Posts tagged encouragement
Dealing with disappointment

Sometimes things in life just don't go as we hoped and planned. I experienced that feeling recently during the end of my pregnancy. I felt let down by my body and disappointed that the birth I had imagined and hoped for didn't happen (everyone did warn me that it wouldn't go how I had planned but I was still disappointed). 

In the grand scheme of things my disappointment has not been too hard to handle. I have got a beautiful and healthy son and that has sort of erased any of the other negative feelings – but at the time before he was born and during the birth it felt very hard and very real. I have been pretty blessed in life and yes I have definitely had to deal with disappointment and heartache in the past but nothing that I haven't managed to get over and move on from. 

Anyway, this experience leading up to the birth got me thinking about disappointment and how we deal with it and move on from it so that it doesn't consume us. I thought I would share some of my thoughts here. 

Expect disappointment
I don't mean to be all doom and gloom and expect the worst but I think it does help to expect disappointment and remember that life isn't always going to be perfect or go the way we planned. I think if you are expecting that sometimes things won't go the way you want, then you won't be so shocked or knocked when that does happen. 

Be thankful
Something that really helps me when I am in the midst of disappointment is to look at other areas of my life and make lists of all the things I am thankful for. There is usually so so much and it often puts the hard things into perspective. It is so encouraging when you can see the good things and be grateful for them. I think making lists of things you are thankful for regularly is a good habit to get into whatever you have got going on in life. (I really love these posts Laura does - they always remind me to be thankful for the small things in life that I take for granted).

Focus on others
When I am in a funk and feeling decidedly sorry for myself I find it really helps me to focus on other people. You can always find someone who is suffering through something worse than you - which doesn't mean your suffering is not real and valid - but sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. If you focus on encouraging and supporting others it often makes you (and them) feel better and stops you from getting lost in your struggles and what you are going through.  

Move on
Sometimes healing just takes time and I think making a decision to move on and focus on the present and the future rather than past disappointments can really do the world of good.  Focus on the things that you can control and put aside the things that you can't control. 

Although your disappointments may be a lot worse and totally different from mine, I hope that these thoughts will help you start processing them and moving on from them. Sometimes just acknowledging and telling someone how you feel is the first step to healing and working through things. I am a big believer in the healing powers of verbal processing and sharing your burdens with others. How amazing to live in a time and place with such an amazing an supportive online community as well. I have seen so much kindness and support among people I know online recently that it has really made me realise what a special place the internet can be. 

Anyway I hope you all have a good day and an inspiring week! 

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How to deal with rejection as a creative biz owner

I don't think people running a small business talk about rejection all that often - I know I don't. It's the sort of thing you don't really want to shout about as I guess it makes you appear as a 'failure' and we naturally worry that it might make our business look bad. I guess that might be true and although I am not going to talk about specifics I do want to share some thoughts on rejection today. I experienced it recently (and it could be anything from not winning a job, not getting a stall at a market you wanted to sell at, not being featured somewhere etc) and it knocked me a little bit and my natural reaction was to let it get me down and make me doubt and question myself. I wanted to think about it a little deeper though and try and look at it from a more positive perspective. I came up with three points to keep reminding myself of that actually really helped so I thought it would be good to share! 

1. Your worth is not tied up in your creative business and work.
I think this is hard to remember because so much of our identities are tied up in our 'career' and what we do but even if your business/creative activities stopped tomorrow you would still have worth as a human being and something to offer to the world. Although it would be hard, your creativity and your work is not the only important and valuable thing about you. It really helps me to be reminded of this, and even if everything doesn't work out with my small business and even if it isn't considered a 'success' it won't have been a waste because I have, and am learning a lot, and I still have something to offer. 

2. Everyone has to deal with it - even the people who you think are 'successful'
It is always really encouraging to me when people who I class as 'successful' in this industry open up about their journey and often you realise that it hasn't been smooth or quick for them, it is often slow and difficult, full of ups and down and has involved a lot of hard work. Everybody has to deal with rejection and things not going exactly how they planned and so I find it helpful to remember that this is normal. I work in a creative industry and that is full of subjectivity. Not everyone is going to like my work or want to buy what I make and that is ok - and that is the same for other wildly successful businesses too. It would be pretty sad if we all had the same taste and liked the exact same things. Recently I have made friends with other people doing similar things to me but who are maybe further along on the journey and they have been so generous sharing the behind the scenes to me, and opening up about struggles they have had. It really does make it easier to remember that failure and rejection is part of the process and everyone goes through it. 

3. Keep going and get better at what you do
A lot of people don't deal well with rejection (understandably) but they let it defeat them and give up. Sometimes it is right to call it a day and change direction but a lot of the time you just need to keep going - and get better, learn from your mistakes, try again, work out what you can do different next time and grow a better and stronger business as a result. I am really trying to do this...and when I have thoughts of giving up I remember that there are ups and downs and that I just need to keep going and try harder. 

I often get into bad thought patterns and things spiral a bit out of control, so having these three things to remember and keep reminding myself of has really helped and encouraged me. Do you have any ways of dealing with rejection? I would love to hear if you do.

I hope you all have a great Friday and a lovely weekend!

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Get more sleep

So another one of my resolutions this year is to get more sleep. I really think it will make a difference to my life. Unfortunately it is something that I have never been good at. When it comes to going to bed I am the queen of FAFF. I am masterful at it. Anyway my mission this year is to get more sleep. I thought this week I would do a little poster to remind myself. So my aim is to get 8 hours each night. I think at the moment I am probably averaging 6.5-7 which is not ideal. Once I am married - I don't think NM will let me get away with my faffing ways so maybe that will help. Who knows. Am loving this woodblock type font. My lovely brother bought it for me for Christmas. It has a rude name.