Solution or insight
Defending my castle can become a real inhibitor. Feeling uncomfortable in groups of people or even in the company of just one is a frequent issue. There doesn't need to be a solution, just some insight.
The best action I can take is to work consistently at my painting. By doing this, I develop assurance and resilience needed to deal with criticism healthily and proactively.
My first emotional response is often defensive. At first, it was so painful that it almost persuaded me to give up. Don't like feeling defensive? Does anyone? Probably not.
I can understand why many creative makers prefer not to be public. The benefit of connecting with others, in the long run, is the cultivation of a richer sense of self. As life continues, I can see it is in direct relation to my efforts to connect and create value for others.
Out of your Comfort Zone
The feelings of defensiveness are very revealing.
What are we defending?
Perhaps we have moved out of a comfort zone?
Imagine an obstacle like a wall and the other side of the wall to be the place we want to be. Why defend the wall we could show people around instead.
What is the reason for me to paint?
I started to paint just a few years ago, and this followed years of not even knowing that I wanted to. The "why", is a relatively new adventure, with many rational ideas backed up with limited knowledge.
A desire to share my life with others was a first attempt at verbalising my intent. Is this true? I don't know, and also I don't think it is true. So much of the past years have been peppered with lame attempts and understanding myself and why I should suddenly start painting.
The attempts are valuable as a starting point, not an answer. Defending the castle on a level can be viewed as protecting a status. Taught from a young age that a position in society is all-important, I have developed habits to support this delusion.
I paint because I can, and it is like magic. Beaten out of me as a young child, I have returned to the world of magic; a real world.