If There’s No Passion, There’s No Pulse: Why We Need To Take Risks To Create Our Best Art

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Marisa D. Aceves. Corrugated Dune. digital photography

 

If we view our art as a body infused with life-giving ideas and experiences, we instinctively know that when there’s no passion, there’s no pulse. When art is dead, we cry and so do the artists who long to express themselves, but can’t seem to find a reason to speak. Change is threatening.  We know what we are doing; we know what we have done, but how do we make it more meaningful? How do we engage with our art in such a way that it makes others want to engage?

 Sometimes we come to a crossroads where we must make the difficult decision to allow ourselves to experience uncomfortable episodes in our lives so we can truly create great art. Not many of us want to go there. There is where all our insecurities lie. There is full of instability, uncertainty and inevitable disapproval, yet there is where genius lives. 

Inevitably, we must make that difficult choice whether to live or die. Simply breathing and existing is not enough. If we want to make art that has life then we must not be afraid to live our lives. Our lives are our stories. It is from these stories that we can draw inspiration for the artwork that we create. I once read an article by a young writer, Jeff Goins, about living your story. In it he brought up the simple fact that many people avoid living their lives because they are afraid of taking risks. The fear of failure and judgement kill many artists before they begin because they can only focus on all the problems that they will encounter on their journey to success. Instead of allowing themselves to be blindsided by their fear of future events, they need to patiently, and mindfully focus on the prize that individual freedom of expression offers them. They need to complete the journey not give up when obstacles seem insurmountable. Things will not always be the way they are now.  The people that refuse to give up are the people that are holding onto something; they have a vision that they want to see come to fruition . I urge you not to give up, but to continue to see your unique vision through till the end. Find new, exciting reasons to create.  Who knows, maybe we can both inspire and challenge each other to become the artists we were always meant to be.

I guess the question that each and every artist must eventually ask themselves is, “What am I holding onto?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfectionism: The Problem With Dreaming The Impossible Dream

An abstract photograph of foil floral wrapping paper

 

Marisa D. Aceves. Red Wrapper. digital photography 

article by Marisa D. Aceves

Many artists can spend a lifetime training, creating, and fighting to produce that one perfect piece of art that the world will remember.

However, there is a difference between working hard to become the best artist that your particular range of talents will allow and aiming to become a perfect artist.

There are some individuals that become so obsessed with perfection that they forget to enjoy the learning process.

They alienate themselves from their art and the reason why they felt the need to create art in the first place.

Usually, when this situation occurs, procrastination follows as the need to avoid the angst that perfectionism causes overrides all creative endeavors. 

Perfectionism is in effect, dreaming the impossible dream.

Why?

When we aim for it, we are bound to encounter disappointment because the simple truth is that no man or woman is perfect.

If you are not enjoying creating art, why create it.

Getting rid of perfectionist thinking is as much a conscious decision as choosing to be happy. 

The moment we decide to drop perfectionism and choose to approach our life and career from a different perspective, we begin to gain the joy we once lost when we put needless pressure on ourselves.

Be the very best artist that you can be, but don’t fall prey to a perfectionist way of thinking or it will rob you of both the joy you gain from your work and the ability to move forward with your career.

When you find yourself slipping back into faulty perfectionistic thought patterns, gently remind yourself that your work will get better with time, practice, and experience.

A Tale of Two YOUs: Should You Create Art In More Than One Style?

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Artwork by: Marisa D. Aceves. Figurative Landscape 1. enamel on canvas

Article by: Marisa D. Aceves 

It’s true that many artists choose to communicate exclusively in one particular style. 

This common practice is often suggested by many an art professor, gallery owner and online art marketing expert. 

In fact, they are right (well, in a way); your unique style is your brand.

It distinguishes you from other artists competing for the attention of the same established galleries, but what if after years of creating art in your chosen style, you realize that there is something missing?

