How to Nature Journal Without Fear!

In this video I show you how to nature journal without fear, because I think it’s the most important thing for your nature journaling.

Why Nature Journaling Without Fear matters more than anything else

There are certain skills that automatically improve the more you nature journal. That is the good news. These aspects of nature journaling  are easy to teach, easy to learn, and easy to pick up from repetition. However, there are other things that you will not automatically get better at. In fact, these things could actually get worse as you become a more experienced nature journaler or advanced artist. I know many veteran nature journalers who struggle with these challenges.  What am I talking about? I’m talking about fear.

If you don’t have the best drawing skills it will affect your nature journaling somewhat. But if you are afraid of trying new things on your pages or are too intimidated to share your work it could hamper your nature journaling for life. Your drawing skills will probably get better just with more practice but your fears might not. It is easy to identify your drawing shortcomings, take a class, practice and get better. It is not easy to take a class to help you deal with your artistic fears and obstacles. You might not even be able to correctly diagnose the source of your mental obstacles or the fears that are holding you back.

Because of all these reasons I have decided that helping people be more fearless in their nature journaling approach is the most important thing I can share. If you want to learn how to nature journal without fear you might be interested in my one-on-one coaching.

Types of Fear in Nature Journaling

So, how does fear manifest itself in our practice of nature journaling? Following are some examples of fears related to perfectionism:

  • Fear of messing up, making mistakes, making bad drawings
  • Fear of nature journaling certain subjects: animals, movement, action, pets.

There are also major social fears. Such as:

  • Fear of feedback, judgement, or criticism.
  • Fear of nature journaling in public, sharing our work, or nature journaling with other people. Sometimes, this manifests itself as a fear to share our pages with certain people such as our family or spouse.

There are also the fears  from being too precious:

  • The fear of wasting materials, art supplies, or expensive paper.
  • Fear of ruining a pretty journal page or a fancy journal.
  • Fear of trying new techniques or new materials.

There are also fears of commitment:

  • Indecision around which subject to commit to, which vista to draw, which park to go to. We are afraid that we might miss something better. There might be a more beautiful subject, a more interesting plant just around the corner. This can be a paralyzing fear that might lead you to only take photos with your phone and never pull out your sketchbook.
  • Fear of permanence, fear of ink, over attachment to erasers and graphite or overuse of non-photo blue pencil.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that has primed us for these problems. For example, I know many adults who are simply afraid to draw. Maybe this fear is the result of an unfortunate childhood experience. Most of us have also been ingrained with the fixed mindset. This mindset assumes that we are born with certain immutable talents and limitations and can not learn new skills.

We often build up layers of rationalizations and habits of avoidance around these fears making them even harder to identify. Do we really prefer such a tidy style or are we just afraid to make mistakes on the page? Are botanical subjects really all we want to do or are we just afraid of drawing moving animals?

What Fearless Nature Journaling Looks like

So what does nature journaling without fear actually look like?

I have gotten glimpses of fearless nature journaling in Nature Journal Show interviews with Amaya Shreeve and Heather Crellin. What do these two have in common? Both are relatively new to nature journaling. Both seem to take real joy in the process. In addition, they both focus on quantity and frequency of nature journaling even if it is just a short session.

How Can You Nature Journal Without Fear?

If you want help nature journaling without fear I can help. Sign up for persoanlized coaching with me. We will look at your pages, I will listen to your joys and challenges and we will come up with a plan.

I’m currently offering one hour sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays afternoons and Sunday Mornings. Click on one of the available dates (in white) then choose a time slot.

  

Nature Journal Class: Unlock Your Potential!

Do you think you can’t draw? Is your perfectionism a problem? Do you procrastinate when you really want to be nature journaling? If so, this nature journal class can help you. Over several years I have been developing and testing psychological strategies to help you achieve your nature journaling goals, learn faster, and feel better about your awesome self. Are you ready to unlock your potential?

