Think softness, think kindness... softness kindness, they trump ALL of the hardness and all of the struggle.
Find your truth in nature, emulate water. 31 verses of the Tao refer to water. Be like water because you already are. And how does water behave, if you want to experience water, don't grasp it, as soon as you grasp it, it illudes you. The only way to experience water is to emerce yourself in it. Become one with it. Don't try to defeat it.
If you take a rock and let the water roll over the rock, the softness substance on the planet, will take away anything which is hard. It will always triumph. Be soft.
The sea is the strongest force on the planet because it stays low and all of the rivers and all of the streams do their battles 'all the carving they do', but they always come back to the source, to the ocean and the source means to stay low. Practice radical humility and everything will come to you.
As artists it is hard not to get caught up in wanting to prove something to the world, to prove our art and ourselves deserve some sort of respect. We are always constantly seeking approval from others, that validation that what we are doing is of worth. When I began painting 7 years ago i was filled with Ego, filled with 'fight', ready to mark my territory and to claim my spot. I think over the years my growth and attitude has changed dramatically and my once need to prove to the world that my work stands apart has become like water.
I have come such a long way in a short period of time in regards to personal growth and the development of my art, and I put that growth down to being humble and my constant self reflection.
I think a lot of artists spend so much time and energy defending their art when in fact, they should let their art defend them. Create the work, let it speak, it has the power to change lives. If your work is good you will get recognised, doors will open I truly believe that! Focus your energy on building a strong body of work, one which you are proud of, one which shows off your skills and talents to the best of your ability. Be soft be like water!