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NOTE: Expressive language often in use.


Resolutions & The Competetive Edge

Every year we make resolutions and promises to change, begin new endeavors, and end old ways. And every year many of us fail. Why is that? Is it because we don't really want to get fit or gain mental clarity or eat well or actually succeed in business? Of course not! We want all those things and more, but they take work and humans don't even like to hear the word so let's redefine some things, shall we?

Work is inevitable. Anything that requires energy equates to work. Breathing is work. Are you gonna stop breathing? Walking? Talking? No. Why not bucket working out, cooking, and reading into the "necessities" pool like breathing, walking, and talking? In life, it is necessary to maintain good health, you know, the invisible kind. If we let it go, it freakin' goes. Health Gone Wild. Lemme tell ya, that isn't a path anyone wants to actually be on. Can it be avoided? You bet your ass it can! But it takes work. Redefine that so you don't hate it.

When we change our perspective to perceive work as something enjoyable, everything changes. We've been conditioned through the media to hate Monday mornings, hate work, put in as little effort as possible, and consume as much junk as we can so big industries can prosper while we work our way toward sickness. So ask yourself, is that the life you want to live? What a crappy moment, when we're forced to be honest with ourselves and face the truth of what we need to do to move forward in the right direction. After all, who the fuck likes honesty?

Not I, says most of the population. It appears as if people fear honesty. They equate it to pain. No-fucken-body likes pain. (That's not entirely true, but mostly nobody likes it.) People tend to run from pain and fear. We run from the monsters in our dreams, we run from past memories, and we run from ourselves. But should we? What happens if we don't run? What happens if we face the fear head-on and show it what's what? Well, lemme tell ya since I've been down some fearful roads...

Let's say you're faced with a challenge. You want to join a team but you need to compete to do it. Competition means you can lose and who the fuck doesn't fear rejection? Here's where you need to make a conscious and deliberate decision... Ask yourself who you are and who you want to be. Ask yourself if you'll feel better trying and risking rejection, or if you'd prefer living with the feeling that you let yourself down for the rest of your life as if that has no consequences! The feeling of rejection only lasts for a relative moment. Absorb it, then let it go and try again. Are you the type of person to get knocked down by one rejection? No fucken way!

Tomorrow | digital painting | ANA333
Tomorrow | digital painting | ANA333

In competitions, try to recognize why you didn't win, or why you did, since we could learn from both outcomes. When I used to apply to art competitions, sometimes I'd get accepted, but most times I didn't. In the beginning, I thought it was because I wasn't good enough. Years later, when I was curating an exhibition I was in a position to select the artwork for the show. One of the works was exceptional but I had to reject it because it didn't fit with the rest of the work. When I looked back on the exhibitions in which my work was shown, I always checked out how it tied to the rest. I remember this one time I had two out of three artworks accepted into an NYC exhibit near Washington Square Park. I wondered why not all three since they met the criteria and all were quality. At the opening, I discovered why not. The rejected sculpture didn't connect to any of the other works, and there must have been a hundred there! I also discovered why my least expected submission made it in... It found its perfect pair! It was a pyramid constructed of twine. Would you believe it, another artist had made a proportionate sphere! Since there was connective tissue, it belonged. So, you see, sometimes it's circumstantial; perhaps serendipitous. If either one of us hadn't submitted those specific works, neither the pyramid nor the sphere would have been accepted. On the flip side, my bronze piece didn't connect to anything either, but who the fuck turns down bronze, lol. Sometimes it works like that, too. Something stands so strongly on its own that it needs nothing else to support it.

There's a lot to think about when it comes to overcoming the fear of rejection. Most often, people think they're inadequate in some way, but more often than not, that's not true at all. Don't let rejection stop you from trying again. Don't let it plant seeds of doubt in you. You must learn how to trust yourself so that you don't need someone else's approval. Accept that things are circumstantial and that you may have landed in the wrong place. So freakin' what?! There are a million other places to try! The trick is to keep trying. If you give up, you train your mind to think you're not worth it. It lowers your self-esteem. It damages you. Stop that!

Be honest with yourself when assessing your abilities. We've gone wrong in society by teaching people not to compare and that discussion requires further explanation. It's true, don't compare yourself to others, only to your yesterday's self. 100%. Because when you're not in competition it is futile to compare. However, when you are competing you're no longer playing solitaire. Now you're racing against Michael Phelps. You mean to tell me that Olympians are not also looking at their competition? Get real, peeps. If you want to get anywhere in life, you've got to learn how to trust yourself, when to persist and when to gracefully bow out, your comparative skill level so you understand where you belong and where you should be competing, and how to overcome fear. If you don't develop these skills, how far do you realistically think you'll get?

Could you believe that all ties back to New Year's resolutions? When we resolve to eat healthier or quit smoking or whatever, we damn well better hold up our end of the bargain with ourselves because if we don't there's too high a price to pay for that failure. We're far better off not making false promises to ourselves at all than failing there. But if we do follow through, we teach our minds that we are worthy, we are resilient, we mean to succeed, and we are honest. Our minds need to believe that. Without believing in ourselves, resolutions are useless; harmful even. Without believing in ourselves nothing is possible. By believing in yourself, anything becomes possible!

This exciting upcoming 2023, may you find your way to an honest relationship with yourself, to good health and good fortune, and to a healthy sprinkle of joy! Elevate!

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