Friday, February 21, 2020

My Journey: Dealing with Discouragement

My Probllama

I hit another low point this week. Monday was great. I was focused and got things moving along. When Wednesday hit it was quite a different story. I had the day planned out like I usually do, but then it all fell apart. Instead of working on illustration and marketing like I planned, I spent the day driving around for various appointments. I got more and more frustrated as the day progressed.

The most common thoughts that ran through my head was “why do I even try? What is the point of all of this?” Other things seem to constantly demand my time making it impossible for me to do what I want to do and what I need to do in order to get my illustration business going stronger. With these thoughts running through my head, I spiraled down to “I have been working on this for so long with no one wanting to hire me for illustration work.“ I began to question if I was any good at what I was doing. Again, the thought keep coming, “What is the point? I should just give up and do something else.” I was demoralized, discouraged and angry. I felt like everyone, my job, my family, everyone was intent on holding me back from my dream. 

This is a common feeling for me. It is something that crops up on a semi regular basis. Sometimes it last for days, other times it is just a few moments of self-doubt. As I questioned my attempts to get more illustration work this week, one message was also consistent. It was a still small voice that kept recurring to me. “Keep on the track you are going on. Just keep going.” As I held on to this other thoughts started to come.

First, “adjust your expectations.” Part of the frustration I am having is that I keep thinking that I should be where I want to be now. This is a deadline I have imposed on myself based on what others are doing and what I think should be happening. I have to remind myself that there is no set or specific tie as to when everything will work out. 

Second, (I have said this before and I say it often to my students.) Be patient. The difference between those that are successful in the visual arts and those that are not comes down to sticking with it and not giving up. One needs grit, diligence, and determination.  

Third, I needed to recognize that what I was doing on Wednesday was far more important that what I had planned. I needed to put things in the proper priority. I was helping my children, my family, and I was helping other people. This coupled with adjusting my expectations helps me to realize that sending out a number of portfolios to potential clients can wait a day or two. 

Fourth, help someone else. At the end of the day, I had the opportunity to be of service to others. Although I was still frustrated with my lack of time when I started helping, by the end I was in a better mindset. I was able to get out of my focus on myself and focus on others. This further helped me put things into perspective. I was able to think more clearly and move forward in a more positive manner. 

I also pray a lot for help.

I am doing better.

Now I am just continuing to move in the direction I have been going, even though it is so much slower than I expected.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That journal reminded me of Elder Soares' talk on " Take Up Our Cross". Although his talk is more spiritually directed, it can very well be applied to our temporal issues.
My son is alo a struggling illustrator, while working as a restaurant manager in Richmond , Va.. He also gets frustrated by his lack of success in that field . Here is his website . I am sure he would like to see your website as well. By the way, what is it?
Thanks for all you do!
Mark Moreau
For some reason they list my wife's email for follow up comments. Mine is