How Your Brain Can Sabotage Your Effort to Improve Your Drawings

Your brain is beautiful. It registers far more than you’re conscious of and it’s capable of some truly remarkable things. For all intents and purposes, your brain is you, but for some reason, it doesn’t always listen to you. Though you may tell it to do one thing, it might choose to do another. It’s not until you’re conscious of this fact, and learn to maneuver the quirks of your brain, that you can fulfill the potential within you.

Your brain doesn’t want you to change

Your brain could care less about which habits are good or bad. It only wants to do what’s easiest and will give it the most satisfaction in the shortest possible time. You may know eating a dozen donuts in one sitting is a bad behavior or exercise is a good one, but it doesn’t change the fact that your mind will gravitate to easy automated patterns of action.

Your brain is effectively running on autopilot most of the time. It takes a monumental effort to develop a new habit like drawing every day. Even something as simple as drawing for 30 minutes could get some pushback from your mind. Anything that’s not automatic causes your brain to do everything it can to make you stop and go back.

Drawing is a habit you cultivate

Don’t rely on motivation. Your brain will sabotage you.

Drawing is a habit that you need to cultivate. If you try to tackle something that takes real effort, like drawing, it will fight you! Learn to exploit the brain’s quirks to accomplish your goals.

Convince your brain to do what you want

It was around this time I found the blog of James Clear. He inspired me with the idea of 1% improvements, or as his future book would call it, atomic habits. The simple idea was to start small and gradually improve over time. I was finally able to start exercising.

If your brain sees you trying to do something that will take effort, it will divert you to automated behaviors. Sneak up on it with small, repeated actions!

Make your 1% improvements

Choose an action small enough that the brain says “I can do that”. Draw for 15 minutes. You can sneak up on your brain without it realizing you’re putting in the effort.

Over time, your small repeatable action will turn into a habit. Now your brain is using drawing as an automatic process vs whatever bad habit you left behind. You can trick your brain into enjoying things that take effort simply by starting small.

Originally published at

Harness the power of learning and improve your drawing skills faster.