You know those weeks that fly by, and before you know it, it's already mid-March, and you swear either some time/dimensional warp happened that sucked you in and made half of the days since January 1st just up and disappear? No? Is it just me that feels this way? Or is this a case of... Analysis Paralysis?
Time after time.
Well, the main reason I'm feeling this way is because I tend to really focus on time passage by major events. I think most everyone does that, but I have this annoying tendency to KNOW that perhaps I have a show that requires more than a bit of preparation to get ready for. Regardless of how far out said show may be, there has been on my part, a lot of hesitation.
I've gone in depth on this before, I attribute it to either very real burn out, or maybe a general malaise that hovers over my creative output. It isn't new territory, nor is it entirely avoidable, at least not in my experience. But the key here I am looking for, is the one that unlocks any of the doors that hold a person within the rooms of self doubt that we have built.
One part of me wonders if it's not this very moment that I should be drawing inspiration from, and indeed a lot of my current creative efforts have gravitated back towards darker themes incorporating loss, emptiness, some ethereal environments, or in some cases, more familiar and "safer" subject matters. How to make sure that no matter which direction the fulcrum in life decides to move towards, that I am still able to find it within me to push forward and believe in my own creations.
Analysis Paralysis is absolutely part if not the entirety the problem for me.
The term above is pretty self explanatory, but as all encompassing as it is, it can also be intrinsically scrupulous and divisive in how it can affect someone.
In my case, I tend to get overwhelmed by too many options, leading to overcomplicating the decision at hand. With that, the compulsion to want the perfect decision, and holding off doing so until I've done enough "research", is almost always the next hurdle.
Round that out with the unease of making what could be a wrong decision, and there's a perfect mix that blends into the paralysis.
Any of the above sound familiar? More people go through that, then you realize, even the most seemingly successful individuals.
Get back your Get Up and Go.
So this is all great and dandy, but now that I'm more than aware of this happening to me, what can I do about it?
Well thankfully there are some steps that I've started doing that may be able to help anyone else out that is going through this.
You can always opt to get counseling if you have the resources to do so. Making time to face these factors is important every step of the way, so make time in your day. You'd be surprised how many times we chip away at time in our lives on pointless things.
- Decision Making: This one comes down to a lot of variables, but at it's base I do this. I look at the choice I have to make and decide it's a major or minor one. Annoyingly that can take longer than I'd like, but I force myself to dive in and use as much logic as I can to figure out where the outcome of that choice will fall.
- Looking back is great, just don't stare: Seriously, this one is probably one of the worst because it means I consistently review past efforts and mistakes. I have taken cathartic measures like blogging/vlogging, boxing, playing video games, or reading, ANYTHING, to get my mind off of past things. That's not to say you should not learn or understand new things from past moments. That is absolutely what you should do. But don't dwell on them!
- Perfection does not exist: Most people wait for this, unattainable "perfect" moment to dive into anything from making videos, to writing, you name it. I tend to blame the evolution of our dare I say dependency and addiction to the curated virtual self we manicure for social media. It's taken me some time, but I have begun to realize that the more I make, the more I do towards that virtually impossible perfection, the better I will get. It's a great inspirational goal to shoot for, just understand that even if you achieve "perfection" in a song, a work of illustration, or whatever else you would designate as your ultimate output..., would you ever be able to do it consistently or everytime? And even if you COULD, would you want it to be as such? We as humans, thrive on challenge, look for new and exciting stimulus. But we also can be insecure, full of failure fear, notoriously jealous, or even perhaps embarrassed about our humble starting efforts at anything. God forbid anyone else see us fail. The fact is that people rarely will remember all the bad things, but they will be there to celebrate the good and the great. Don't believe me? Go ask any Instagram lifestyle blogger. Or ask any Twitch streamer. Or I don't know, anyone who has ever tried to make it.
- Goals!: I cannot overstate this enough. They are easy to lose sight of. They can seem so far away and limiting. They won't be always achieved easily. But you do need them. Goals. Short, Long, Alternate, and Hopeful. They tend to run hand in hand with the wise Yoda words of "Do or Do Not! There is no try!" Take the time to understand what you want to be. Yeah it's cool to say you are a jack of all trades. Everyone wants to video live stream, do art, do sculpture, have a massive Instagram following, and have a life, make money, do every show under the sun and make money doing it, all while trying to do everything from taxes, to self discovery and reflection. It is almost impossible to do it all and make them all good if not great. I know, I've tried. And I had to realize that I have to get better at my goals, before I watch them deflate and float by like a sad sinking inner tube on the stream of life.
- It's all about You: So this last one may seem easy. But it's probably the hardest one to do for the majority of people out there.
Believe in yourself-- accept the flaws, the fears, the insecurities, the anxieties, the mistakes, and all of that.
Then either figure out how to work with them, overcome them, or ignore them.
Never have two sentences held so much impossibility than just now. Or so it may seem. Look, when it comes down to it. The incredible dichotomy of modern life is that we live in a day and age where more information and by proxy, communication outreach is available for us to learn how to fix the issues we encounter, or at least begin to understand them. I'm not saying believe in WebMD, I'm saying look at all of the good and bad that is out there. Decide which part of that you want to be a part of, realize that so many others are in some of the same places you are mentally and emotionally. Not one of us is perfect. And that's okay. And when you take that knowledge and apply it to the very things that hold us back, you may find that you had the keys all along.
So if there is anything to take from all this, it's that we all go through this sort of thing. I've yet to meet anyone that doesn't. That does not make you broken. It does mean you have room to grow and become the person you WANT to be.
I have Naka-Kon coming up this weekend. So if you're out and about, you can find me there!
Until next time, support your local artists and businesses. Be kind to your fellow beings and always take the path less traveled. We all may live in times uncertain, but kindness, understanding, and believing in the good that is in most each and every one of us is what can bring about better days!
- Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist