we do, unfortunately, we are not necessarily trained in how to convey that value to others. Often we have been trained in the exact opposite so that expressing our value is associated with bragging, boasting or being downright narcissistic.
As I pointed at already, it could be true that our value escapes us completely. We may have heard others doubt our value enough that we have forgotten how valuable our gifts are. We also have made up some pretty ugly stories about ourselves, that we then believed, that explains away our real value.
The great news is that conveying your value to others will allow you to expand your view of yourself as a person and an Artist and your opportunities along with it. When we convey our value to others they will respond back by treating us as someone with those values and then we get to see it from the outside pointing back in. It creates a great circle of empowerment.
What if you really knew that knowing and expressing your value is the difference between you being a very successful Artist (whatever that is to you) or not?
IF that was true then would you want to do some work on getting clear about your value first? You can start this by listing, for yourself, all your great qualities, things you are experienced at, things you do well, etc. Look beyond the surface. You not only have skills at various Artistic tasks and mediums but skills with thinking processes, people, situations, etc.
Just to give you a little more to consider … maybe you have some of these creative skills that you haven’t thought of as valuable:
- Organizing or Arranging things in creative ways
- Brainstorming new ideas
- Coming up with anything new & out of the box (procedures, visions, processes, displays, scripts, etc.)
- Creating things
- Designing things
- Developing things
- Problem Solving
- Non-verbal and/or verbal communications
- Collaboration and/or being independent
- Expressing yourself
If you get stuck, then ask some people who are close to you to tell you what value you add to their lives. Add anything they say to your list. Ask people from different areas of your life, like your family, your peers, your friends and other Artists you know.
Finally, list any “reasons” you WOULDN’T share the great things about yourself with others. For example, you have always been told to be humble, you don’t want to be thought of as a bragger or narcissistic, you think everyone does or is like that so it isn’t so special or you think people should just notice it vs. you having to share it with them.
If you do the work above, you now have a list of the things of value you bring to situations, others and the world. More than likely all of those “reasons” you saw have kept you quiet about them.
Here is the secret: people are not mind readers, for the most part. It is as if we are all walking around looking for various values in people at work, in clients, in our organizations, in our families, in Art circles, etc. and in the quest for that we often skip right over the people who have them.
We make up stories about people and think we know everything about the people around us and rarely discover new things about them because we think we already know everything. Because of this IF YOU AREN’T LETTING PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOUR VALUE THEY MAY NEVER RECOGNIZE IT.
So it is time to speak UP! No need to be obnoxious or narcissistic. Toot your own horn, though. It can all be conveyed in a very simple and factual way. You can learn to say “I can do that!” or “I am experienced at that!” the next time someone is looking for a value you have. Get it out in the world.
You can pipe up and say, “I have an eye for that” when someone needs the right person to do or handle something visual. You can look people straight in the eye and say, “I am great with brainstorming and creating new concepts” next time there is a need for that.
In Social Media share your ability to hear and see things differently than others. Face it, as an Artist you have some amazing skills and talents that most other people only dream of having.
At the next networking meeting beside telling everyone that you are an Artist let them know the things you are GREAT at vs leaving them guessing at what kind of artist you are and what you can really do well. Start looking for opportunities to share your expertise, your value, and your great qualities with others – with the intention of making a difference vs. bragging.
When your intention is to bring up your value in order to make a difference with people, situations and things you will be heard in a new way. Your unique qualities are wanted and needed in the world. Right now there are people around you who would really appreciate what you have to offer. What is really selfish is to have all of the value you could bring to the table and keep it to yourself.
Will you be rewarded for your value? YES! The world appreciates and gives back to those who make their value known and serve others with it. You owe it to others and to yourself to share your value. Start watching what happens when you acknowledge and share your value … people will begin to see and hear it sooner than you think.
The best part is that others around you, led by you, will begin to see their unique value too. Who knows, they may be keeping a secret about some quality or value that they have that you have been looking for.
I have this crazy vision of Artists being completely freed up around how valuable they are. I would looooove to hear the kind of results you begin to produce or have produced when you let go of your “reasons” for keeping your values to yourself and start sharing with others. Feel free to share with us out here. I/we want to hear from YOU.
I wish to know if I “rock”…
John …. YOU ROCK!!!! And I your art does too (I took the liberty of going to your website & wandering around for a while …beautiful work)!!! Hopefully you know your value … if not then please go discover it 🙂
Thanks Kym for this very valuable article! I think it is a delicate thing, as art often comes from a very personal place and makes artists all the more vulnerable putting themselves out there, then again, why not. I absolutely agree. But the art world can be harsh, very judgmental and tough. It requires confidence, willpower, passion and dedication to keep putting yourself out there, knowing you will get many knocks along the way. Thanks for your very positive and inspirational attitude, one to remind oneself of on a regular basis indeed, because it is so true!
Thank you so much, Els. It does require a LOT to get out into the world & the Art World over & over again. That is one of the BIG reasons for making sure that we stay present to our own value … so we can center ourSELF around that when the outside world comes around and knocks around with us! Thank you for continuing to create in spite of it all 🙂 (Sorry for delayed response … I saw you in Linkedin but missed you here somehow! )