We often start out on our goal setting journey towards with excitement, energy and fearlessness. Then, inevitably, we face trials, setbacks and discouragement. Are you the type of person that perseveres and pushes through, do you waver and change your course or do you give up entirely? I am here to tell you that no matter what your dream goal is, you will have discouragement. It does make us stronger when we come out the other side, but how do we deal with setbacks and trials that lead to discouragement when we are in the middle of them? In this post I will give you some examples as well as a guide for getting back on track and staying the course. Follow along for 5 ways to to deal with discouragement on your creative journey.
Discouragement can look like many things. It can be a “no”response when a door to an opportunity closes. I have a great example for this. I had applied to a large, well known online wholesale supplier that marries retailers (brick and mortar stores) with sellers (like my shop). What did I have to lose, right? So, they got back to me fairly quickly with a surprising “YES!” Wow, I couldn’t believe it! I worked very hard to get all of my products listed and priced properly prior to sending them my line sheet. After all of my hard work I was ready for this opportunity! Then the wholesaler realized I was not from the United States and everything was shut down promptly.
This was not my first disappointment along this road with promoting my shop and products. Therefore, I chose not to dwell on it as I could not change it. I could complain about it, but then it would just make me feel worse. So I chose to accept the loss and move on. I also chose to see that the work I had put in to get ready for this wholesaler would prepare me for future.
Discouragement could also look like a negative response to not having the monetary funds for a very relevant course. Sometimes we have to be creative to find free resources for our needs. So many bloggers, artists and creatives offer free courses as an incentive to a larger program. Skillshare offers two months free for new subscribers for any of their courses. That is pretty awesome and where my learning journey began.
It could appear as criticism from an someone in on social media. Remember, we choose whose voices we listen to in this journey towards our dream goal. Is this person giving us constructive criticism that we could learn from or are they just being negative?
When you are facing discouragement, ask yourself, “is this my mood (I have to ask myself this one often), my situation or a negative outlook towards someone who is succeeding where I am not?” Were my expectations of the outcome unreasonable? Succeeding and getting that “win” is all a matter of timing and perspective. There are reasons unknown to us as to why something doesn’t work on our time table. Maybe you aren’t ready or fully prepared for a success in a particular area of your creative goal. So, what can you still learn from the process?
Below are five ways to deal with discouragement, whether you are in the middle of experiencing it or gaining knowledge to guide you with future discouragement.
1. Anticipate discouragement
Sometimes the biggest setbacks happen when we are not prepared or taken off guard. The most important thing about this is to remember your response is more important than your setback. The more you can look at discouragement as an opportunity for growth, the more you won’t let it weigh you down. Ask yourself, “what did this teach me?” And when you look back at some defeats ask, “how did this give me a stronger more resolved outlook?” and “what success did I have as a result?”
2. Have a solid affirmation routine in place
Fear and negativity will always threaten to derail your progress so prevention is the best medicine. As any creative or entrepreneur knows, we need to have a consistent input of inspiring influences who remind us of our worth and value.
For myself, I have to stay grounded daily in the words of the Scriptures. The Lord declares who I am and that my worth is found in who he has created me to be not on my success or failure. This is my favorite identity defining verse. “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you, I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine” Isaiah 41: 13, 43:1
There are a few digital downloads I have created available in my Shop, here is a preview of one that affirms our need to trust the process despite what we may feel on this journey.
To start building your affirmation mindset, check out the following post, How to Set Goals to Achieve Successful Outcomes which gives a step by step guideline and a free printable.
3. Surround yourself with supportive peers
Remember, you do not create success towards your goals all on your own. You need people who support, listen, understand and encourage you. These peers (your tribe) can help you see your progress even when you don’t. They can be the voice of reason and see the best in you when you are unable to. This support could look like a Facebook group (I am a part of two amazing groups) related to your area of creativity or an in person meet up once a month (I am a part of one of those as well).
Sometimes reaching out to out to another creative is the best encouragement we can receive. When we think we can do it all on our own, we are facing defeat. I have made it a priority to meet with a accountability partner monthly so that we can encourage each other in our goals. We help each other with the bigger “outside” of our own head perspective. We consistently respond to each other’s Instagram and Facebook posts. I also have a handful of like minded creative who are trying to accomplish their own Big Dream Goal.
4. Invest in Courses from Other Creatives
Everyone faces discouragement and has been in a similar place to where you are now. You are not alone and you do not have to do this alone. Researching topics that will help you overcome overwhelm in order to gain knowledge and the tools to become more equipped to reach your goal is the best gift you can give yourself. Here are some of the creatives and online entrepreneurs who have guided me with their expertise. They have very specific programs for creatives but they also have goals focused podcasts, webinars, free opt ins, online courses as well.
Emily Jeffords is a fine artist who has a soft spoken, encouraging social media presence and a podcast called “Do It For the Process”.
Kayla Butler of Ivory Mix offers amazing sales and marketing content and free stock photos along with smart visual marketing strategies.
Melyssa Griffin is a blogging strategist with a podcast, webinars and e-courses.
5. Learn to Read Yourself
It is important to know your limits and when you need a break. Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away from a project for a specified amount of time and then come back to it when you have refueled and refreshed. Do you need to put a task on the back burner because it is leading to more discouragement? Or do you need to re-evaluate what is critical to do now versus to do later? I have a great post on 10 Questions You Need to Ask for goal setting Success HERE.
Is your discouragement leading to resentment of your work or worse yet, burnout? Check in with your supportive peers and even look into a life coach or counsellor. It is amazing what asking for help can do to reset your perspective and goal success.
I trust that these 5 ways to deal with discouragement can help you identify and target which areas you need to work on in order to continue moving forward to your creative goal being realized. I would love your feedback so if you identify with something that you have read today, please leave a comment and if you are a fellow pinner, please pin. Thank you!
Blessings from my house to yours,
Really helpful strategies – especially reaching out to other people/creatives can help with encouragement and lessen the sense of isolation! I also love the pictures in this post with the white keyboard/flowers etc. Great post!
Thanks Marlies! I’m glad it was helpful.