Own Your Demons

Since ancient times, there have been legends about demons. One legend comes to mind: If you know the name of a demon, you can own him. 

One variation of this story is, of Course, Rumplestilskin. He will grant you a wish for a high price, but you can break the deal by pronouncing his name. 

I’m going to define demons more broadly: messengers of evil tidings. Among these demons are demons that prevent you from doing your best work. 

There are classes of these demons: Resistance, Ignorance, Inability, Fear. And we can talk about these classes, but that’s not naming the demon. Demons don’t make it easy to name them – they don’t want to be on your leash. 

Their names are long and often very descriptive of their power over you. For example, one of my demons, which I have to fight regularly, is my colorblindness. It tells me I’m never going to be an artist, that I’m no good at art. 

Another which also tries to keep me from art is my DCD. It says my hands don’t work well enough to do art. I’ll never have the fine motor skills to do art. Nor do I have the fine motor skills to write. My writing will always be such a mess no one else can read it. 

Now the names of the Demons are not DCD or colorblindness. Saying “I have DCD” or “I am color blind” conjures the demon. It is too easy to say we have a problem and dismiss ourselves for doing something. That is what the demon wants you to do. By summoning the demon, I can give the creature a good examination. Demons are always as sloppy as Rumplestilskin and have their names written on themselves if you care to look. 

I named that colorblindness demon when I learned color theory, then applied it to my work. The color wheel is the amulet and chain that enslaves that demon. I own the demon when I learn about contrast, complements, RGB, and triadic color schemes. 

I named the hydra-like DCD by naming its heads. In my art, the demon’s name is use my arm, not my hands. Use a tool such as a digital drawing application. I zoom into detail without fine motor skills. On more heads of this hydra, I use keyboards and typing to name the writing head that makes a pen impossible. I use Spelling and grammar checkers to name the lousy typing head. 

I could spend a long time discussing one of the worst demons of all: Impostor Syndrome. I’ve done that quite well elsewhere (https://www.sliceofapppie.com/2017/10/am-i-a-fraud-the-plague-of-impostor-syndrome-and-what-to-do-about-it/), complete with a podcast of me doing all the funny voices in my first voice acting attempt. This demon is a resistance demon, and once you see that, its name is simple: Compass. When impostor syndrome appears, you’re on a great road to follow.  

I’m not defining demons as some little red twerps with pitchforks. Demons are stories, but they are stories you narrate to limit your potential. Though clothed in superstition and myth, the ancient storytellers about demons told essential lessons. Demons dwell around you and in the stories in your head. Only you can see them and tame them. Once you do, you can succeed. 

How do I know? Because the guy who did this with demons controlling him: 

Just finished this: 

The penguins of Accountability and Encouragement

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