What I've learned most over the last few months is: Don't be afraid, just have faith. It's so simple, right? Just have faith in God and in yourself. Choose faith over fear.
What I struggle with is doubt. Especially doubt that I won't succeed.
I'm 24, self-employed as a free-lance artist and living with my parents. I was embarrassed for a while and lost the faith I had in myself. The quote "comparison is the thief of joy" is SO true! I constantly compare myself to other people my age. While I feel such joy for the people in my life who are doing so well for themselves, I also felt sorrow for myself, because I'm not at the level of success they're at. But I now know that's okay, we're all on a different life path and if YOU work hard enough, you can make your dreams come true. Just have faith!
Compared to the level of drive I had when I first graduated, to the level of drive I have now, lets just say I was slacking off. I was working like 25 hours a week and I figured things would be spoon-fed to me. I had this preconceived idea that every single celebrity I drew would give me a shout out and I would rise to artist prestige within a few years. My artwork wasn't even that magnificent two years ago, especially in relation to what I'm creating now. I will never stop growing as an artist and that's completely humbling to know AND super exciting! I think my work is hot shit right now, I can't wait to see what I'm producing in 5...10 years from now!
As long as I'm working for the right reasons and I'm happy, that's all I want. The current Bible verse I have written on my white board is Colossians 3:23, which says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." How amazing is that!? So many people work for the paycheck and they're stuck in jobs that suck the life out of them, not jobs that fill them with life. Personally being in a profession that brings me a sense of purpose and intense passion is a gift in itself.
In order to be more productive and get my life back on the right track, I simply started listening to primarily uplifting music and changed my schedule around.
Lauren Daigle is my current favorite artist. I'm one of those people that will listen to the same song over and over if I'm connecting to it. Needless to say, I've been blasting Lauren all week. I'm utterly obsessed with this girl. Her voice, her music, her beauty and for her courage to share her gift with the world as an artist is so inspiring.
For the past month, I've been working (drawing) about 60 hours a week and more than doubled my work time. I'm blown away by how much better my work is looking and how much faster I'm able to produce it. Plus, I feel awesome at the end of the day. There's nothing more gratifying than going to bed at night and looking back at how productive and meaningful your day was.
I have more drive than I ever have in my entire life. I've never worked so hard and I can't wait to see what God has in store for me as I continue to push myself.
Much love guys.