Sometimes, it makes sense to quit a creative project, but other times, that’s not an option. Maybe you need to turn in your thesis to complete your degree program, or finish a client project to maintain your professional reputation, or put up your portfolio so you can apply for jobs. You want to cut your losses and move on—maybe even pretend it never happened.
But in reality, you can’t move forward professionally until you get out of your head and into action.
If you find yourself feeling like a victim to a creative project, follow these steps to empower yourself. I’ve seen them work with time coaching clients around the world, and I believe they can help you break the inertia and see real progress—starting now.
Take ownership, and stop the blame game
When you feel like the victim of your circumstances, you spend copious amounts of time blaming everything and everyone around you. Although it may feel good to vent about your stupid computer or annoying degree requirements, this attitude won’t get you anywhere.
Instead, you need to go back to the point at which you did make a choice such as when you signed up for the masters program, took on the client project, or decided to pursue an artistic career. Then accept the fact that whatever project you need to finish now is a natural consequence of your decisions, not some unreasonable burden placed upon you. (Except for a few instances of extreme familial pressure, almost everyone can trace back their current situation to some point at which they did make an autonomous choice.) After you’ve come to terms with the fact that you are responsible for where you find yourself now, you can stop brooding and replace the thought, “Woe is me!” with the question, “What can I do to move forward?”
Acknowledge avoidance and focus on moving forward
Once you’ve shifted your mindset from that of a victim to that of a self-determining individual, you need to do something about your actions. People operating in the victim mode have a tendency to fill their schedules with everything but what they say is most important. This avoidance through busyness allows them to justify their lack of progress.
Common traps include seemingly “productive” activities like maintaining a spotless inbox that gives you a surface-level feeling of control and some quick positive feedback but is a thinly veiled cover up for the fact that you have huge gaps in your effectiveness. If this sounds like you, get honest about how you spend your hours so that you “don’t have time” for what you actually need to do. Read Elizabeth Grace Saunders' complete 99u.com article.