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Three Reasons Your are Feeling Overwhelmed in your Art Business

Posted In Mindset  |  Posted By Teresa Haag  |  Posted On May 7, 2021

Overwhelm is keeping you from becoming the artist you dream of being.  


It seems to creep into every artist's vocabulary.


If you find yourself experiencing the feeling of overwhelm often, this one's for you. 


Overwhelm appears when we fear what will happen if we take a step forward. 


An example may be that every time you sit down to write your newsletter, you suddenly feel stuck and overwhelmed...not knowing what to write about, what image to include, what events to mention.  


Really, you feel this way because you are afraid that you'll sound dumb, or that you'll bug people, or you'll get more unsubscribes and that feels like rejection.


Overwhelm is just the result of you being in fear of the possible discomfort of sending out that newsletter. 


If you want to feel less overwhelm in your art business, you have to be willing to allow fear to be there AND still take action.


Here are three reasons you are feeling overwhelm...and what to do about it.


1. You aren't planning your day.

You think you want spontaneity and flexibility in your day.  

And that creates a lot of resistance when it comes to creating a daily plan.


In reality, you are still deciding what to do during the're just waiting to decide in the moment vs. ahead of time. 


When we wait until we are in the moment, we now have to make the decision...and make it while we are not in our best selves.  The more decisions we give ourselves to make, the more opportunity for thoughts to creep in like, "Is this the best thing I could be doing now", "I don't think I have enough time", "I don't feel like it"...and of course, the more overwhelm we feel. 


Action - Grab a sheet of paper and set a timer for 2 minutes in the morning while you are having your coffee.  Open up your calendar with your appointments.  Write down your appointments.  Now write in all the things you would like to get done during the day, beginning with your self care tasks such as meals, workouts, and downtime.  


That's it.  Your day is created. Decisions are made.  Now, you just do them - even if you are feeling fear, confusion, and overwhelm.

2.  You are sitting in indecision.  

Overwhelm happens when we decide not to decide. 

We swim around all the possible outcomes, and allow our emotions to keep us from choosing. 

The truth is there is never a wrong decision.  You just decide and you learn.  


Action -  Make the decision.  Test it out.  Adjust based on the results.  

Show at the new venue.  Show up fully and make the most of the experience.  Decide from there if you will do it again.  

Write the story that you've been wanting to write but worried about sharing.  Share it. See how it feels and decide if you'll do it again.


3. You are chasing shiny objects. 


When you give yourself too many options when you are creating your art, your brain has to decide what to choose in that moment...and that, of course, creates overwhelm. 


Constraining in the studio fosters creativity and reduces overwhelm. 


You feel more focused with less options.  You fully explore what's available to you.  You go deeper with the materials that you've intentionally decided on.  When things get harder, you keep going because you don't have the option to just try something else...and you learn and grow from there. 


When you give yourself lots of choices to create with, you also create lot of new decisions and reduce the ability to push through, learn, and grow.  


Action - Decide and commit ahead of time to what materials, style, subject, tools, etc. you will be using in the studio.  Eliminate distractions by removing "shiny objects" from your space so that you can focus on what you really want to be creating. 




Overwhelm isn't just part of being an artist and running a business.  We create it for ourselves.  Stop allowing it to be an excuse between you and your dreams.  




Happy Friday!





Art Business Prep School stars on June 2nd.  The very first thing you will do is make  decisions in your business so you don't waste any more time sitting in overwhelm and indecision around them.  Enroll in Prep School today.  

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Teresa Haag

Urban landscape painter, business maven, life and business coach for artists.

I'm Teresa Haag.  I am a Professional Artist, a Certified Life Coach, a wife and mom to two boys, and a woman doing her best to create a life and business that I am in love with. I know what it's like to spend my day thinking about the art I've always wanted to make instead of making it.  I help artists just like you create a life and business that gives them the space to make their art and become the person they have been dreaming about for so long.


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