Being an independent artist, blogger, mama and musician in an industry that is transforming itself constantly (and not necessarily for the better!) is really hard work. On top of being an artist and an entrepreneur working towards making all my dreams a reality, I’m balancing my relationship of 5 years, a baby on the way, my family and friends both near and far and myself as a person – keeping them happy and healthy. And that’s wonderful.
But let’s face it. Whilst I would never change the passions that keep me fulfilled or choose another life over that which I have so carefully built, I often wake up, just like many of you, to the reality that reaching my goals seems a distant possibility and find myself facing frustrations. It’s easy to feel defeated in those moments. I ask myself: How can I reconnect to the positive reasons and motivations behind my daily grind?
Over time, I’m come up with a few things that help me through these periods and I’d like to share this little list of what helps me restore a little of my perspective…
1. The Pitstop: Take a minute to rest and slow down.
Slow down a second, sweet baby. Take a beat, a day or afternoon off, a vacation – whatever you can afford yourself – to just remind yourself that your dreams and goals are like big beautiful mountains. Climbing them takes preparation, determination, learning the terrain and most of all, patience. So no freaking out. You’re not a superhero with infinite energy, you’re a human juggling personal and professional life. You only have 24 hours in a day and you need to divide those hours between a lot of different shit to get done! Allow yourself a moment to remind yourself of this and don’t let the weight of it all make you feel defeated.
2. No: Learn to say it. Learn to love it.
Oh, Mother! I confess. This is always my hardest challenge, especially being an I-always-want-to-help-where-can-I-sign-up type and all. Man, if I had a nickel for every time I should say no to things and I don’t! Let me tell you – learning to say no frees you from so much of your energy misplacement and misuse. Often when I’m frustrated, it’s because I’m doing too much, taking on too many things and seeing too many people instead of making time for myself and my priorities. That means what I really need to do is not getting done. And ultimately, that leads me to feel very frustrated. I constantly give my energy away to other things and people – and most times I enjoy that, it makes me happy of course. But I’ve realized it’s so easy to overdo it! So don’t be afraid to say “no” and explain you’ve got a lot going on at the moment and need to get some things done for yourself and your projects. I know you think people may be offended but they’ll get used to it. If they don’t then that’s their problem. Seriously, learn to say “no”.
3. Accept where you are.
Listen, you’re not where you’d like to be, I know. Neither am I. But it’s really important to accept that it’s OK to be as far as you’ve gotten down your path. Just keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t punish yourself or think less of your hard work just because the next one along has more success, money or fulfillment than you do. Focus on you and you’ll get there!
4. Look for inspiration.
When I need a bump in motivation and inspiration for my work, I’ll usually jump on Pinterest and let my mind wander and create new desires. It’s perfectly OK to draw inspiration from other art such as songs, photographs, montages, collages, vision boards and books etc! Sometimes that really helps to remind me how many wonderful ideas there are out there to appreciate and explore.
5. Get over the fear of your limitations and failing.
This is a hard one. It’s so ridiculously easy to excuse not getting something started or finished because you “don’t know how”, you “can’t do it”, there’s “no time”. I do this a fair amount – I think and speak my limitations into the universe (often as harmless little comments) and I allow them to stop me from being productive. Just the thought of something like “I don’t know how” is enough to discourage you from keeping on putting the effort behind what it takes to reach your goals in life. It’s time to learn to catch ourselves when we start getting in our own way!