I have always thought that I couldn't draw. That it was one of those things for which i had no skill and no talent. I was happy to believe so. I was content, and acceptant of my non-drawing ability.
Until one day, a friend of mine asks for volunteers to attend her practice drawing class, so she can hone her teaching skills, and, it being lockdown and me, having time on my hands, I joined. Just for the fun of it and to help a friend out.
I was expecting to make a fool of myself, but a part of me was hoping that I'd be able to produce one or two "lookable", not so pitiful, drawings.
We started the class with drawing a baseline to compare our progress before and after the class. My drawing was just as mediocre as I expected it to be.
We spent 1 hour learning about how to hold a pen, how to move our arms, about shading, about light. And then we drew the cup again, using the techniques we learnt.
Here's the cup that I had drawn by the end of the class:
So yes. This cannot be confused with a Da Vinci drawing, and the only enigmatic thing about it is "where did the handle go?". But what progress did I make! This is a drawing I am proud of. It looks like something. What a revelation: I can draw.
What lesson did I learn? I have spent my entire life thinking I couldn't draw. And in just 1 hour, in 1 class, I drew something I could be proud of. It wasn't that I could not draw. It was that I had never learned. I was so convinced I could not draw, for so long, I had actually never really tried. Not really, in my heart of hearts.
If this is true, what other limiting beliefs have held me back? What other skills have I believed were innate but could actually be learned?
Drawing was difficult because I didn't know where to start, because I was trying to get everything right, as a whole, at once. I was all over the place. I had no method, no vision, no clarity on what I was doing.
Once I learned to break things down, it became easy. Once I learned where to start, it became easy. I felt like I was drawing less of the object, only part of it - and not all parts of it, but it looked more like what I was drawing.
I was given instructions. I focused on the first step, then the next one, and the one after that. The result was that I did it.
If I can learn to draw, what else can I do? What instruction manuals about my other limiting beliefs can I get my hands on and apply to my life?
Of course, having lived my life, I have had experiences that I learned to overcome. Limiting beliefs that I realised were not true, as I lived through them.
Through becoming a meditation practitioner, becoming a hypnotherapist, becoming a coach, I have learned a lot of techniques that I have added to my toolbox, that I have applied and that I have used with success to make changes in my life and in my beliefs.
And, when i drew that cup at the end of that hour, all the dots connected in my brain. The simplest proof that, with help, with guidance, with patience, with a hopeful mindset, with kindness toward myself, I can do what I believed I couldn't.