When your normal burst of creativity seems unfulfilling, should you dare to consider the possibility of another style or medium?

You know instinctively, that you must succeed in marketing one style of work before you proceed, at least that is what the majority of us are led to believe.

An undeniable fear that often creeps up when considering this possibility is the question of wether the art that you are presently creating will suffer as a result of taking that scary but exciting detour.

I believe the answer depends on your answer to a simple question: Are you self-represented or are you gallery represented?

Gallery Representation

If you are gallery represented, the gallery where you signed your exclusive agreement may not want or permit you to sell or even create work in any other style than the one you have been producing. Remember that style together with content/subject matter equal brand.  The gallery uses your brand to sell your work to specific clients.  If the gallery is successful at selling your present brand of work, then they probably won’t share your passion for creating work that is unfamiliar to an established audience. In this case, it becomes a financial issue, as galleries only represent artists whose work they feel they can sell.  Many commercial galleries must make a certain amount of sales to stay open. Your work then is only relevant if it remains “recognizable” and “profitable”.

If you are currently represented by a gallery, I would advise you to check with your gallery to be sure that you understand the terms of your contract.

Self-Representation 

If you represent yourself, you are already becoming aware of the “jack of all trades” juggling act that you face as you have to take on both the advertising and marketing role of a gallery and the creative output of a productive artist. 

 As a self-represented artist, having to market two different styles of work, poses it’s own unique set of challenges.  It means that you have to do twice  the amount of advertising work as well as create significant bodies of work in each style.

Whatever choice that you make, whether you seek gallery representation or you decide to represent yourself, if you plan to create in more than one style, do your research.

So should you take on two markedly different styles?

The Best and Worst Thing You Can Do For Your Creative Business: Why People Pleasing Isn’t Pleasing People

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Marisa D. Aceves. Aquamarine Composition 2. Digital Photography. http://www.acevesart.com/

article by Marisa D. Aceves

 

As artists our greatest hope is that people both value and appreciate our work.

Perhaps our deepest fear is that no one cares about the work we produce; we are painting for an audience of one.

While we many of us work diligently on our marketing campaigns, we begin to entertain that dreaded question that often keeps us up at night:

“Who is my audience?”

It becomes clear that in our search for individuality (a definitive style, subject matter,etc.), in order to be something to someone, we can’t be all things to all people.

Yet sometimes, our need to please everyone sends us in a million different directions as we desperately try to corner every conceivable market. 

Many years ago, I had a friend who placed all of his self-worth on wether or not people liked him. Whenever we met someone new or spent quality time with one of his old friends he literally morphed into the person that he believed that they wanted him to be. He would always let me pick the places were we should go, but he never would make a decision as to where he wanted to go.  I strongly believe that during this period of his life, he felt directionless. Eventually, he grew to resent the fact that he was losing himself to other people’s agendas. As controlling, manipulative people began to enter his life, I saw less and less of the potential writer who was full of wit and more of the suffocated “yes” man that he had agreed to become. 

Trying to please everyone around us is almost always a recipe for disaster.

Inevitably, we lose ourselves and our self respect. 

An incessant need for outside validation can often override our unique vision. 

Defining our work may set us apart in the marketplace, but not every marketplace is right for our work.

We do want to please people, but we don’t want to become a people pleaser in order to get there.

So what is the difference between people pleasing and pleasing people?

PEOPLE PLEASING 

When we fall into people pleasing behaviors, we want everyone to love our art, but not everyone will.  

In order to counter disapproval, rejection, lack of interest in others etc., we try to graft aspects of their likes and interests onto our work or we create work in a myriad of styles without committing to one.

 The end result is that we drown in a self-imposed prison of miscellaneousness. 

We don’t give ourselves the chance to discover who we really are or what we believe. 

When we finally do commit, we commit to things that simply don’t interest us or things that take us away from where out focus needs to be, our art.

We become easy targets for manipulative people who have their own agendas.

