I am going to ask you to lower the bar. Did I just feel the ground shake? Probably but let me explain.
Many people I know here in the Bay Area are in similar situations. They are working a “bill paying” full-time job while they also work hard to start their own creative small businesses. One of the biggest concerns I hear has to do with giving so much time to the, let’s just continue to call it the “bill paying job” for kicks, and not enough time to their own personal creative growth and the development of the own passions.
Fortunately, many of these creative folks are using services like what we offer through Lightbox to help with time management and goal development. But still how does one remain patient and deal with the challenging emotions that come up with spending the majority of our time doing something we may not want to do?
First, I am going to suggest that you actually look at the work you really want to be doing.
Instead of looking at the very specifics think about the qualities attached to the work. Is your dream to start a creative space where you can teach others to tap into their creative process and where you will help form a supportive community? A quality of your passionate work might be helping others or the desire for community. Then I want you to really look at bill paying job. Is there anything about the job that supports these qualities? More than likely there is. Can you help others by making their job easier? Can you build an after work community of people that enjoy similar cultural/creative experiences? Can you use the workplace as a way to explore working with and listening to co-workers with different perspectives?
Then I want you to look at what is sucking the energy out of you while you are at the bill paying job?
Are you stuck in that negative space of feeling trapped? “I can’t leave the money is too good.” Well good, glad to hear you are making money. Can you realistically live on less and possibly work part-time? This negative place can also spin you into another energy sucking spiral of only seeing the things that are wrong. This is my weakness. Do you know how much energy perfection takes to sustain. TONS! So much that it often takes away from everything else you are doing. This is where I am going to ask you to lower the bar. What can you let go of and spend a little less energy doing at this “job.” This is not your own business. You can only do the best you can do. Spend that extra energy on yourself and your own dreams. Lower the bar enough that your job will not be jeopardized, no one gets hurt and you can be happy while there.
Negative thoughts take up a lot of space and can be paralyzing. Changing this focus can open up opportunities and space for your other work. Make being happy at work your main goal and create a challenge out of it. Do you want to experiment with working in a community? Find new creative ways to practice what that would take – listening to others, helping when people need it and be open to learning a new way of doing things.
Shelly Kerry — Lightbox SF
Shelly is the motivation and creativity side of Lightbox SF. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – weekly advice to help keep you motivated, push through those stuck times, and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find the space in your head and the space in your life to pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself.
Besides creating and running her own jewelry design business, em’s studio, Shelly writes guest posts on living your best life on well-known blogs such as Kanelstrand, Handmade Success and Awfully Grand and is pursuing a Core Strengths coaching certificate through San Francisco State University.
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