What stalls you on your path to success?
My #1 challenge to making progress is that I am exploding with so many exciting ideas all the time. It can take me awhile to sift through them all and find where they fit (or not) into my goals.
I have found ways to capture the momentum of my of ideas, but, often get stalled when I get in the black hole of seeking perfection. Grrrr…Perfection — the ultimate dream killer.
You are a work in progress
What the heck is perfection anyway? I have lived long enough to know that everything is fleeting and perfection is nonexistent. So, why do I keep seeking it? My theory is that it is simply my ego keeping me small and hidden to avoid getting kicked around by the world. Or, really, my ego is just looking out for itself and not doing me any favors at all.
The perfection demon can show up in different ways for me. As a designer, it could be me getting stalled choosing the best font or website design. As a problem solver, it will show up as over researching an idea and not being decisive with the data I have discovered. As a business owner, it might be me trying to do too much and not asking for help. It’s only obvious to me in hindsight sometimes.
All of these are simply elements of the creative process and discovery of who I am and what I want to share with the world. The saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.”, while technically correct, is fairly depressing implying you never get more than one shot at doing it “right”.
Anxiety and allowing
I can feel anxious as if I might miss my chance if I am too slow putting my flurry of ideas into action. Ultimately, I have learned we have many, many chances, not just one, to realize our dreams.
As much as I’d love to be calm and all-knowing, anxiety is part of the creative process. When you think about it — how can it not be? The process itself is likely unknown if you have not done it before, which is what was so appealing in the first place — right?
I love the inevitable learning and discovery that happens along the way to the result. I used to think if I didn’t have it just as I had initially envisioned it that I had done it wrong. When, in fact, the process of creating itself led me to new insights and ideas allowing for the result I usually liked even better.
There is an allowing it to unfold that might take getting used to (it did for me), but, the results often exceed your initial expectations.
Top 7 Tips to Thrive
1. Practice forgiveness. We are all here to learn and achieve our big vision. We will stumble, but, will also get back up. It make take 1 or 100+ attempts, be patient.
2. Reach out for support. Be inspired by others and you will experience more joy and progress.
3. Be honest. Set your goals to what you truly want to achieve and not what others might expect of you.
4. Celebrate your wins. No matter how minuscule, each incremental step matters. Really.
5. Pivot as needed. Look back to see if you have reached the milestones. Then decide if it’s time to stay or change course.
6. Embrace your “no”. Identify your personal priorities (e.g., time, family, lifestyle, etc.) to help you be clear-headed and decisive. It is a “yes” only when the action definitively supports you personally.
7. Have fun. Check in to see if what you are going toward excites you and you can without hesitation say “Hell, yeah!” to it.
Your art practice is called a practice for a reason. It takes time, learning and discovering to create something from nothing. You don’t get just one chance, you get many, many chances. You cannot do it wrong. It’s all part of the thriving artist path.
Want to learn more?
You can own the Thriving Artist Summit interviews with Tamara Laporte, Gina Morris, and Owen Garratt. The interviews are original, in-depth and each expert shares insights on how they have positioned themselves for success as a professional artist.
Bonnie Glendinning, Founder of The Thriving Artist, is a Branding & Community Strategist for Artists. With her professional artist programs, she empowers artists to live and work prosperously. Join Bonnie and other artists in her Thriving Artist Path global community, on Periscope @thriveartist, and here on the web.
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