Imagine you are running a marathon. Every step forward is a challenge. There are points in the race where your body’s pain tells you to stop. But you push that aside and power through, because you have trained and prepared for this race. Now imagine you are within 500 feet from the finish line…
…and you stop.
This is what happens to young designers every single day. They have a goal. They train and acquire skills. They overcome obstacles. But right when they are on the cusp of a breakthrough or victory, they quit.
I’ve seen plenty of talented artists simply give up. They reach a plateau and because of a few setbacks they stop. They remain convinced that they are not worthy of their own dreams and goals. They procrastinate.
In my experience, failure comes about through six fundamental suspects:
1) The Stagnator
2) The Super Hero
3) The Fiddler
4) The Scaredy Cat
5) The Waffler
6) The Blamer
In my view, these suspects are all inter-related. They have all at one point, worked separately or collectively, as dream murderers. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
The Stagnator will complain about lack of available opportunities and demand constant sympathy. He stays within his comfort zone and complains if he has to venture out of it. He is passive when it comes to self-training. As such, his skills are limited. He is exactly where he is and does nothing to advance his situation.
The Super Hero thinks she can do everything all by herself. She carries the weight of the entire load without learning how to use the available resources around her. She reinvents the wheel and constantly bemoans her plight. She resists asking others for help. She feels overwhelmed with her work and ultimately resents those around her.
The Fiddler surrounds himself with trivial tasks, which he uses as a form of procrastination. He looks at the immediate view without seeing the big picture. If his goal is in the form of a map, he is running in circles by filling his day up with useless tasks instead of facing his obstacles head on.
The Scaredy Cat doesn’t think she’s good enough and holds herself up to every single artist around her. She is paralyzed with fear because she is worried about being judged. She lacks confidence and talks herself out of success because she feels that she is not worthy of it.
The Waffler’s got the best of intentions, but fails to show up when needed. The Waffler is flaky and rarely communicates in a timely manner be cause he lacks commitment. He blows off meetings and gigs and shows up to work chronically late.
The Blamer is quick to point out that she is where she is at because of her circumstances. She throws up her hands and whines about the problems in her life. She carries her ball and chain in the form of emotional baggage and uses it as her trump card.
If we are really honest with ourselves, we should be able to easily identify our Dream Murderers. So the real question is: Who has murdered your dreams?