Are you one of those people who is claiming 2016 to be one of the worst years yet?
This seems to be the overwhelming perspective judging by the media.
Yes, 2016 had some low points:
I could keep going and I’m sure you have a few things on your mind that sucked ass too.
However, what are some of the good things happened, specifically in your life?
If you reflect long enough I guarantee you could find some high points to balance out the rollercoaster year we’ve experienced.
I mentioned it in the previous episode 20 but it’s hard to appreciate the good without the bad.
Seeing the horrible things going on in the world like the suffering people of Aleppo should make you stop and appreciate every little thing that you take for granted.
How amazing is it to have a roof over your head?
How great is it to sleep without having bombs going off all around you?
How freaking lucky are you to have access to food and clean water?
See my point?
So ya, 2016 wasn’t the greatest but you have a choice of which lens you choose to see the world through.
Going into 2017, my message is to encourage you to find the light within the darkness. Appreciate when things are going right in your life as you can’t appreciate the good without the bad.
I believe in the Law of Attraction and have watched it work many good and bad things in my life.
It boils down to the concept of “Like Attracts Like.”
When you focus on the negative, you’re going to attract more negativity in your life. Your mindset and the thoughts you vibrate into the world manifest more of what you’re thinking of.
Think about it; you wake up one morning and it feels like nothing is going right:
After all this you think to yourself, “What’s next?” or “How could this get anything worse?” and the next thing you know your day is spiraling out of control.
Did you ever think that maybe you’re doing this to yourself with your mindset?
Seriously, this used to be me. I held a grudge against the world for the majority of my life and I self-sabotaged myself for a long time.
Imagine the kind of day you could have if you took a hit on the chin and chose to keep moving forward?
What would happen if you chose to see through an optimistic lens and appreciated the good whether it be small or large?
On the opposite end of the spectrum of “Like Attracts Like” you have positivity and gratitude.
Life is always going to throw you haymakers but why be in the mindset of constantly looking over your shoulder and waiting for the blow?
When you can find light in the dark times, you begin to appreciate the little things that go right.
It doesn’t always have to be something major like hitting the lottery for things to go right. Something as simple as someone complimenting you or opening the door for you can change someone’s day completely.
This can spark a whole chain reaction of positivity for someone if they choose to be in that mindset.
Positivity and gratitude allow you to find the light within the darkness.
As I stated in the intro, there are times where finding the silver lining may not feel possible right away. I’m not telling you to be a positivity robot.
Be a human but also realize you choose how you see the world—everything is perception.
If the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up is spill your coffee, shake it off and be thankful you can afford to have it.
When you see negativity shining in your Facebook feed, don’t give into it and go to YouTube and watch some cat videos.
Appreciate the good and enjoy the creative process of your life.
Make 2017 your bitch and choose to find the light in the darkness.
Taking a shot in the dark and guessing you’re someone who likes to get shit done.
I know for me, I get my jollies when I’m getting things crossed off my to-do list.
First things first, I’m definitely not claiming to be a productivity guru—I’m just a dude who’s trying to be more productive than busy.
I strictly want to share with you what’s been working for me as a creative … and of course what isn’t working.
What wasn’t working for me was winging it each day.
Whenever I go with the flow with no plan:
Eventually, I stumbled across one little change that I began implementing before I went to bed at night: I started planning out the one main thing that needs to get done the next day to push me towards my goal(s).
This one main task is going to be called your frog. I’ll explain why in a second.
If you’re one to wing it each day and can relate to how I used to feel than seriously consider this underrated productivity tip.
Brian Tracy, the author of Eat That Frog, talks about keeping the most important task top of mind. That most important task is your frog and you must eat your frog first before you move to less important tadpole tasks.
When you’re winging it each day, you’re eating your tadpoles and possibly something completely unrelated first.
I hope this metaphor is making sense and I sincerely hope you’re visualizing eating frogs and tadpoles at the moment. :)
For me, I’m a one man army and wear a lot of hats in my business. There’s so much to do that I can’t go around guessing anymore as each day is a valuable opportunity to get to where I want to be quicker.
This applies to you too,
When you’re guessing each day, you’re reacting. If you’re reacting, you’re not fully focused on the main task.
Once I started planning out my frog the night before, I gained a ton of clarity and most importantly, I saw progress.
My frogs tend to vary.
What makes my business go is writing, podcasting and drawing either for the podcast or for freelance.
When writing is the frog, I mind map my topic the night before so I can let my mind marinate on everything overnight. When I wake up, I know exactly what I need to do and there is no guessing… of course, this comes after coffee.
Without planning your frog the night before, you’re waking up and reacting. You can’t take action when you have to think about what you should be doing.
By planning your frog the night before:
It’s all about creating a nightly habit so you can kick ass in your following day’s routine.
At 9pm every night, I have a reminder from my homegirl Siri set to notify me to ’plan out my next day.’
I go in my office or lay in my bed and write in my Passion Planner my 1, sometimes up to 3 frogs that need be eaten in order to move forward to the main goal (making Perspective-Collective a full-time business).
I go to bed shortly after and truly believe my mind is subconsciously planning for me so I can just wake up and do my thing.
If I showed up and got the main frog eaten, it was a successful day.
If there is more time in my schedule after eating the first frog, I know exactly the next frog that I need to devour.
If you’re tired of winging it and going to bed each night feeling unaccomplished, try this one tip out.
What do you have to lose?
Each night, plan one thing that needs to be done the next day.