Because I have been teaching nature journaling classes for five years I have seen how people learn and grow. In addition, I have seen the obstacles that people face that prevent them from reaching their goals. I have dealt with these challenges myself. That is why I developed this nature journal workshop. Of all the things that I teach these are the most valuable lessons that I can share with you.

Outline for “Nature Journal Class: Unlock Your Potential!”

  • Your mindset has a disproportionate impact on your achievement, enjoyment, and improvement in the nature sketching, art, and nature journaling.

Nature Journal Class Graph Showing Importance of Mindset

  • Unfortunately, there are many problems that can affect your mindset and we are not well-trained to notice or deal with these problems. Because these problems are internal it can be hard to recognize them in ourselves and we often develop stories that blame our problems on external factors.

Common Mindset Problems for Artists and Nature Journalers:

  1. Perfectionism
  2. Procrastination
  3. Negative Self-Talk
  4. Dependence on Praise
  5. Sensitivity to Feedback
  6. Lack of Focus
  7. Fear of Failure
  8. Artistic Ruts or “Writer’s Block”
  9. In addition to “Writer’s Block” is Fear of the Blank Canvas
  10. Lack of Time
  11. Other Responsibilities and Excuses
  12. Limiting Beliefs
  13. Comparison to “better artists”
  14. Lack of Self-Discipline
  15. And finally, Diva Syndrome
  16. Actually, there are a lot more…

Graphic of mindset problems for nature journal class

Because there are so many problems and because they are hard to see it is easier for us to externalize our challenges. By thinking things such as ” I will be able to nature journal better once I buy that new pencil” or “I need a more interesting subject to inspire me” we create limiting beliefs. As a result we have a limiting belief and our original problem which is now even harder to daylight.

So what can we do about this situation?!

In preparation for this nature journal class about mindset I spent months collecting a list of common mindset problems from artists and nature journalers. Then I tried to figure out solutions for all these problems. I have developed specific solutions for some of them such as my procrastination cocktail, but I think it is better to treat the root problems. Luckily, there are only a few root problems.

Root Problems for Artists and Nature Journalers

  1. Outcome Dependence:
  2. Lack Of Intentionality:
  3. Lack of Self Awareness:

Don’t worry. You can overcome all of these root problems and by working on them you can unlock your true potential. However, it’s not gonna be easy. But, the benefits will spill over into other aspects of your life. After much thought, I have summarized the ways to strengthen your nature journaling mindset through 5 major keys that I teach in this nature journal class.

The Five Mindset Keys covered in this Nature Journal Class

  1. Self Awareness
  2. Intentionality
  3. Feedback Loops
  4. Fuel
  5. Focus on Practice

If you want to learn some specific strategies to develop a stronger mindset be sure to watch the whole nature journal course on video. In the video I provide exercises to help you build self awareness and intentionality. In addition I give you a powerful tool to help fight negative self talk. Check out the full nature journal class here.

 

 

A Year Begins and Ends: So Does Your Life–That’s A Good Thing

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the finitude of your life. Mortality is a good thing and in this video I show an exercise that can help you use the awareness of own mortality to improve yourself.

Wanting to BE good at something gets in the way of BECOMING good at something

Here is a short examination of a pitfall when learning any new skill. With a few easy exercises in your journal and a couple of useful resources you will be better prepared to deal with this common trap.

Our culture mostly values having skills while it mostly ignores the process of learning skills. The slow, repetitive, and often painful learning process of the beginner  is not as sexy as the virtuostic performance of the master.

To become great at anything you most learn to love the slow, repetitive, practice. You must learn to reframe the nervousness, the discomfort, and the uncertainty as excitement, challenge, and opportunity.

Stop Procrastinating!

I was so excited to share these two resources that I had to make a video about it right away. If they can help me with my procrastination and motivation issues I think they can help you too! Keep them on hand. More energy than coffee.

New videos every Friday, at the least. Depending on how much I procrastinate.