When we become attached to them, their reputation follows us as well.

People pleasing doesn’t please customers either.

If prospective customers can’t get a sense of who you are and what your work is about, they won’t trust you or your business enough to develop the kind of connection necessary to result in a future sale.

Basically, people pleasers find they lack vision and focus.  They develop both personal and career resentments as they sense that they are slowly losing themselves as a result of their fear of losing other people.

 

PLEASING PEOPLE

Pleasing people is quite a different approach.  

Eventually, we find our audience when we know who we are and what we like.

We make no apologies for our differences, but use those to fuel our creativity.

We don’t try to speak to everyone, rather we are content to address those who share our interests,  tastes, and beliefs.

Listening to constructive criticism is viewed as an important part of our development, but we don’t necessarily feel that we have to apply all of the suggestions we are given.

Happiness occurs when we make time for others, but we don’t let their schedules run our lives. 

We are able to say “yes” to some opportunities and “no” to others without burning bridges.

We carefully listen to what our customers and supporters find valuable, while correcting those things that slow down our business or keep it from being profitable.

With this knowledge, we can approach future business opportunities not with a people pleasing victim mentality, but with a self-assurance and preparation that helps us to please the people we are meant to address.

 

 

 

The Agony of Defeating Yourself: 7 Warning Signs You’re Prone to Self-Sabotage

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Marisa D. Aceves. Satellite 2 Valley 1. Digital Photography

 

You’ve been surfing the web and combing the pages of countless art publications looking for the perfect opportunity to showcase your work.

You know that you have a limited amount of time to get your jpegs and artist statement together to send to a handful of promising juried exhibitions.

As you prepare your entry, you can feel the anxiety begin to build.

Will it be good enough?

Do you have enough experience?

Have you met the requirements for each competition?

One little doubt is added to another and another. 

Then, just when you’ve begun the baby steps to reaching your goal of increased visibility you do something stupid…

…something completely and totally irrational….

You decide not to enter.

The opportunity is gone within a couple of days, but the self-loathing and internal brow-beating can go on for weeks. 

Finally, you come to realize one small yet important fact that you have deliberately chosen to ignore: You’re your own worst enemy.

We want good things for ourselves; We have an innate desire to share our work with others. So why do we consistently do things to kill our chances for success?

There are as many different reasons for engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors as there are self-sabotaging behaviors. Self-sabotage in the arts in not a unique phenomenon. It seems to cross professions and is an otherwise equal opportunity problem.  

So how do we know if we have a tendency to self-sabotage and what can we do to address it . Here are seven warning signs that you may have a problem with self-defeating behaviors:

1. Procrastination- We have all been a party to procrastination at one point or another.  However, when it becomes a habit and an excuse to avoid things and people associated with our job (that make us uncomfortable) it can keep us from the work we need to put in to achieve our career goals. If you know that procrastination is a problem, write a list of all of the goals that you would like to achieve.  Break these goals into smaller tasks so that you don’t get overwhelmed.  Set up a daily and weekly schedule for working on these smaller tasks. If it helps, keep a monthly calendar with the tasks for that particular day written in the space for each day of the month.  If it is a social problem and you are avoiding seeing people within your industry, friends and family, try to take small steps to expose your self to more people. Join a local arts council etc. Learn from good friends who can help you understand how to successfully communicate with people.

2. Negative Self-Defeating Thought Patterns- Sometimes we punish ourselves when things don’t go our way (opportunities fall through), people we love disappoint us, or we simply fear the unknown.  The problem with repeating negative thoughts about ourselves and our situation/s is that eventually, we start to believe our own hype and those destructive thoughts eventually become actions. Generally, the negative self-sabotaging thoughts we have about ourselves have a deeper underlying cause that we need to address. Try to find out the real reasons for your negative thoughts about yourself and your abilities. Is it fear of failure? Is it fear of rejection? Once you are able to positively identify the areas that are emotionally difficult for you, you can begin to make a plan to move forward in these areas so that they no longer serve as emotional triggers. 

