The Safety Brain


The Safety Brain

Also a regular brain.

One of my dreams on my list of 10 dreams right now is to be a working artist. I spent some time writing (cause that is how I organize myself) on what that means. I came to a solid working definition of how I would like if I was a working artist. It goes like this.

I, more days than not, create something that people will experience that will cause them to feel something.
— Me

Writing this blog meets my expectations of a working artist. Even if you hate what I write you will feel something! This dream will evolve beyond this current definition, but I left it open and achievable to get around my safety brain.

What is a safety brain you ask? Well it isn’t another brain - its your brain in safety mode. It does this alot because the brain is wired to keep us safe. Any changes to routine, chances of failure, risks to life and limb and your safety brain goes into overdrive trying to change your mind (itself? see its complicated) and get you NOT TO DO THAT.

When I wrote the working artist definition I felt that what was missing was the “what” i was going to create. That is where my safety brain can trip me up and put me in a vicious loop. There are so many things I can create, so many things I am interested in. Illustration and drawing for example - see my brain drawing above! By having so many interests it means I never have to choose. By definition there is no right, no safe choice I can make that will keep me away from failure and heartache. So my safety brain works double time on this because whatever I decide to do or try I am not immediately good. My brain then says to pick something else. Then something else. Then something else. And I am never a working artist. I don’t need to do that, I need to circumvent my safety brain and give myself a chance to do something.

My safety brain also likes to focus on production and by extension "my worth as a human" as it relates to what I produce. How could I ever give myself time to learn something when my worthiness is tied to output! Its the final product not the journey! No safety brain its not.

These are the hurdles I need to cross as I work towards the goal of being a working artist. Ultimately whatever I pick my safety brain will say, and I quote:

NO! Don’t do that you aren’t good at it, pick something else!”
”STOP! You aren’t producing enough - you are worthless.”
— Safety Brain

Ah the safety brain. Can’t live with it but sometimes you might die without it.

As Seth Godin says - Just Ship It,