Me vs. Them
In creative work it's easy see our fields as a competitive struggle to get by and get the recognition we feel we deserve. We often hold fears of getting ripped off or rejected by others, jealousy of other artists, a sense of entitlement that people who are well off should buy our work or help us. We don't feel safe or supported enough. This can lead us to devalue ourselves, undercharge, undercut our peers, and feed the "starving artist" cycle. It can also lead to miserliness with our talents, a scarcity mindset, and selfish attitudes that completely turn off potential clients/supporters.
To break out of this struggle and foster new opportunities for yourself it helps to develop a more community-minded attitude—a focus on service and genuine connection. Drop the idea that it's you vs. everyone else and start thinking more about questions like these:
- How can I use my talent to help a person, organization, or the world in general?
- What can I be grateful for? (Am I grateful for my talents?)
- What actions can I take toward my mission statement?
- How can I help bring opportunities to other creatives?
- How can I add beauty and value today?
- How can I make a genuine connection with someone I admire?
Having a community-based mindset doesn't mean putting yourself last. Build yourself up, value yourself and your work, then see how you can share it in a positive way. Opening yourself to these ideas can bring you opportunities, success, and true fulfillment with it.
There is enough for everyone if we share. We're all in this together.