Is quitting the right choice? How to know when throwing in the towel is best or when you are just one tweak away from genius!
You may not know this about me, but I think about quitting a lot. In fact, on an almost weekly basis the thought of quitting something I am doing crosses my mind.
The truth is, we really can't do everything. So sometimes it is wise to let go of some things.
But how do you know when you should actually quit?
The thoughts that run through our minds about quitting are bringing up opportunities for evaluation of what is really happening.
When you think about quitting ask yourself these questions:
Am I quitting because I think I am a failure?
Did I create a situation where 'success' would actually be attainable? (time frame, magnitude, expectations of fame, etc.)
If you are just picking up an instrument and not playing in Carnegie Hall within the first six months, thats a good thing. You probably aren't there yet. Also, you may need to be realistic with yourself about the stats. That doesn't mean that you can't expand to a success on your own terms and by your own defining. But don't be unrealistic with yourself and then throw in the towel! You have to create a full picture situation in which the process can unfold naturally.
Have I given myself enough time?
Have I sought to educate myself on this? Talked to experts? Taken a class? Invested practice time?
Do I expect to turn this into a business without treating it like a business?
A lot of folks do want to earn money from their art. This is totally a fine path to take if you are willing to realize that that means you are taking your art and adding the added dimension of building a business. In that respect, thinking about it like a business is going to be a smart thing to do!
Do I still experience joy when I do this?
Some folks quit what they are doing because some aspect of it ceases to bring them joy, when really, they may not need to quit the whole thing. I have a client who was frustrated by the production aspect of sewing. She had a full time job and sewing had become a beloved hobby. Then the orders started pouring in and then she got a large wholesale order.
After working till all hours for months to complete the wholesale order, she didn't want to sew anymore.
The production aspect of sewing made her want to throw in the towel. She realized she didn't want to do things it would take to do (hiring other people, purchasing large amounts of fabric, filling large orders, and dealing with wholesalers) to ramp this up into a full time business.
When she took the business out of her sewing, she loved it again. She now only does orders for friends and family and each piece is custom. That is the way she likes it. That is what makes it fun for her.
Remember, this stuff is for the love of the game.
In the process of working with my young horse I have become frustrated and disheartened on more than one occasion. One of my horse friends who trains horses for a living said, "Court, this stuff isn't easy. If it was, everyone would do it. You've gotta be patient with yourself and don't give up."
I still really enjoy working with my horse. I do it for the love of the process. I'm never going to be a traveling horse whisperer or anything like that, I know the place that it has in my life. When I readjust my expectations and I see the joy I get from the process clearly, I can focus on that when the comparisons with others or the self-criticism or the overwhelming urge to throw in the towel pops up in my head.
This puts it in perspective even if you are pursuing your art as a business also!
For example: I know I wont get a chance to talk to everyone in the world about their creativity, but I know who I want to be in the moments where I get the opportunity to work with the people I do get to work with; I want to be fully present, I want to be authentic, I want to be a good listener, I want to be an encourager, I want to be a person who can share insight and be a catalyst for growth, and I want to have joy!
When I put it that way, it's easy to see, even if I am not hanging out with Oprah, that I am still meeting my standards of success. I'm still enjoying the work.
No need to quit or throw in the towel yet!
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"Court has a knack for supporting others in tuning into the artist within..."
"If preparing to work with Court you should know that you will be challenged to be your best self and you will be given tools for how to do so.
You may also find yourself realizing dreams and vocations that may have been easier in the short term to keep hidden, but overall will allow you to embrace this creative part of yourself and live more fully." -Faith Josephs