Season 3 – epiBLOG 20:
All of you have heard my cries over the nearly 1 ½ years of writing this blog. The “dream, the struggle, the victory,” as one of my old mentors instilled in me. I went through the past 15-20 years of my life trying to fix what I thought was broken about myself. As an artist, if you aren’t experiencing the success that you feel you’ve earned, you do one of three things: (1) you blame others, (2) you feel like you’re not good enough, or (3) you find solutions to move yourself and your career forward.
There are moments when you spend a little time in each of the above three categories. However, the first two categories are the most dangerous ones to find yourself in.
Today’s topic is figuring out what obstacles are holding you back from experiencing your definition of success.
CATEGORY 1: BLAME TOWN
It is within this space that you blame the producer, the customers, the gallery, the market, the investors, the film festival panel, your computer, your lack of money, or your family and friends as to the reasons why you aren’t successful. In doing so, you alienate others and they not only don’t want to be around you, but they choose not to be around you.
You might be caught saying, “I’ve been writing for years, but no producers or publishers are interested in my story.”
“I’m a starving artist, so I’m destined not to have a great life.”
“I’m a musician. I don’t need to understand the business side. That’s my manager’s job.”
The main problem when you live within this category is that you render yourself helpless by putting the responsibility of your own career on the shoulders of others. You have to take responsibility for you and your career. This doesn’t mean that you evolve into some successful artist by yourself. You absolutely need the help of the RIGHT people surrounding you to support you, but you can’t blame others when you fail. Failure stems from a simple lack of knowledge. Figure out why your past attempted plans didn’t work, and figure out what needs to be tweaked or if it needs to be revised altogether. Don’t blame others for your own life and career that rest in your very own hands.
CATEGORY 2: FIX CITY
This is a dangerous category to live in because you spend the majority of the time attempting to fix and change yourself. You can’t fix what is not broken and you can’t change who you are at your core. You are who are — whole and complete. You may not be exactly where you desire to be in your life physically or emotionally, but who you are is good enough for what it is that you have a sincere and passionate desire to do. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life and career here in “Fix City.” I couldn’t understand for the life of me why I was networking, building relationships, reading self-help books, repeating affirmations, surrounding myself with successful people, and attending self-help and professional development seminars, conferences, and workshops, and yet nothing was working. Nothing is wrong with doing these things, but you always first have to look from within. I was looking for an answer (externally) as to why the efforts that I put forth in my career didn’t line up with the materialized results that I was expecting.
This category is where you begin to doubt yourself, and that’s when you start believing that you’re not good enough. You may not admit it out loud to others, but you hear the voice in your mind reverberating the sentiments. It isn’t until you process the “hurts” of the past, and honestly, separate your own meanings from that pain from those experiences versus what you’ve actually experienced, can you begin to simply let go. You would be surprised at how certain experiences from your past are serving as a roadblock in the way of you reaching what you desire. I’m not telling you to change. I’m not telling you to fix yourself. I’m suggesting that you process those experiences in your life that you are strongly and emotionally attached to. Discovering your reasons behind your emotional attachment will allow you to let go. Remember, you are whole and complete as you are. You have to know this if you want to experience contentment and your own definition of success as an entrepreneurial artist.
CATEGORY 3: PEACEFUL COUNTRY
This is where you are scared and nervous, but you move forward with specific actions anyway. We are all human, and we all battle our own personal fears. You just don’t want to allow fear to be an obstacle in your life to the point of stopping your from moving forward. As artist, many of us deal with the fear of failure or the fear of success, and all of the small fears that find themselves attached to one of these two major fears. Everyone is scared. Everyone is nervous. However, when you live in “Peaceful Country,” you go on the audition despite your fear. You stand up and deliver your stand-up routine in front of the biggest crowds, you submit your novel to a publisher or your script to a producer. It is here that you look for solutions, not reasons to quit or excuses to not do something because someone else has failed you. It is here where books like The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin all resonate with you without you being able to explain it or even needing to. You look for solutions and opportunities to grow so that you can experience success on your own terms.
Today’s LESSON is to discover which “place” you “live” in, and follow your instinct where it takes you to evolve and transform into the artist that you always knew you could be.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Attend a reputable self-help and professional development seminar with proven success stories, honest and great reviews, and one that will allow you to process the past so that you can effectively move forward.