The Power of your Story

Do you ever feel as though your life is like being in a boat without a rudder and at the mercy of the winds? You must keep your head above water. Stay away from the rocky shoreline and keep the boat afloat with positive thinking even if you have tried all the traditional advice and still can’t find work or clients. You are losing your confidence and unsure if this is the right path for you. Don’t feel sorry for yourself, even if you feel as if you ship is sinking fast. Keep bailing and hang on. If you feel like grabbing a life vest and want to take a grab at getting a ‘real’ job, DON’t.

This is the moment of truth. This choice, whether to hang in there and stick it out or hang your head and sell out is crucial. Get your sorry rear in gear and paddle your boat if you have to. Let it fuel you. Go ahead, get mad. Life is not fair, I know. And you aren’t the only one out there in the turbulent sea. Others before you have come through the storms of life, battered but intact. They captained their ships with the belief that they would survive and make it to paradise. You can do it, too.

What sinks ships? The ‘if they find me out’ syndrome. Feeling like a fraud is one way to capsize a creative business. You must belief you deserve good things, and enjoy them when they come. ‘The greater the artist, the greater the doubt; perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize’ said Robert Hughes. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Cut yourself some slack. Maybe you are on course but moving a little slower than you would like. Maybe you should hange course and head for a different destination. It isn’t easy, but you must change to grow. You can do it. You must do it. If you expect the worst and get the worst, don’t you suffer twice?  Cut out the catastrophizing and what if ing in your story and get on with the work at hand. Everything will be fine. It almost always is. Stop freaking out. Make a plan and start putting your plans into action. Pay attention to where you are now and where you want to go. That is what is important.

Kill the Inner Critic

Wherever you are in your quest for creating the business (and life) you want, you must stay positive to stay afloat. Fall in love with yourself. What you believe to be yourself, you are.

Trust yourself.  You will remember your lines, you will perform well, you will do a good job. You must believe that.

It is not called self esteem for nothing. You, and you alone are in charge of the story you tell yourself and others. This is one are where you are the boss. Positive people have positive stories, and prosperous people have prosperous stories. It is really that simple.

Full esteem ahead.  It does take time to undo the negative stories you have had all your life. But the past is the past, and all you can concern yourself with is the present. From this time forward make an effort to see yourself as successful. Speak kindly to yourself.

Don’t be a junkie.  Being a natural born risk taker (and adrenaline junkie) you may be the one putting yourself in peril. The life on the edge, fly by the seat of your pants approach works only until you OD on anxiety and pressure. Give yourself some time to ‘dry out’and kick back between big projects.

Right brain, wrong problem. The right brainer loves to grapple with problems and sometimes sees things that need to be better when good enough is good enough. You don’t have to save the world. You are the only one who wants or expects you to be perfect. Know your limits.

Self employ your self esteem.  If you decide to go the route of the self employed, there will be constant challenges (and when I say challenges, I mean just trying to hang on to what you have) and you will have to deal with occupational hazards like setbacks, rejections and mistakes. This is the trade off to being in business with yourself. The secret is in how you deal with these challenges and learning to love dealing with them.

Your time will come.  Everybody has their share of tough times. The ones you see who are getting ahead have put the past behind them and are creating a better future.

Self esteem is an Inside Story.  Expect the best. If all you can focus on are negative outcomes, your possibilities shrink and eventually you will need to seek professional help. Your internal story you tell yourself, good or bad, manifest themselves in your external world. People who believe they deserve success and happiness usually attract it.  When you undervalue yourself and your work, so do others. So when you lowball your prices, you cheat yourself. The more people pay, the more they appreciate your work. You deserve to be paid well for your work. You deserve nice things. You must believe that, because if you don’t you will never have money and when you do, you’ll blow it.

The best thing (and sometimes the worst thing) about being human is your uniqueness.  Learn from other’s mistakes, but don’t make the mistake of thinking they are better or worse than you are. They are different. You are different.  Exploit that fact, and rejoice in it.

Another business killer is the false belief that there is too much competition, not enough money to go around and no room at the top. Baloney! Use that imagination of yours. Find a niche. Fill a need. Create a space for your work. That is how you will succeed. It’s a big world out there, with plenty of room for everyone. You just need to mark out some territory for yourself.

Get to know the story you tell yourself about yourself. Look back at your past accomplishments. Spend some time reviewing your success. Many of us work so hard to have a story to tell others that we don’t work on our inner story.

Find people who believe in you.  Dump those who only add to the noise in your head (not those who offer constructive criticism or advice, however). I realize it is hard to find outsiders who understand your plight as a creative person. That is why it is a great idea to join a Heroine’s Journey Club of others who, like you, could use some support. In the end however you will need to be your own support group, and founder and president of your own fan club.