3. Difficulty Handling Emotional Stress- When people correct you or make negative or hurtful comments do you automatically become defensive? Do you make excuses or shutdown?  These could be signs that you have difficulty handling emotional stress.  Instead of falling into self-destructive habits like drugs, alcohol etc. to deal with the emotional stress, consider this: Is their criticism valid?  Who is making the negative comments and why?  We can never completely avoid emotionally stressful situations. All we can do is learn to deal with them in a positive, mature manner. There may be times, when we have to fix a problem that is due to our own lack or responsibility. Other times, the problem lies with the individual or individuals making the negative comments; it is not our problem to fix.

4. Dysfunctional Relationships- As I have mentioned before in a previous post on stress, there are some people who care more about themselves than they do about you. Their negative decisions and self-destructive behaviors can often effect you and the way that others see you.  In the course of your relationship with them, you find that you are spending all of your time trying to fix their problems instead of working to solve your own.  This game can lead to a load of resentment.  Sometimes, we want influential friends or a career affiliation so badly, our “neediness” makes us an easy target for abusers and users.  Inside we feel that  something is wrong, but we purposefully ignore the warning signs. There is also a reverse example of the aforementioned negative relationship, where we have unrealistic expectations of the people that we know and love.  We may place an unnecessary burden on them to “keep us happy at all times”. When this scenario inevitably fails, we lose our cool and they lose us permanently.  Don’t rely on others to make you feel loved, happy or worthy. Treat others with love and respect. When they don’t reciprocate, politely and calmly wish them well and let them go on their way. 

5. Entertaining Negative Past Events That Make You Angry-  Constantly reliving the past doesn’t give you hope for the future.  What has happened has happened. It is officially over.  To allow yourself to remain angry about something that has happened in the past automatically gives that past event or person unnecessary control over you and your future happiness. Whenever you find that this is happening, move from where you are.  Try to engage in another activity like reading or a hobby that you enjoy. Watch a television program that you like. Call a good friend or family member on the phone and start a great conversation.  Do not allow yourself to entertain these past events.  Calmly tell yourself that the problematic situation has already occurred; you are not going back in time to fix it. Tell yourself that you have already decided to move on. If this method doesn’t work try writing down the reasons why that particular situation made you angry? On paper tell the person or persons involved what you would have wanted to tell them.  Don’t hold back.  Now rip the paper into shreds and toss it in the trash. Give yourself permission to let it go forever.  It may take some time and practice at first, but all unprofitable habits can be conquered with time and effort.

6. You Blame Others- Sometimes, it really is their fault. Other times, it is simply our own lack of action or bad habits that eventually bring us down.  If we continue to blame others for our problems, we develop a bitter victim mentality.  It gives us the perfect excuse to avoid the change we need to make a difference in our lives.  

7. Inability To Commit To Specific Goals- We all face an uncertain future.  No one really knows what will happen tomorrow, but if we work hard and prepare we have a better chance of succeeding.  Often we find that at the core of inaction is fear.  We can experience fear about the future or about wether or not we can meet the goals we set. Nevertheless, we have to define our goals anyway so that we know were we want to go and what we want to achieve. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your work. Boldly set about making a list of goals you would like to achieve. Be realistic with a keen understanding of your present abilities and knowledge. Place these goals in an area where you can see them so that you are constantly reminded of your intentions. While your goals may change over time, it is good to have your goals in front of you.  In this way, you can monitor your actions to see if they are helping or keeping you from reaching your goals.  

While this article doesn’t  begin to cover all of the self-sabotaging behaviors that exist, it does help to identify some common ones that may be directly effecting your business.  Like many other problems, time, consistency and patience pay off.

