At least once a month I get overcome with discouragement and want to quit.
I've been working harder on pursuing my dream of being an ARTrepreneur than anything else I've ever done. I show up every day to do the work. I put in long hours. I plan the best I know how. I'm leaning into those areas where I am weak or need knowledge and guidance. I'm doing all the things that those blog posts, websites and online courses say to do.
The part of chasing your dream that not many people talk about is the intensity of emotion that can wash over you like a title wave. What happens when you're doing all the "right" things and you still don't seem to have the traction or results you desire?
On days like that where opportunities seem scarce, sales are low and the proverbial phone isn't ringing, this voice comes, and whispers in my ear. “Quit. This is too hard. No one cares about you or your art. Why put yourself through this? Why put your family through this?”
And then the voice plays real dirty. It reminds me of the pain of the past. Past failures. Depression. It reminds me of the pain of loosing finances, loosing jobs, loosing a community, having had to sell our house, wondering what to do next, and if this was what life would look like from now on... Experiences so painful that they still have sting to them years later.
The voice tries to tell me that if it happened once, it could happen again. And I just can't bear to go through that again. I wouldn't survive.
And there it is. The predisposition to let the past dictate the future.
In his book, Shut Your Monkey, Danny Gregory talks about the inner critic as being a monkey. The monkey likes to keep us from becoming who we’re meant to become, and tries to prevent us from doing the work we are meant to do. His advice is to acknowledge the monkey but then tell him to shut it! Don't let him convince you to quit.
Truthfully, sometimes we do need to quit. But we need to learn to quit the right things. So instead of giving up on your dream, quit something else.
Quit the self doubt. Quit listening to that negative voice. Quit the "What If’s". Quit feeding the fear. Quit living out of past experiences. Quit the scarcity mentality. Quit complaining. Quit feeling sorry for yourself.
But DON'T quit on YOU.
On dark days, it's easy to lose hope. It's easy to get tired and get tempted to give up. But we might be right around the bend of something revolutionary.
So today, instead of quitting my dream, i’m quitting the belief that my past will dictate my future. I have to keep pursuing the very thing that comes from deep with in me. I am, and always will be an Artist.
What about you? When are you tempted to quit? How do you battle your inner critic?