Overcoming Success Anxiety & Focusing on the Now

Ensuring a future as a young designer can be difficult, definitely more so than choosing a font. Not to say that choosing the right font for a project is easy, but rather creating a blueprint for a successful career can rack the brain. We start with a dream, and in my case, it’s becoming a creative director and running another T29 office within the next 15-25 years.

We can have a vision, but without steps to help us achieve that vision we can often find ourselves in a lull not knowing what to do next. That’s what this post is here for. I want to help others as well as myself by stating the following steps towards accomplishing success (what does that mean to you?) within the creative industry:

Step 1: Generate 2-3 Goals

Pick one career related, one fun related, and one personal goal. These can be whatever you want in each category. Career could be something about getting a promotion, fun could be something about getting out and going on hikes every Saturday, and personal could be working on a relationship or health goal.

Step 2: Create Action Items

Narrow down your goals into specific day-to-day based action items (5 little things you
could do every day (see John Maxwell’s rule of 5: http://www.johnmaxwell.com/blog/the-rule-of-5-for-the-john-maxwell-company). This will help the brain overcome the anxiety created by not achieving a goal, it will also aid in generating the feeling that accomplishment is occurring.

Step 3: Maintain Positivity

It may sound cliché or cheesy, but it actually makes sense and works to think positively every day. The psychology behind how we think about self-perception and ourselves is a HUGE part of how we interact with others on a daily basis. How you see and present yourself is what others see as well. So, if we perceive our personal self as how we want to be, that’s what others will see in us too.

Step 4: Keep An Open Mind

Keeping an open mind to others’ opinions and outlooks helps us grow and understand the unknown. Therefore moving forward in what we have to accomplish becomes challenging, but almost always more fun and interesting. Plus, more minds working together create more useful products because there are different aspects a single person wouldn’t necessarily think about.

Step 5: Keep Good Company

Surrounding yourself with the right people (who share similar goals and interests) will help keep you motivated, inspired, and will push you to accomplish what you want to achieve. A good friend of mine (who also acts as a mentor) helps me once a week crack down on my goals and create action items to achieve on a yearly, monthly, daily, and hourly basis. It may seem like a lot to think about, but as long as time blocking is implemented and what needs to be done is understood, it’ll be a cakewalk.

Conclusion: Stay Inspired

I am still working on these very steps myself, but it’s definitely become a great source of positivity. I am constantly thinking about these things and my end goal, and I promise these steps along with other personal growth methods will help anyone achieve whatever they set their mind to. If you are strongly influenced by mostly logic reasoning for things, check out Denis Waitley’s books and audio albums. If you are a Spotify user, you can find him there as well.

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