 

 

20 Strategies for Overcoming Stress in Your Art Career

2121211There’s nothing like coming up with something that is considered wonderfully creative (maybe even genius), but what happens when stress from outside factors gives your otherwise squeaky wheel of creativity a swift kick in the rear?

 

Many of us would prefer to avoid the topic of stress because basically, it stresses us out. However, coming to terms with job related stress is a necessity for our mental health, physical health and the health of our business.

 

Coming up with a helpful list of creative solutions to combat art job stressors ensures that everyday annoyances and career disappointments won’t get the best of you.  Keeping a list of de-stressors available doesn’t mean that you’re weak, it simply means you’re organized, self-aware and prepared to deal with life’s unexpected complications.  Here are 20 strategies to help you overcome negative stress and set you bacon the road to calm, clear and creative:

 

1) Refuse to fret needlessly over things you can’t control – We cannot always determine the outcome of certain events. While showing up prepared to meet life’s challenges increases you chances of success, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll always win the prize.  Do your part to the best of your ability. Then make the conscious decision to focus on something else.

 

2) Go ahead and take the occasional break; it won’t kill you – Some of us agree to become workaholics because we have fallen into the false belief that if we allow ourselves a little break, people will think that we’re lazy.  Slacking off aside, proper breaks often help to you to “reassess the situation” so that you can approach your work with a fresh perspective

 

3) Quit playing the Comparison Game- Not everyone’s circumstances, level or talent or experience is the same. So why even go there.  Instead focus on learning valuable skills to help you improve.  Each day, approach things with your best effort.

 

4) Don’t take on too many commitments- Consider the amount of work you can safely handle without if affecting the quality of your work, health or relationships.

 

5) Rely on the support of friends and family- Don’t neglect the people that are there to encourage you.  Knowing that there are other people that have at one time, shared your aggregation helps you to realize that you are not alone.

 

6) Don’t let others put unnecessary pressure on you or steal your joy- Sure their are bullies out there in every nook, cranny and profession, but why give them your day or your week.  People have their own agendas.  It is very easy to sucked into their manipulations, but is it good for you? Learn to politely say no to things and people that you know will harm not help you.

 

7) Stop sharing your problems with people you don’t know- Sometimes we set ourselves up by giving others the ammunition to use against us.  Remember that art is often a “cutthroat business”.  Sadly, some people will use your weaknesses, worries, and fears against you.  They naturally do what they believe is necessary for their own survival and benefit, not yours.  With the exception of sharing with the most trusted family members,friends and professionals, keep your mouth shut and your ears open.

 

8) Curb multi-tasking; it’s overrated- Everyone loves to say I accomplished all these things in a short space of time, but when the quality of your work and relationships suffer, it’s time to slow down and cut the number of tasks that you normally perform in half.

 

9) Don’t get stuck in the past, stay in the present- So many of us operate on what we used to know rather than on what we currently experience on a daily basis. If “old tapes” from the past are preventing you from making better decisions in the present (ex decisions that have the potential to move your career forward), mentally seal these negative thoughts in a time capsule, bury it, and never look back.

 

10) Concentrate on learning, not winning- When you concentrate on learning concepts instead of always winning prizes or accolades, you remove the emotional stress of always having to best others as well as yourself. The positive result of this is that doing so can add additional interest, vitality and depth to your artistic vision.

 

11) Don’t forget to ask for help-  It’s O.K. to pass certain tasks on to others that can do these tasks faster and more efficiently. Then, you can dedicate more time to your art and your business plan.

 

12) Don’t place all of your hopes and dreams into one possibility-  This could be a recipe for depression if you’re fist plan goes bust.  Instead, concentrate on coming up with more than one plan, gradually adjusting to life’s challenges.  In other words, be flexible.

 

13) Stop missing out on sleep- Getting some much needed “shut eye” decreases stress and helps to improve your overall well-being.  When you suffer from lack of sleep, social, physical, and cognitive abilities are impaired. Sleep makes you more productive.

