Self-Sabotage & the Artist

When you are at point in your journey that you have a form of expression that pleases you and you have a body of work that you want to share effectively with the world, your focus may turn to connecting to the world. Connecting to the world can be a form of creative expression.

Once you understand your needs as an artist, and you have identified and resolved the conflicts that arise in honoring the truth of your artist self, you are able to care for your creative core. This inner awareness and self care needs to be established before you can expect to be an effective advocate for yourself in the world. If you don’t know how to take care of your artist self, then how can that artist self engage in the world in open and confident manner?

I believe 2 of your greatest tools to help you connect to the world are honesty and self awareness. With self awareness you learn about dynamics that have been restricting your choices.

I call this place where you connect to the world the place of field relations, rather than public relations. Because for the artist, the fields of awareness tend to be how the artist functions.

The place of betweenness – the relational – is the place of the artist’s authentic promotion, the place between you and another. In order to function effectively in this place of the relational, you need to be aware of what choices you are making, consciously or not, to invite or discourage others from finding you.

One way for a sensitive to survive in this world is to focus inwards at the expense of the outside world. This focus inwards allows the sensitive to find and define him or herself. Either consciously, or by default, the artist may become unable to consider others in an effective manner. The focus needed to hear his or her own inner voice, causes the relational field to be impaired.

This protective mechanism may have served to help you develop your gifts, but at the point that you want to effectively share your work with others, you need to have a deep enough engagement with your own process and have an established relationship to your work so that you can begin to focus on how to connect.

You have a personal field -imagine a circle around you. In it is what you create, how you access it, how you care for your creative self, how you value your self, how you relate to your critic- to name a few things.

Then, if you want to imagine ever increasing circles or ripples around you – these are the outside rings of relationship. These may be intimate relationships, family, children, how you relate to news, culture, your home, your neighborhood, food, politics and the world.

For most artists, how one engages with the world outside of one’s creative place can be very confused and unsatisfying. Often the outside world swamps the sanctuary of the creative self. Thus, when it comes to actively choosing to connect with the world in a successful manner, it is understandable that there maybe self sabotage at work.

Conflict about the “going out” can manifest as:

  • Fear
  • Overwhelm
  • Vulnerability
  • Conflict about self-promotion
  • Ambivalence
  • Judgment of how one “should be”


Fear Or Denial of these dynamics can lead to:

  • Lack of self honesty
  • Inability to follow through on commitments
  • Panic and confusion
  • Avoidance
  • Lack of clarity and vagueness –
  • Sloppiness
  • Inconsistency
  • Lack of consideration for others.

Until the core conflicts are addressed, the artist can chronically undermine all attempts to connect effectively with the world.