I’m not telling you to have to live by a strictly scheduled routine like I do each day. Hell, knocking out that one thing each day will not only help you get more done, but it’ll also give you more guiltless freedom in a day to do what you want.
Stop living a life of reacting every day.
Plan your frog the night before and I’m confident it’ll be your most underrated get shit done tactic in your daily routine.
Self-doubt used to be my best friend.
Hell, it still is as I continue to become more vulnerable and push my creative career forward.
Seriously, I feel like an imposter every day.
Why should someone take me seriously and why should someone care?
The imposter in me feeds me these objections:
It's really hard to not let this type of thinking bring me down. Yet at the same time, I realize that none of these things matter if I keep doing what I know and enjoy the most.
This episode is dedicated to showing you that you are not the only one facing an inner struggle each day.
I want to convince you that you are an imposter and that’s okay—it means you’re going in the right direction.
I’ll be honest; I’ve been in a brand identity crisis since about last year once I got heavy into blogging. Just when I think I have things figured out I begin doubting it all the next day.
One of my biggest struggles is how to position myself to the creative community and how to offer my services.
On one hand, I’m an artist / freelancer and my work is what got me any attention in the first place.
On the other hand, I feel I can serve a bigger purpose than just creating art—that’s where the blogging, speaking and podcasting manifested from.
With art, I’m extremely confident in my abilities compared to the boy years back who was terrified to share his work with anyone.
Confidence continues to build especially since taking up freelance again. I’m getting great clients who pay great because they know they are working with a specialist.
I'm a specialist because only I can do what I do best—it took a long time to realize this. Although people can and do rip my style and work, no one else can replicate the message and context I inject into it.
This applies to you too!
I’m good with this part of my brand. When I’m creating, I’m in the moment and feel the most alive. It’s truly the only time I’m not dwelling on the past or laser focused on what’s next in the future.
However, the doubt creeps in with the ‘influencer’ side of my brand for lack of better terms. By influencer, I’m essentially saying I am using different channels like writing and speaking instead of just art to encourage creatives.
I don’t understand why but I’ve been convinced I had to separate these two identities within my business.
I ask myself:
I realize I’m extremely over thinking things but this is a real pain point for me.
Practically every piece of creative motivational content I’ve produced since pursuing this path has made me cringe when I hit publish.
There is this element of feeling fake for many reasons:
These are just a few reasons.
I know I am more than art, but I don’t know how to communicate this.
I’ve been called a coach, influencer, consultant and mentor several occasions so I thought this is the route I needed to go.
I should probably use my audiences' language right?
I tried giving myself the title of “Creative Coach” or “Creative Mentor” and I died a little bit inside every time I called myself it publicly.
It just doesn’t feel right.
Sadly, since I have been speaking more at conferences, I’m terrified of my idols thinking I’m a corny piece of shit.
I don’t want to care what they think but damn, I really do care.
The imposter within me tears me apart day-by-day as I feel I’m proclaiming I’m something I’m not.
It screams, “Scotty, you’re a 28-year-old artist who has a day job. Why the hell should anyone take you serious with a title like Creative Mentor?”
Only recently have I been able to cope with this serious but not serious dilemma. It’s been through a quote I recently heard and being vocal about my problems with people like you.
This past October I got the opportunity to hear Nathan Barry speak—let me tell you he has a fantastic presence on stage. His message of focusing on what works and dedicating yourself to it really stuck. However, there was a point he made that cut deep into my core.
[perfectpullquote align="full" cite="" link="" color="1c1c1c" class="" size="32"]“If you feel like an imposter, you’re going in the right direction.”[/perfectpullquote]
[ctt template="2" link="DAVG0" via="no" ]“If you feel like an imposter, you’re going in the right direction.” - @nathanbarry[/ctt]
I needed to hear this.
I needed to hear that even the juggernauts of the creative industry feel like imposters.
This is a normal feeling.
I repeat, this is a normal feeling.
I’m 28 years old and I’m not supposed to have everything figured out. Adversity and self-doubt are pre-requisites when pursuing your creative career.
This isn’t supposed to be easy, but it’s about showing up each day and figuring out what works and what doesn’t—and currently, me forcing myself to step into influencer role and titling myself as a ‘creative mentor’ just isn’t panning out.
[ctt template="2" link="DAVG0" via="no" ]Adversity and self-doubt are pre-requisites when pursuing your creative career.[/ctt]
The day I picked up a pencil (or a crayon), I immediately became an artist.
When I’m buried in my grave, I will be an artist.
Right now in my life, I am an artist who does hand lettering and illustrations. I’m also just a fellow creative who is in your corner cheering you on to do great things with your work with my podcast.
If you want to call me a mentor or a coach, that’s cool. I’m not going to label myself that.
I can’t continue to force something that doesn’t feel right.
This will all happen in time.
I can’t force myself overnight to become the future version of myself I envision n 5–10 years. It doesn’t work that way.
As I share my struggles, I’d love to hear from you:
Shoot me an email at Scotty@Perspective-Collective.com as I will read and respond.
I want you to realize you’re not alone and even the people you look up to deal with this.
Stop forcing something that doesn’t feel right. It’s important to follow your intuition and trust your gut.
If something feels off and it has for awhile, reevaluate things and find people who you can talk to.
It’s been huge for me to get this off my chest and I’m finding massive amounts of relief in sharing this with you.
So in conclusion, my name is Scotty Russell, and I’m an artist who does illustrations and hand lettering.
I’m also an imposter and that’s okay.
Alex Blumberg - This American Life
Nathan Barry - Authority