I have struggled with procrastination when it comes to making art and using my time towards creative pursuits. I've spent a solid 4 years doing very little to nothing artistically and I know the exact reason why; I've struggled with extremely low self-esteem and social anxiety.
From a young age, I was told that I had some artistic ability but I never believed it. I didn't draw or create artworks that looked photo realistic and my artwork didn't look like it was "suppose" to look like (whatever that means) and because of that I never believed that I was an artist or that I had "good" artistic ability. Even so, there must have been an ounce that truly wanted to believe and wanted to kindle that artistic side, because with all that self-doubt I still pursued a degree in art. Sadly, my college years were spent procrastinating on projects and waiting until the last minute. Why? Unfortunately, I had this horribly persistent dialogue that said things like,"You suck" "You're not an artist","I can't do this"and "I'm not good enough". This dialogue didn't just affect me artistically, it flooded my life and included many self-deprecating thoughts that enjoyed feeding my social anxiety and depression.
Luckily there was a pinhole size hint of light in that all consuming darkness that wanted to shine bright and I wanted it to grow and shine brightly in my life. So, what did I do? I decided to leave my comfort zone and study abroad and as cliche as it sounds it truly changed me and was the start of this journey that I've been on. About two years after graduation, I moved overseas for three years and through the high highs and deeply low lows I grew in ways that I would have never been able to grow had I not taken that leap of faith. Yet, my art was still something that I procrastinated and rarely did in those three years. There were many attempts to kindle it but it never lasted very long because even though the negative dialogue was muffled it was still there.
Fast forward to the present. I have returned from my time abroad and in the three months since returning I've had a pivotal moment where my internal dialogue changed. I had a true heart-to-heart talk with myself and it was something like this: "You've been so blind to the fact that you are artistically capable! Because you had to demonstrate your abilities in order to get into an art program and graduate! UGH!!
So here I am, writing this personal essay about the activity that I procrastinate and why. I've come to realize that my procrastination was due to my low self-esteem and low self-worth, and knowing that fact and knowing that I am and have been slowly overcoming it makes me extremely happy.
In the past month, I've established a routine for myself and have begun to take steps towards managing my time and focusing more on meaningful and purposeful pursuits. The exciting thing is that after finishing this class I realized that I have already begun to take the steps towards overcoming my procrastination and it makes me feel really good.