I’ve been chipping away at my Self Esteem Through Art initiative for a while now. I’ve had the privilege of working mostly with girls and women (with a couple boys sprinkled throughout the program). I’ve done local after-school programs. Run summer camps. Done birthday parties. Rented studio space. Hosted private soul sessions. Put together women’s retreats and events. Taught in a school. Collaborated with other like-minded professionals to help people live their highest intentions. And, it’s all been awesome. I feel like I have that rare opportunity to pursue something in life where sharing my gifts really helps heal others. And, if I were to really keep score, I think I am making an impact in the lives I touch.

Self Esteem Through Art group

After every event and every collaboration, I have the opportunity to ask myself: “What could I have done better? Differently? How could I have served my attendees more?” That line of introspection and honesty has led to some new ideas, some revamping of previous classes, etc. But, I know I could still be doing things better. Bigger. Bolder.

I know this because I know that over 85% of people suffer from diminished self-esteem. I know this because studies show that 97% of women have unfavorable body image, and will think at least 13 negative thoughts a day about themselves. I know this because workplace satisfaction is at an all-time low. I know this because I know the power that your subconscious mind has over every single thing you do and every single decision you make. So, theoretically, people should be beating down the doors to get into these programs. My current hometown has a population of 32,065. Knowing that 85% of those people have lower self-esteem, I should be trying to rent a stadium to hold over 27,000 people for my classes. But, that is not the case. Allowing for age, economics, and gender, among other things — if I only successfully reached 10% of that population — I should still have a captive audience of 2,700 people for each program.

Anna Quindlen quote

But, that is not the case either. And, I have been wondering why. I came up with some theories which have gotten me thinking about a possible name change for my program.

I’ve been thinking about what kind of connotations “Self Esteem Through Art” might conjure up for people. For me, it’s pretty straightforward — you are going to do something creative and/or artistic and you are going to feel pretty stoked about it. But, naming, marketing, and art can all be very subjective, so I am guessing that my title might bring some other things to mind.

Some people might hold onto the mistaken idea that you have to be a classically trained artist to attend one of my classes. That couldn’t be further from the truth and would be like assuming that you cannot enter a gym unless you are a certified personal trainer. Much like you go to the gym to get fitter and healthier, you would come to my classes to nurture some creativity. No art degree required. So, I am thinking about calling my classes “Self Esteem Through Art For Those Without An Art Degree.”

Then, there are those people who think admitting that their self-esteem is lagging makes them some sort of factory recall. Not so. As I stated, we already know you most likely have a diminished sense of self-esteem in one area of your life or another (I do.) — so why not admit it and come hang out with other like-minded people? Your self-esteem toolbox is already short a wrench or two, so why not come to one of my self-esteem workshops and pick up what you are lacking? Think of my classes like the Lowes of personal development — a place where you never stop improving. For these people, I think I would rename my program “Self Esteem For Those In Denial.”

There is that elusive segment of the population I have not reached yet because they think that if they get a night out with friends or get a night away from the kids, there needs to be a waiter and/or copious amounts of alcohol involved. A subset of this population refuses to venture out of their own martyrdom and holes themselves up in their homes with aptly names wines like “Bitch” or “Mommy’s Time Out.” This group would rather deal with a hangover than their own thoughts. I am thinking that “Self Esteem For Binge Drinkers” might reach this group.

Another thought is that some people would rather have a root canal without novocaine than step outside of their comfort zone. So, being creative when you have labeled yourself uncreative, being pensive when you have shut off all introspection, admitting you are weak when you feign Herculean tendencies, or showing that your squeaky clean Facebook profile has some chinks in the armor might give you the heebie-jeebies. For you, my marketing plan might include something along the lines of “Self Esteem For the Faint of Heart.”

Some other ideas are:

  • Dudes Need Self Esteem Too
  • The World Is Going to Kick the Shit Out of You; This Is Your Black Belt In Emotional Self Defense
  • Self Esteem Through Art; Easier Than Asking For Directions
  • You’ve Had Bowel Movements That Were More Painful Than This Class
  • God Might Be Your Co-Pilot, Art Is Mine
  • Endless Excuses — Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
  • Permission To Be Imperfect
  • We’re All Weird Here, And We Love It
  • Your Heart and Soul Need A Software Upgrade
  • You’ll Get By With A Little Help From Your Friends (*however, The Beatles might have licensing rights to this one)
  • Spend More on Your Child’s Ongoing Personal Development Than You Do On Their Birthday Party

The point of all this rambling is to let you know that you are NEVER going to be able to form an educated opinion about something unless you try it. So try it. Come to a class. Send your kids to a camp. Book a private event. Just do it. This is a service business and everything I do is dedicated to serving YOU. I share my knowledge. I share my secrets. And I share my gifts — all with the intent of improving your life in little ways, in big ways, in profound ways. If there are ways I can do that better….please tell me.

One of these days, I will invest in some branding expert to tell me how to better market what I am doing. But for now, I will operate on the premise that  85% of you need me, and if I build it, you will eventually come.

Regardless of what the name is.
Jenn at the beach