Hi everyone and welcome back to another week on the Chrissie Murphy Designs Blog. This week we’re back into my blog post series on How to Develop a Conqueror’s Mindset as an Artist. It’s funny, but of all three parts I’ve completed so far, this is the one that I’ve encountered the most Resistance on.
It goes without saying that a Conqueror is going to face a battle. Without a battle, there’s nothing to conquer, so let me assure you, at some point in your artistic life, a battle is going to come… if not today, then tomorrow, it’s gonna happen.
In my last post, which was Part 2 of How to Develop a Conqueror’s Mindset as an Artist, I asked you to reflect on a series of questions that were designed to help you define your hopes, aspirations and the deep desires of your heart as an Artist. These will be meaningful things, important and significant goals that are unique to you and your creative giftings. Now that you have identified those things for yourself, let me be the one to tell you that you’re going to have to battle to achieve them. I know, I know… it sucks hey.
Know your Enemy
Before any Army heads into battle, they do all they can to know and understand the enemy. This is exactly what you’re going to be focusing for Part 3 of this series, today you’re going to get to know the Enemy. So, like any good soldier you begin to understand the enemy by building Intel. You study the way the enemy moves, you study its strategies, you learn where it’s located and you determine how big the force is you’re going to be fighting.
Ephesians 6:12 says “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
This is the enemy we face, and as an Artist I call it Resistance. I see Resistance as a force. It is a force that works against you and let me tell you, it’s also a thief and a destroyer. It’s not a flesh-and-blood enemy, but an unseen enemy, that’s here to steal your joy and destroy your fulfillment as a creative child of God. It wants to shut down the light that’s within you.
The Struggle is Real…
So many artists that I’ve talked to are struggling to break through and achieve some of the hopes, aspirations and desires they have on their heart. These artists are stuck. They know they want more, they can visualise it, even taste it, but Resistance is working against them. You could say that in some ways, they are stumbling around in a dark room, trying to find that sliver of light from under a door, that’s going to be able to show them the way forward or the way out.
You see, this is exactly where Resistance wants you to be, stumbling around in the darkness. It’s where it does it’s best work. Here are a few of the most common strategies Resistance uses in battle.
This is the one where you’re made to believe you don’t really know what you’re doing, so you must be an imposter. Some of the line’s the enemy brings out to fight with, sound a bit like this:
“What gives you the right to speak or teach about that?”
“Do you really think you’re an “authority” on that kind of thing?”
“Remember when you tried last time, you really didn’t know what you were doing?”
“Someone who actually has a clue is going to see right through you”
The Perfection Lie
This where Resistance lures you into thinking that if you have everything under control, if you control conditions enough, you will be able produce something that’s perfect. This is such an effective manoeuvre, because it often causes you to believe that when the perfect piece of art is created, you’ll finally be discovered or you’ll finally get into that gallery or you’ll finally begin making real money (for example). The truth is you never truly have control of anything and perfection is unattainable.
I hate to be the one to break it to ya. Resistance is deceiving you, it strokes your ego telling you perfection is possible. But all Resistance is really doing, is setting you up for a great disappointment. Those disappointments have claimed many an artist over the years. There are stories out there of artists who have given up creating because they believed they weren’t good enough because they didn’t produce that perfect piece of art. Don’t let that be you!
Hey Look! It’s a Squirrel
Another highly effective move Resistance uses is distraction. You can set out a to-do list, jot down everything you need to get done in the day, and Resistance will put distractions in the way that prevent you from achieving your goals. It can also be known as “procrastination”, it’s that uncanny way of ensuring something always crops up so that you can’t get to creating. Resistance wins the day.
This is it! This is the signature move of Resistance. You might as well call it the h-bomb! The longer it keeps you here, blocked from any desire to create or unable to find any inspiration to get started creating, the more likely it is Resistance will win the battle. This manoeuvre has worked time and time again, that’s why Resistance uses it, it knows it can take you out with Artists Block.
We’re really getting to know the enemy here. I hope you’re seeing how much Resistance is out to win. Remember, it’s a thief and a destroyer, bent on shutting down that light within you. Your creativity is a gift from the Creator Himself. The Creator created you and you are made in His image, therefore you are a creator.
And if you are made in His image, you also carry the light because 1 John 1:5 says, “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”
If God is light, and we are made in His image, the Light is within us too. Resistance works hard to ensure that the light within you doesn’t shine, it works hard to keep you in darkness.
It’s Time for a Spiritual Check Up
Just stop and think how you feel spiritually when you consistently don’t get things done that need to be done? How do you feel spiritually when you can’t achieve what you want to achieve as an artist? How do you feel spiritually when another hope or aspiration falls to the floor? Or what about when you’re made to believe you’re an imposter? Or when you don’t measure up to the standard of perfection you believed you could attain?
You see? This is how Resistance works! These are not good things that are happening to you spiritually. It is not going to build up your sense of joy or fulfillment, instead it’s going to create to a sense of depression and condemnation within you. It’s dark and heavy, not light! These sensations are the results of a force that’s been working hard to steal your joy, destroy your sense of fulfillment and shut down the light within you.
A Conqueror’s Mindset expects Victory!
By now though you should be starting to know and understand the enemy. You should be more aware of how Resistance fights, so you can begin to fight back. When you develop a conqueror’s mindset, you inherit an attitude that expects victory. You begin to have faith for victory, you begin to see that obstacles that are in your way are put there by Resistance. They can be overcome, you can go around them, they might even slow you down for a little while, but they don’t stop you.
Developing a Conqueror’s Mindset is the sliver of light you’ve been seeking in that dark room.
Just like the last two posts in this series, there is a free worksheet for this week’s post. Your homework this week is to spy on the enemy. Use whatever means necessary to do this, you want to be taking notes, you want to sit quietly and observe how Resistance is working in your life as an Artist. Slow down, pay attention to it. Wise up to the outworkings of the enemy girlfriend! By knowing how Resistance works, you stand a much greater chance of defeating it.
In the meantime, let me tell you a little secret…. If you want the heads up on things before the rest of the world, if you’re after the latest news, shop discounts and the odd freebie or two, you’ve gotta sign up to my email list.
Until then, connect with the Creator, let Him inspire you. His magnificence and beauty is everywhere, even in art and craft.