Art for Work’s Sake : Belief

Belief: I’m fascinated by our ability to talk ourselves into and out of stuff. We all know from experience that finding the courage to have a go at something different can be tough, and we see good things happening to others and without even trying ourselves, we believe ‘that will never happen to me’.

I’m no different to anyone else in this respect, so when in conversation with a friend earlier this year about how to continue my development of Art for Work’s Sake, initially I failed to take the idea of seeking some formal recognition for the work seriously. ‘Why don’t you submit your work to the 2016 Learning Awards?’ In the moments after the suggestion was made, I came up with a bundle of perfectly convincing reasons why this should not happen. ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘It’s not ready yet’, are just two of the things I often hear from others when first we explore the chance to think, feel and do our work differently, and there I sat offering up the same excuses to myself.

I reflected, and decided I would get over myself and develop this idea. In the coming weeks I drafted and redrafted an awards submission. It was a painful process, trying to distill over four years work into a few hundred words which simultaneously told the story of the journey and met the award criteria. I nearly gave up several times: ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘It’s not ready yet’. I persisted, and with some excellent contributions and support from Carole, particularly in the reviewing and editing stages, a piece of work emerged that felt….good enough. I submitted the entry and waited. And waited. There were so many entries that the initial judging assessment window was extended, and without any good reason, I convinced myself this announcement delay did not bode well for me.

I put out a request for some good vibes last week, and several people kindly responded. Thefinalists were confirmed last Friday, October 23rd, my late Father’s birthday. Art for Work’s Sake has been shortlisted in the Innovation in Learning category. Perfect timing. #FistBump #HighFives #ThankYou. A brief pause to enjoy the moment, then onwards and upwards, I’ve much work to do.

Belief: noun. What you get when you combine persistence, resilience and encouragement. Belief can appear fragile, easily broken, and as such doesn’t get taken out of its box and played with very often. Paradoxically, it turns out that the more you play with it, the more resilient it gets. Learning all the time.

Art for Work's Sake

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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