Have you ever found an old journal from when you were a kid and cringed as you read through it? The grammar, the handwriting, the whining (or was that just me?), that couldn’t have been you. And yet, it was.
You were young. You were learning. You didn’t know what you know now or have these years of experience to know any better.
It’s funny when we get the chance to look back at something like that we can see just how far we’ve come.
Recently, I uncovered a box full of my sketchbooks throughout my life. It was painful to go through. Half filled sketchbooks of random things and thoughts. A few decent sketches of my childhood kitchen or a figure drawing here and there. Amazingly, I could remember drawing quite a few of these pieces and how it felt inside of me when they were finished. Often it was that they could be better, but sometimes I remember feeling pride.
Each sketchbook slowly gets better. But in all honesty they don’t really start getting better until college. Even high school my techniques weren’t developed enough or thought through like I’ve seen for so many other artists I know. The difference was, in college, having gone to art school, I was working on art at least 4-hours a day.
Consistency. That’s what made all the difference.
Over the last few years, as I re-found my artist self, I’ve been working on art about 2-hours a day on average. In just over a year I can see a continued growth in my work. Color theory, drawing hands, positioning figures, telling stories, it’s all shaping together. The clarity in my work continues to get clearer and clearer by the day.
I’m able to take more pride in my work when I can have something tangible that shows my growth. Unlike looking at other artists and comparing to them (which inevitably leads to jealousy, hatred, and not feeling good enough, our favorite emotions) I feel elated. I am so excited to see how far I’ve come and know that with continued consistency that same growth will continue so that I can become the artist I want to be.
But this doesn’t just work with art.
Seeing how far you’ve come can help in almost any area of your life. To see how far you’ve come recovering from burn-out, your spiritual journey, or healing from an injury. It can help you to see how far you’ve come in building your business, or more simply, how much clearer you are in your business from what you offer to whom you serve. Two things that make all the difference when it comes to business building.
Start tracking your progress so that you too can feel the pride of seeing your personal growth.
Have a starting point. Document it. Add to that documentation over time so you can see your growth. Social media can be a great way of doing this, but so can a journal or a sketchbook.
Whenever you aren’t feeling good enough or like you’re growing fast enough (or just enough in general) go back to that starting point and see the progress you’ve made. That cringe worthy beginning is a sign that you’ve come a long way.
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