Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Right and Wrong Way to Handle Artistic Setbacks

It is so easy for me sometimes to second guess my course in life, due to one little setback. For instance, I had a job I had been working on for almost a month. I had given this woman three different designs, representing almost a half week of my life. She agreed with every single step, suggesting improvements in each phase and applauding them. Not only that, but she kept raising the budget. Then she dropped the bomb. My time had been a complete waste. Her husband was going to build it, which I doubt he ever will.

How Not to Handle It

So, what do you do in these situations? I have some ideas about how I will handle it next time, but this time, I reacted badly and had a mini-meltdown. I forgot that I had almost nothing to do with this job showing up in the first place.

      I reacted as if it was a disaster, instead of remembering to just do the next thing
      I had plenty of other work to do, but I let my head get in a bad place, which slowed me down
      I started thinking of all the things that this job was going to solve, and let them fall in on me

After consideration this morning, it was my own doubts about the job that probably caused the situation in the first place. I had allowed this one project to shove other things aside. I was altering my plan to make it happen, because I liked the idea of the outcome I imagined from this project.

Examine Your Mistakes

The universe is on your side, and remembering this in the thick of things can be tough. In fact, as I said, the idea that I had to make this job happen was what was jacking with my ability to manifest the finished project in the first place. Instead of letting things I happen, I started being forceful.

      I had given more to the design than was warranted, especially since I had not been paid
      I started living in the future, instead of staying firmly grounded in the present, with ample work available all around me
      I was making it fit me, instead of accepting it as it was

I read something one time that really helps me a lot. There are never any problems in the current moment. There are challenges, to be sure, but once we face them and do the next thing, they are just that, the next thing to do. Problems exist primarily in the future, and most of them will never materialize anyway.

What to Do Instead

Life is not a jigsaw puzzle, but I consistently drift back into a mode where I try to make everything fit, try to make sense of it all. I have never been any good at predicting the future, but yet, I think I can align the present to give certain outcomes. Instead I should be focused on staying in the moment and doing what is right in front of me.

      It's amazing what you find when you just do the next thing. There is hardly ever a circumstance when you can't take the next step, and if that is you, it is time to give up and ask someone to carry you until you can. So, stop stressing.
      Stress kills creativity, or rather, scares it away. When you are stressed, the ideas you come up with are rarely your best.
      Thinking about everything at once is a great way to accomplish none of them. Focus, choose a course and trust the universe to supply the roadway, and the fuel.

I hope the next time I find myself in this situation, I remember this. I hope that I am wise enough to immediately drop it and move on, looking around, right there in that very moment for the next opportunity. There are always an infinite series of possibilities extending from every moment into the future. It is only our lack of imagination that leads us to believe that our options are limited, and that is exactly what happened to me yesterday.