If you break free of your own lies, you can finally make your masterpiece

When you procrastinate on making your art, you lie to yourself. You’re wired to want to put forth minimal effort. Your body doesn’t want to do the work.

At the same time, we all want to see ourselves in a positive light. If we think we’re lazy, that doesn’t make us feel good. So, we can avoid making our art by telling ourselves lies like this:

  • I haven’t started writing my book yet. I still need to do more research.
  • I’ll get started after I’ve made some coffee. Oh, now I’ll check my email. Oh! EXPRESS® just sent me a coupon. I have to act now!
  • I’m set up to fail because [insert something about your life, your situation, or yourself that you can’t change.]
  • Some thing that’s going on in the news is super important. It’s more important to pay attention to that (while making others rich) than it is to bring my work into the world.

Try this exercise. Next time you think about making your art, but don’t do it, pretend for a moment—just pretend—that you’re really lying to yourself. What’s the lie that you would be telling?

  • I don’t need to do more research. I’m just telling myself that so I won’t feel bad about putting off the work. The sooner I act, the more quickly I’ll learn.
  • I don’t have to check my email. I really just want to distract myself because doing the work will be painful and I’m afraid of failing. I’ll deflect that distraction and take action.
  • I’m tempted to blame others, or my situation, because it feels better than taking ownership over my own outcome. Even if something holds me back, I still have to live with my own success or failure.
  • I can’t stop reading the news because it reinforces my views, which makes me feel like I’m smarter than others. If I instead put that energy toward putting good things into the world, I’d have a bigger impact.

None of these thoughts are necessarily true. Just pretend that you’re lying to yourself, and see what you find.

Now, ask yourself, is it possible you’re actually telling yourself these lies? Is admitting it, and moving on to truly make your art, more appealing than living in your own deception? The world will be better off if you make your artistic dreams a reality.

Getting Art Done will break down the lies that keep you from making your art real. Sign up to learn when it comes out.