top of page
  • Writer's pictureArjanna van der Plas


It all started so well.

To celebrate my 40th birthday, I spent a weekend in the mountains with a small group of dear friends. As we sat in a candle-lid circle, they all shared their visions for me for this new chapter in my life. We laughed, we cried, and I came up with the idea to capture our visions in a painting.

So far so good.

Until my inner overachiever teamed up with my inner pleaser, and now I am completely stuck on my fun painting idea

I am obsessively studying watercolor tutorials to learn new techniques.

I am super worried that I will misrepresent the wonderful visions of my friends in the painting - or worse, make it seem like one of their visions is more important than the other.

And I am dead scared of touching the beautiful (and expensive) thick paper my parents gifted me for my birthday to use for the painting.

Effectively, my brain managed to destroy all my initial joy, making it impossible for me to succeed at this art project.

What helps me in these situations, is not to blame my inner overachiever and pleaser. I know they mean well (check out this TEDx video for proof). They’re extremely worried about me disappointing my friends and myself, and therefore they believe my best options are to either be extremely serious about the painting, or to not create it at all.

What my inner voices failed to recognize however, is my original goal with this art project.

My goal is not to impress my friends.

My goal is not to prove my watercolor mastery to the world.

My goal is to create a tangible memory of that special moment in my life, that can remind me of what I want this next decade of my life to be about.

(Gosh it helps to write this ‘out loud’).

So whenever I grab my painting supplies, I remind myself that my inner overachiever and pleaser are not in charge of this project, and that my inner playful artist will happily take the lead.

Understanding that you consist of different parts, and that you can make a conscious decision about which part of you is in the lead, has been an absolute gamer changer for me.

How are your parts showing up in your day-to-day? And which part would you like to be in the lead of this glorious spring weekend? Let me know!

Sign up for my biweekly-ish two-minute treat emails here to receive my next story in your inbox!

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


It’s 7:30PM on a rainy Wednesday and I find myself in a smoky, dark basement. My body is swaying to the pounding music, and as I look over my shoulder, I am met by the biggest possible smile on my hus


As I was sitting there in that hipster workshop room at Kraftwerk, I felt myself getting smaller. The other workshop participants were writing up their sharp business podcast pitches, and all that cam


I feel some pressure to either be for or against International Women’s Day - being the co-founder of a women’s network and all... But to be honest, I don’t have a strong opinion, and I don’t really wa


bottom of page