And why keeping them in mind will make your journey easier.
I woke up a few days ago feeling like my life is meaningless.
It felt as if I’m just pushing on, living one day after another, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m just lost — floating along without an anchor to hold me in place.
For some context, I was working on two big projects last month— both of which just ended. And now, I feel like there’s nothing to look forward to.
This is one of the hardest part of being self employed.
When you have a job, you know what to do each day. All you have to do is to simply follow whatever orders your boss gives.
But when you’re your own boss, you have to plan new projects, make actionable to-do lists, and strategize your month right. Without a plan (or a long-term project), you can feel untethered and lost. That’s what’s happening to me.
When you play the consistency game, it’s easy to ignore your mental health.
You get lost in constantly selling something new or trying to add another income stream, that you forget to look back to appreciate how far you’ve come.
This post is a reminder to any creator who’s been feeling lost or hopeless lately. Let this be your reminder that you’re doing awesome, no matter what your current stats look like.
1. Numbers Don’t Define Your Self-Worth
200 views on a YouTube video might not be much.
But 200 is just a number.
It doesn’t reflect one person liking your video so much, that they watch it five times and share it with all their friends.
If you ever feel disheartened as a creator, remember this.
The video I made about the best books I read in 2021 has 203 views after two months. The stats are pretty dismal, but it might have inspired someone to pick up a new book or finally finish the one they’d been reading for months.
That kind of impact can’t be measured in numbers.
If you ever feel disheartened by fewer views on your articles or posts, remember,
- Your words might have made someone smile.
- Maybe they called up a dear friend or treated themselves to a new experience after reading your article.
- Your content might be the ONLY reminder someone needed to turn their life around.
Numbers can’t reflect the kind of impact a creator has.
Numbers on your computer screen can’t depict actual humans consuming your content and changing their lives because you inspired them.
Never forget that. Never let low views, follower count, or bad comments determine your self-worth.
2. You Don’t Always Have to be Striving
When you join a gym, one of the first things an instructor would tell you is how important rest is. When you work out, you strain your muscles. Next, you need to let them rest so you can improve endurance and gain strength.
The same is true for being present online.
When you write a new article or produce another video, you need to allow it some time before it can reach its intended audience.
If you immediately start obsessing over stats, you’ll feel disheartened. Morever, the insane stress of needing to produce a new piece of content every single day would bear down on your mental health and make it hard for you to keep pushing on.
One of the major skills every creator needs in their arsenal is patience.
When you launch a product, publish an article, or release a video, you need to give it some time before you start expecting results.
In the meantime, allow yourself some time off, and take a much-needed break.
I know your monkey brain might tell you that you’re a useless piece of trash if you create nothing for a whole day, but rest is just as important for creativity as constant ideation and execution are.
So, take that nap. Go for a walk. Treat your body to some exercise.
You don’t have to always be striving and that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s important to trust in your hand work and believe it has laid the foundations that will reap fruits even when you aren’t constantly building something new.
Trust the process. The results will come when the time is right.
3. It’s Possible Your Biggest Enemy is Yourself
Sometimes your goals as a creator can be laughable.
A few days ago, I aimed to write two 1500-word articles in one hour.
Two hours later, I’d only managed to complete the first draft of one.
With an incomplete to-do list, my first instinct was to beat myself up and stress over how so much work was left to be done. But I also understood how impossible my plans were.
This incident taught me a valuable lesson:
Sometimes your goals are unattainable because you have unrealistic expectations of yourself.
As an ambitious creator, it’s quite possible that you’re beating yourself up for no reason, while someone who reads your work strives to be like you someday.
If you ever feel burdened by the weight of your goals, take off a few and see how light that feels.
Writing two 1500-word articles in one hour is impossible for me. Likewise, understand your limits and know when to draw the line. Sometimes, having realistic and achievable goals is the kindest thing you can do for yourself as a creator.
Life can be an overwhelming series of ups and downs as a creator.
Without a boss or a set of rules to guide you along the way, it can get exceedingly easy to beat yourself up for not being productive enough or living to your full potential.
Here are three important lessons that are so easy to forget for every creator and self-employed person:
- Your self-worth isn’t defined by your stats.
- You’re allowed to take breaks even if you haven’t ticked off all items on your to-do list.
- Setting daily goals is okay, but it’s important to learn the difference between “ambitious” and “unreasonable.”
What other lessons would you add to this list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.