We all need a little pick-me-up from time to time...

We could all use support for our creative projects. There's not a single person I know of who couldn't benefit from one more thumb up, pat on the back or genuine 'well done' at the end of the day. We're human, which means being noticed, appreciated and encouraged is something many of us search for in our lives, though sadly not all of us find it.   I've experienced many types of support over the years--some more encouraging than others, so let me be clear here. For the duration of this article, when I use the term 'support systems', I'm specifically referring to anyone or anything that assists you in the competition your goals.   That being said, after some conversations and private messages I've had on Discord over the last week, I'd like to provide you with some tips to navigate this landscape a little easier.
 

Surround Yourself With The Right People

The biggest mistake that we can make is underestimating the importance of our family and friends.   For many of us, these are our closest connections from which we can draw our greatest strengths. Encouraging words can motivate us, help us focus and give us a proper perspective on off days. But this isn't just about being aware of the value of others but acknowledging the value of others.   Take advantage of the blessing, but do not take advantage of the people.   Give credit where credit is due. Always show your appreciation and gratitude. Let your loved ones know when they have helped you and thank them for it. Show them and tell them that they matter. This will not only strengthen your support base, but it will also improve all of your relationships over time.
 

Don't Just Do,...BE

By now you're probably noticing that goals shift, change and evolve. We might not have been overly clear in our initial definition of what that goal should be, to which experience clarifies for us. A powerful way to make progress along your path is to make sure your goals include you becoming something, not just doing something.   The reason I say this is being something expands and often narrow perspective. I had a desire to write a book, which is challenging enough, but when I decided to be a best-selling fantasy author, I found the goal of shaping me in subtle ways.   I changed my schedule, I change my writing style, I automatically worked harder in honing my craft and expanding my skill sets.   So I recommend focusing on goals that help you to become more than what you are. To be who you are meant to be.   On purpose. With purpose.
 

Daily Evaluation

What are the things that I have to do personally is reconnect with my goals on a daily basis. It's not that I lack motivation or drive, but I find it essential to rediscover that deep, personal motivation and drive. That sense of focus and direction which I use, like a laser, to burn through the challenges of the day.   I'm not sure if you've had this experience before or had this experience yet, but the strongest prison we will ever experience is the one we create in our own minds.   Not just a stumbling block or a bad mental attitude, but a literal prison that we tenderly and meticulously lay, brick by brick, by our own hand. All of our fears, doubts, reservations, previous bad experiences, harsh comments or opinions from others, constructed into a building where we place ourselves. Then we take the key, locked the door, and stand guard over ourselves for fear that we might escape and become something truly wonderful.   So I find it critical to revisit my reasons for what I am doing, to categorize my successes, to take inventory of my skills and relationships. By doing this I am able to take a sledgehammer and slowly, over time, dismantle this prison.
 

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help

They're something that we forget oftentimes, and that is being human.   We make mistakes. We make bad judgments. We make bad choices. Many times we are unaware of better options and lack experience and so ignorance becomes a stumbling block.   In my own life, I realized I'm not the best businessman. I've done a lot of business, I'm a hard worker, I'm creative and motivated, that's not enough. So I turned to my best friend, who incidentally is a brilliant businessman.   As one of the few people whom I'm rarely embarrassed around, I asked for his help and instruction so that I could learn and build a new skill set. Not surprisingly, he volunteered with a smile and I have been fascinated (and ever so grateful) for what he's taught me.   So don't be afraid to ask, whether that's friends, family, or an associate whom you might hold in high regard.
 

Make It Fun

Above all, I would suggest that you make things fun. The reasons for this are very simple but powerful. When things are fun, you pay attention. When things are fun, you learn faster. When things are fun, time passes faster. When things are fun, you can accomplish more. When things are fun, you want to do more.   So why not make things fun? The world is already going to do its best to step on you and wipe you out – – it doesn't need your help.   Keep it light, keep it happy, keep laughing. It makes all the difference in the world.
 

Use The Right Tools

One of the BEST ways to create a supportive environment is to eliminate roadblocks, pitfalls, and delays. The simplest way I can think of doing that is to make sure you have the right tools. This is so important I decided to write a post specifically about the right tools but let me say this: don't short change yourself by settling for second-best.   What I mean by this is treating yourself right. Make sure your tools ADD VALUE, not just save money. Don't be cheap, be frugal. Make sure the tools you use truly do the jobs you need and avoid the second-best – – because ultimately you are more likely to get second-best results.   A good example is when I needed an art program. I was broke, so I looked for free programs online.   There were a few that could do the job, but when I saw the lack of quality in the end results, it was discouraging. So I shifted my focus for a time, took upon myself extra jobs so I could earn the money needed for the right programs. In the end, I was doubly blessed.   Not only did I get the programs I wanted, but I was also able to order through a dear friend, who got a company discount and bought me five programs I needed for the price of one.   What are you using for your support systems?   What do you do or who do you talk to when the days get rough?   I'd like to know what you are using yourself, especially if it's something different than what I've listed above.
 

Leave a comment below and let's have a talk.

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