5 ways to get your dreams unstuck (creative or otherwise)

Barb Toland Creative Sparks

Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming back to the creative party.

I love having you here — bringing YOUR unique personality & talents to the mix.

Variety is the spice of life, and oh how we love flavor! Am I right?!

We all have dreams & goals we're pursuing in life, whatever they may be. I hope for your sake that YOU have chosen at least one that is all yours.

Not your spouse's.

Not your child's.

Not your boss's.

Not your friend's.

Only yours, totally & completely.

If not, find one. You deserve to have one, and you also deserve the time & energy to pursue it.

This blog post is all about how to get unstuck when your dream seems unattainable, and you find yourself struggling to follow your own unique path in a crowded world.

There are five "tricks" I use when I'm stuck in a painting & don't know what to do next. I'll share those with you, and when we look at them with a wider brush, they'll also help you find your way back to your dream.

Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective.

So let's get this party started, shall we??!!!

When I'm working on a painting, at some point during the process I'll get stuck. I don't quite like what I see, but don't know what it needs to make it right.

Let's go over some of the "tricks" I use when this happens, as a metaphor for how you  can get unstuck while pursuing your dreams & goals.

Here's the painting we're going to use for seeing beyond what's in front of us.

And yes, my choice of this particular painting was sooooo intentional!

Because getting unstuck takes a great deal of looking at the situation from many different angles...

Versailles Masque 
10.5" x 14" watercolor
on 140 lb. Arches watercolor paper

Here's my first suggestion for when you're stuck...

Sometimes when I'm in the middle of a painting & begin feeling lost about what to do next — I hold it up to a mirror. This way I see its opposite, which gives me a bit more clarity & perspective...

One of biggest challenges when trying to figure out what to do next in pursuing your dream, is that you overthink it. You've been chewing on it for so long, and now you're stuck going over & over the same thoughts.

(Been there, done that.)

So instead, hold those thoughts up to a mirror, like I do with my paintings.

Look at the opposite of what you already see in your head.

Look at your dream!! (Instead of the obstacles.)

Take some time to gain more clarity on what it is that you want. And then use that awesome imagination of yours to see it & even more important, feel it!

Don't have a dream for yourself yet? Don't fret. There's more tricks up my sleeve that will help with that too...

This is the second "trick" I use when I'm in the middle of a painting & feeling lost about what to do next — I take a picture & then remove the color.

Sometimes the color can be distracting. And what's much more important is for me to look at & evaluate the overall composition, form & values...

So how does this apply to your situation of being stuck while pursuing a dream?

Try to remove some of the emotional energy & anxiety around what you're pursuing. You'll never gain clarity & see solutions if you're feeling overwhelmed.

Breathe deep, get yourself centered.

If you have to go for a walk or a run to clear your head, then do that.

And if you haven't found a dream yet, this still applies. Let go of the angst & breathe. The dream will come if & when it has the space to do so.

The third device I use when I'm in the middle of a painting & feeling lost about what to do next — is to reverse the color.

Reversing the color gets me to relax my brain a bit. It makes me smile at how silly it looks. I let go of my overthinking it. It gets me to lighten up...

How does that apply to you?

Don't just let go of the emotions & angst over your dream — reverse them.

Smile more :)

Continue gaining clarity by not holding on so tight.

Go about your life ... sniff out & follow the joy.

Given the space & time, your imagination will fill in where your logical brain is just not capable.

As Bob Marley suggested ... be happy!

The fourth trick up my sleeve is that sometimes when I'm in the middle of a painting & feeling lost about what to do next — I throw it on the floor to gain some distance from it...

And you?

Walk away.

Far away.

Go do something else instead.

Gain some distance.

Then a bit later on, turn around & take a look at it with fresh eyes.

And last but not least, sometimes when I'm in the middle of a painting & feeling lost about what to do next — I turn it upside down.

This helps me shift into my creative right brain more, where all the magic can be found...

Turn your dream on it's head.

Make it as crazy & seemingly unattainable as possible.

Give it all the zaniest, most unlikely energy you can muster.

Want to learn how to write?

Read about the life of your favorite author & then be them! Walk around in their shoes. Live their life. Picture yourself in their company, and in that vision they're asking you for advice.

Want to be the next Ansel Adams?

Then gobble up all you can find on him & then imagine that you are him. Go hiking down those same trails in your mind, or better yet, get out there in nature & hike for real. Do those things that he did. And don't forget your camera ;-)

Are you a jewelry maker and want to have your stuff sold in the most exquisite shop ever? Then walk down its aisles in your mind's eye, or in person. See your jewelry there. See people running in off the streets directly to your case, and demanding they must have it! Line 'em up :)

Really go overboard on this one. You won't sink, promise!

But most of all, never give up.

I've never abandoned a painting. With all the tenacity I can muster, I keep going at it until I get it right.

Nor will you ever abandon your dream. Put it on a shelf? Sometimes that's required.

But then dig deep. Use these "tricks". And most of all, keep going.

Pursuing dreams & goals are not for the faint of heart.

And I know your heart beats strong.

I believe in your dreams, even when you don't. Promise.

As always, comments are welcome below. Would love to chat about your dreams with you!

Keep your aim true. #itmatters

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