 

14) Don’t focus on all the things that could go wrong; instead plan ahead- Expect the unexpected and make plans for how to deal with difficult situations that might arise.

 

15) Address the areas that are causing you stress- For example, if you stress over money, try to come up with a budget.  If you stress over transportation, research the different modes of transportation in your area.  When you begin to see that their are reasonable solutions to your problems, your stress level diminishes.

 

16) Encourage others and encourage yourself- When you help others as well as yourself, it improves your mood and outlook.

 

17) Don’t try to do things all at once- Breakup large tasks into smaller goals so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

 

18) Don’t be oversolicitous- Helping others is admirable, but when you take it to the extreme, you become “wait-staff” minus the paycheck.  People begin to disrespect you and even take advantage of you.  This can lead to excess pressure and resentment as you begin to feel used and unloved. Be generous with your time and gifts, but don’t become a doormat for users and career opportunists. Let others know you have limits.

 

19) Spend more time with positive, caring people- Their positive outlook and behavior will rub off on you and eventually become a good habit.

 

20) Avoid users and narcissists- When you invite users and the self-obsessed into your life, the only thing you find time for is them. The only thing they find time for is them. See the pattern. Treat them with respect, but don’t get involved.

 

Keep these items close at hand. Use them as an important part of your de-stress arsenal.  If you feel yourself slipping back into old habits, don’t fall into self-blame. Reconsider the situation. Respond accordingly and get back on track.  Remember that positive life changes take time.

It’s All YOUR Fault!!!: 20 Smart Ways to Stop The Self-Blame Game Before It Ruins Your Health and Your Creative Business

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It’s 3 O’ clock in the morning.  Why aren’t you sleeping?

 

Your mind is racing. Thought after negative thought enters your head like bullets riddling the side of a car during a shootout.

 

That last client thought you were an idiot; if you had just finished that second degree, you’d have made the sale.

 

You’re too slow when it comes to finishing your work; if you could only whip out ten great projects a day, then you’d be productive.

 

You’re so shy you’d rather read a book then start a conversation; if you just had more confidence and could make friends easily, then everyone you did business with would like you.

 

The emotional blows and the mental needling go on like this for hours and hours, destroying your self-esteem and making you feel like the biggest loser on the planet.

 

All you want to do is stay alive,…at least long enough to finish you latest creative project, but every emotion in you wants to tell you it’s not going to make a difference.

 

You’ll still be that failure that get zero results, a miserable self-blamer who get blamed for everything.

 

Tossing and turning you try desperately to stop thinking about all of your perceived failures but. . . . .

 

after all of this, you still can’t escape the inescapable conclusion . . . .

 

It’s all YOUR fault!!!

 

So when you wake up from yet another unproductive night of restlessness and insomnia you begin to wonder . . .

 

Will I ever succeed?

 

By now you desperately want an escape from the constant feelings of isolation and despair, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. . .

 

Feelings lie.

 

That’s right, feelings lie and so do many of the flawed thoughts that cause them.

 

While it’s difficult to get away from the negative thought patterns that keep you in a perpetual state of “self-blame”, dealing with them is absolutely vital for your physical and psychological health as well as the health of your business.

 

What if somehow, you could actually get a good night’s sleep!

 

Seem impossible?

 

Trust me, it’s not.

 

What if their was a way to stop the negative thought patterns that cause you to participate in your own “self-blame game”?

 

Well, there’s actually more than one way to stop the vicious “self-blame game” in it’s tracks before you start to believe your own negative hype!

 

Here are 20 suggestions for defeating the “self-blame” beast before it get’s the best of you.

 

1) Admit that you have a problem – When you admit that you have a problem with self-blame you bring the problem to the surface. It is no longer hidden. Now you can figure out how to deal with the areas that trigger your depression.

 

2) Identify the problem areas that cause you to self-blame – Make a list of all of the areas that cause you stress.

