Creative roles are difficult by nature.
And that difficulty gets amplified by tight deadlines, high stress, and changing environments.
But learning to adapt quickly can be your way through the uncertainty.
Leading you to places you would have never imagined in your wildest dreams.
But how do you go about adapting when you feel like you can’t find solid ground?
By creating a shift in perspective.
Here’s how to do it in 3 easy steps:
1. Ask Productive Questions
Instead of saying “Why do I suck at this?” change the the question to “What happens if I continue down this path?”
Are your current choices taking you toward, or away from, where you want to go?
If you’re on a path that won’t get you to where you want to be then you have no option but to change.
Use the potential negative outcome to your benefit!
It can become your catalyst for change.
2. Build a Frustration Tolerance
Hard things are difficult to accomplish by nature.
But most people give up simply because their tolerance for dealing with difficult stuff for long periods of time is so low.
So how do you build up your frustration tolerance?
Step 1 — Accept it
Step 2 — Label it
Step 3 — Create realistic affirmations
The idea isn’t to create a vision for yourself that isn’t achievable.
Your goal is being able to see the world for what it is and to be realistic about how you’re going to work within it.
3. Prove Yourself Wrong
Thoughts are not facts.
And emotions are not commands.
This doesn’t mean that they aren’t real but that sometimes your brain and body are hardwired to react in ways that aren’t beneficial.
And just because you can feel a thought or emotion doesn’t mean you need to act on it.
Next time a strong thought or emotion surfaces ask yourself:
1. Is it true?
2. How does this make me feel?
3. Is this a productive thought?
4. What would it be like if I didn’t believe this thought?
All of which help you to remove yourself from spiraling thought patterns and into a space where you can more actively build the future of your dreams.
How this is relevant for a:
Freelancer — The more questions you can ask to tease out relevant information the better the process and output of a project will be.
Full-timer — Because you don’t have the luxury of working with a lot of new people you can benefit from learning how to overcome frustrations given the position you’re in.
Dabbler — Getting started is sometimes the hardest thing you can do. Just by putting pen to paper and putting something out into the world can become a means of proving your doubts wrong.
Over the course of 15 years in a creative career the single thing that I’ve noticed being a make or break in someone “making it” is solely their ability to outlast everyone around them.
By following the three steps above you can become the person that outlasts.