Fenny Nadorp is an entertainment and creative industry life coach with more than a decade of experience. She has been trained by neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) legend Tony Robbins, Chloé Madanes, Magali and Mark Peysha. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, she has teamed up with Mixmag for a series of topic discussions that artists, industry members and fans alike face to create and encourage a safe environment to openly discuss mental health issues.
Being an artist requires a willingness to give it your all. It requires long days with irregular hours, strings of disappointments, missing out on important dates and anniversaries, more no's than yeses and so on. One pitfall of artistry is the personal battle of feeling adequate and achieving success in a field full of creatives chasing after the same dream. Sometimes, being an artist can feel like a constant uphill battle to be the "flavour of the month" and balancing feeling authentic with getting noticed.
It's easy to understand how an artist's journey day-to-day can feel defeating. Putting in hours at the studio to create music and establish a productive environment around yourself is hard work, but doesn't always lead to immediate results. Sometimes, the tracks are made and you feel ready, but the releases aren't happening and the bookings aren't coming in. You try hard, and yet still it seems like nothing goes the way you want it to.
Then come the nagging thoughts. You start to worry about your finances and your inner critic starts chipping at your ego and self-confidence. Thus begins a cycle of feeling unmotivated and insecure, and sometimes dangerously jealous of the successes that you see your peers achieving on social media.
If this sounds familiar, you need a new game plan. Feeling sorry for yourself will get you no closer to achieving what you really want. Stop comparing yourself to others, when your journey is unique and individual to yourself. It's time to take control of your thoughts and your life, and step up your game. Whatever you put out, you will receive. Where your focus goes is where you will grow.
When you find yourself in such a negative headspace, realize that you are surrounded by the reflection and vibrations of your old habits, beliefs, feelings and choices. When you continue to react that way - frustrated, fearful, negative, jealous - this signifies that you are not holding yourself accountable for your own life and happiness. Become aware of this, and choose to react differently.
Once, a client came to me and immediately started apologizing for looking tired, with a list of reasons as to why he was so tired. I stopped him before he could finish, and asked him why he was apologizing for looking tired and making a list of excuses for himself. By doing this, he was setting his energy to its lowest point, and becoming even more tired while doing so. Simply, his first step to regain energy was to stop apologizing and giving himself excuses.
The second step is to find out where this feeling comes from. As an artist, you've consciously told yourself that you deserve to be successful. Sometimes, it can feel like everyone is achieving while you are not. Remember that success does not come overnight, and those who are achieving have also had bad days, weeks and months too.
Sometimes, you can also be waiting for confirmations from the outside about what you believe in the form of an external event or another person. If you change your mentality, you would react in different ways.
In the end, success doesn't happen by chance, or because of a stroke of luck. You need to put in the work and get plans into action. This is a proactive way to take hold of your reactions and instead, put the energy towards being productive for yourself.
Ask yourself the following:
1. What is your game plan? Do you have a game plan at all, or are you just winging it?
2. What are your main external problems? How do you plan to overcome these external issues?
If you need money, find a survival job - one that helps you earn money to get where you want, while covering your basic needs. There is no shame in having multiple jobs to get where you want to be.
Don't have enough time? Prioritize, and make a list of goals, and sub goals. That way, you can take even small actions to lead to a bigger goal.
Feel like you don't have enough knowledge or skills? Read, listen, learn, and most importantly, do. Practice makes perfect.
Learn how to navigate around external problems, because they can't always be controlled or avoided. Acknowledge the challenge, and figure a way out or around it. For example, if you had to go to work, but didn't have a car and it started raining outside, would you simply give up? No, you would call a friend or an Uber, or find a route on public transportation. Apply that same determination to your personal goals. No excuses.
3. What are your internal obstacles? Learning how to overcome your own doubts, fears, anxieties, worries and limiting beliefs is also key. Become inspired to think bigger and work more productively to develop your ideas and feelings into meaningful creative projects.
4. Ask yourself what you want to achieve and why? What do you want, and within how long?
It's important to keep these thoughts realistic, and achievable. Your "why" will motivate you through the roughest of times and help you stay focused.
If you feel as though you aren't moving forward, it's okay to reevaluate as long as it's not settling into an excuse. Be honest with yourself and ask:
Are you working hard, but in the wrong direction?
Are you constantly doubting yourself?
Are you letting FOMO get in the way?
Are you trying to accomplish too many things at once?
Are you feeling stuck because of existing rules? Is it time to create your own?
Are you forgetting to have fun?
Are you focusing too much on the success and journey of others?
Are you being impatient?
Are you surrounded by disbelievers?
Are you being lazy?
Are you spending enough time dedicated to your situation? Are you avoiding overanalyzing the situation?
Are you clear on what you want to achieve?
Are you just copying someone else's path? How is this goal individual to you?
I love to invite you to ask me any questions you might have about mental health, mental well-being or lifestyle. Please do reach out to me with questions.
Fenny Nadorp is an entertainment and creative industry life coach, trainer and speaker based in The Netherlands. Find her on Instagram here and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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