 

3) Create a “plan of action” –  After you have created a list of the things that are bothering you, do some research. Create small goals/steps  for dealing with each problem.

 

4) Adjust your dietA diet full of preservatives and artificial flavors can sometimes have an affect on a person’s moods and overall well-being.

 

5) Remind yourself of all of the areas in which you excelMake a list of all the areas in which you do succeed.  Maybe you’re good at sports.  Maybe you’re funny. When you check the list of the skills that you do possess, this will help you counteract the negative feelings that you get when you sense that you lack an important skill.

 

6) Learn a new skill or do an activity that involves problem solving –  Activities that involve problem solving actually engage left-brain activity.  Engaging left-brain activity helps to quiet the emotional right-brain response to everyday disappointments.

 

7) Ask a trusted friend or family member for additional support - A trusted friend or family member can help give you a different perspective as to the true extent of you problems.  Sometime’s we tend to over exaggerate or blow things out of proportion.

 

8) Read trade magazines and journals – Trade magazines and journals are a great way to check out insider advice on how to solve common business problems that the majority of people face at some point in their careers.  It always helps to know that others have gone before and faced the same or similar obstacles.

 

9) Seek help from a counselor or business consultantCounselors can help you get to the root of why you self-blame. Business consultants can help you to approach those areas of your business that are lacking or are weak.  These are the areas that probably trigger self-blame the most since many people’s feelings of failure are often tied into performance and competence.

 

10) Talk to other business owners and clients – Like trade journals, other business owners in a particular creative niche can provide much needed advice on how to solve the business problems that keep you up at night. Clients can tell you what is both positive and negative about your business practices so that you can begin to make improvements.

 

11) Find support groups - It is important to know that you are not alone.  After all there are others out there that suffer from the same insecurities that you do.  Knowing that you have a group of people that can support you that you in turn can support  helps to improve you outlook on life and can help to alleviate situational depression.

 

12) Change your outlook- Try to focus on the “blessings” or positive aspects of your life.  What are you grateful for?

 

13) Do small tasks or choresTending to  small tasks or chores that you can finish easily gives you a sense of accomplishment.  It gives you the sense that you are moving forward.

 

14) Learn from other people- Observe, learn and emulate people who are good in the areas in which you are having difficulty.  You may not come out an expert, but you will eventually learn something valuable that you can apply to your business practice.

 

15) Volunteer to work with a charitySelf-Blame at it’s core is in fact a self-centered activity. Volunteering to help others takes you away from yourself and your problems.

 

16) Attend a creative business workshopWorkshops are great for helping entrepreneurs think outside the box.  Maybe if you approached your problems from a different angle, you could begin to see the possibilities instead of focusing on the obstacles.

 

17) Listen and participate in a webinar or tele-summit  – Webinars and tele-summits can offer helpful advice on common business problems. The Q&A part of webinars and summits also allow you to contact the professional directly even if you don’t live in the same state.

18) Join local business groupsLocal business groups are a great way to access help, advice and support within your community.  They are also useful for making contacts and networking. The more people you know, the easier it is to help your business grow.

 

19) Participate in an online forumOnline forums are yet another type of community setting in which forum members can ask appropriate questions of other members that are more experienced in certain areas of business.  You may find that you can help to answer other members questions as well. Knowing that you can help someone else with their problems helps you to feel more confident and increases your self-esteem.

 

20) Spend time with friends and family – Finally, don’t forget to spend quality time with family and friends. No, we are not perfect, but it’s nice to know that despite our many faults, there are people that both love and care for us.

Here are some additional resources for overcoming self-blame:) 

1) Steps to Stop Blaming Yourself – http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15455/1/Steps-to-Stop-Blaming-Yourself.html

2) Avoid All Forms of Self-Rejection: Stop Blaming Yourself – Beyond Blue – http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/beyondblue/2010/05/avoid-all-forms-of-self-reject.html