When I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money. Both of my parents grew up in the country, in a household where their parents and grandparents lived exclusively from farming and fishing. My grandma taught me the importance of saving new things for a special occasion. She even had a saying about it that I still remember, albeit with some bitterness because I no longer buy it.
We live in a different world now. We can have access to new things every day. Most of us don’t have to walk around in second hand clothes — actually, even “second hand” is turned into a special experience where you go scavenging for rare vintage jewels.
When I started getting nice stationery & fountain pens for birthdays, she warned me that I should not “play” with them, but keep them safe for when I was older. She didn’t want me to waste all that fancy stuff when I was “too little to appreciate it”, and I internalized this story: I don’t deserve nice things now. I need to be better (more mature, smarter, more skilled) in order to deserve them.
As a result of this, I never used those small printed notepads and Parker pens. (Ironically, last time I was in my old room I couldn’t even find them. And I so wanted to put those notepads with puppies & floral patterns to use!)
So why am I telling you this story?
I’ve been working on my “money blocks” for a while now. For those of you who haven’t heard of the term before, money blocks are limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors that prevent you from earning more money. Everyone has them, and they often stem from experiences in your childhood.
I’m uncovering new ones every single day. Right now I’m experiencing clients dragging their feet with projects and late payments, and I wanted to know why.
Today as I was doing my daily meditation and clearing practice, I was examining the idea of enjoying wealth. I was deep inside the visualization, eating shrimps, drinking fancy cocktails (because I have less resistance to food than other things), and then I imagined buying a bunch of new sketchbooks at the art store… and then it hit me.
I already had a bunch of fancy sketchbooks.
No shrimps, no cocktails, no houses or BMWs, but the sketchbooks were there.
Yep, totally not lying about having super nice sketchbooks: Behold Canson ArtBook Mix Media, Canson ArtBook Illustration, some thin Derwent sketchbook with super smooth paper and Canson ArtBook 180. (Affiliate links)
All of these lovely, unused sketchbooks I received as a gift. Some from friends, and several I won in a contest held by Canson. They’re absolutely lovely and perfect for my work, but I don’t use them. Why?
Because I’m keeping them for my “better drawings”, when I’m “more skilled” and have “better ideas” on what to do with them. It would be a shame to waste them now, wouldn’t it?
Do you see the problem here?
I was pushing one of the very real manifestations of abundance away — a prize that I got for free — because I felt like I didn’t deserve it yet.
To people that don’t have a “thing” for stationery, this might seem very silly. But to me, these things represented luxury since I was 6 years old. (Yes, I was a little nerd from the beginning, and books and office tools were always more interesting to me than dolls.)
Once I realized what I was doing, I did clearing work on this belief and replaced it with a positive one:
I deserve to enjoy nice things NOW. [Tweet this!]
To celebrate this accomplishment, I created this affirmation poster in the beautiful Canson mixed media sketchbook:
Off to you
- How are you proving to yourself that you don’t deserve nice things in your life?
- How are you pushing abundance away, thinking “not yet”?
- What are you saving for later?
- What can you do today to feel like a superstar artist that you really are?
Let me know in the comments, and then go do it!
P.S. Do you need some ideas on why and how to best use your sketchbook? Read my top sketchbook tips here!
About Nela Dunato
Artist, brand designer, teacher, and writer. Author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”. Owner of a boutique branding & design consultancy that helps experienced service-based businesses impress their dream clients.
On this blog I write about art, design, creativity, business, productivity and marketing, and share my creative process and tips. Read more about me...
Some blog articles contain affiliate links to products on Amazon. I’ll get paid a few cents if you buy something using my link, and there’s no extra charge to you.