Let’s say you’re out of work and that depression is starting to kick in. You wake up with that urgency to get freedom, along with that hopelessness of not having an easy way out, both “achieved” through the paying gig. Now let’s say you’ve worked at a gig for some time and that depression starts kicking in differently. You wake up with complacency because you’re drifting away from your real goals. Why does this happen?
I have this quote hanging out with my writing tablet: “A day I have not written, is a day I have wasted.” I’ve wasted many days in the past. ‘I’ll get around to it tomorrow.’ ‘I don’t have enough time to write, row, or do what I want to do.’ ‘If I put time into doing anything, I’ll be tired tomorrow.’ All’s true. It’s all about understanding one’s limits and breaking them without breaking yourself.
The eleventh draft of a proprietary document I spent weeks writing, locked under a legally-binding non-disclosure agreement, was 3,573 words. The twelfth draft was 3,676 words. Less than 10 people will ever have a need to read, or even skim through, that document. Once this gig’s up, it may reside somewhere for historical purposes, or it may be destroyed. I still took the same pride in placing my name to this document as anything I’ve written here. Why?
The best part of the Gig Life, for me, has been drawing from the well of self-confidence as I surf between gigs. First days aren’t so stressful. I can trust that I’ll produce good work, make new friends, and see new sights. Sure, the anxiety is there; it’s just easier to jump into the unknown. I am also the storyteller of my narrative. Everyone I meet knows I write now. I’m not as shy anymore…
As things come, they will go. No use basing your self-worth around external factors like popularity and the opinions of others. What is popular today probably will not be as popular to as many people tomorrow. What wasn’t popular yesterday could become popular today. Opinions change. People change. The opinion of yourself is probably the only constant. Is there a way to retain your self-confidence even when it seems like no one else wants you?
As soon as I realized my current goal, writing “The Story,” things fell into place. I stopped wasting time with things I didn’t care about. I reinvested in my health. Your goals don’t have to be lofty! Let’s revisit last week’s Dr. Mindbender, photographed below. His goal is just to play this Pac-Man arcade cabinet. While playing, he might notice people laughing at him. He doesn’t care. He’s focused on his goals!
Focus on yours!
I used to consider other people’s opinions of me when considering my self worth. If the group liked me, then I liked me. If a group had a problem with me, then I needed to address that along with nine unrelated problems. On the surface, that should be easy to identify as false, yet we all do it. If there’s one thing I can stress in the realm of self-confidence, it’s this:
Trust in yourself!