When Everything Is Not Enough…

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We humans are strange creatures. Even when you take the creative element out of the equation, most people are never satisfied. It makes sense that would be true for creative types, as the essence of creative process depends on the need to improve whatever was last. After all, if an artist felt they had created an ultimate masterpiece that could not be improved upon, what would motivate them to start the next project? The irony in this, of course, is every artist DOES feel their last piece is their best piece…until they start the next one. So, although this “always wanting more” attitude is essential for art making, it has a dark side when it comes to your career. Ask any artist, at any point in their career, what their ultimate goals are. Inevitably, when any of those goals are met, they up the ante and set a higher goal. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that, if you have consciously taken the time to appreciate the effort it took to accomplish that goal and thought about a realistic strategy for the next one. But more often than not, artists tend to diminish their career accomplishments in the constant quest for more and better. Enter the realization that we all need help to occasionally tweak reality for us and “show us the way,” whether it is in regards to our career, our life, our financial situation or whatever. As a career consultant, it is my job to help you establish a set of realistic career goals and help you develop a strategy to achieve those goals. Following is an excerpt from an article of a friend of mine, Jane Doctor, describing the value of a Life Coach.

You don’t need to be an athlete, to need a coach.

Most people think of coach as the place to sit on an airplane (who wouldn’t rather be in first class?) or that harsh screaming individual who bullies an athlete to perform at their best. Not so of Phil Jackson, who seems to have a more Zen approach to coaching … and without him it’s hard to imagine how the LA Lakers would have fared these last few years. In this past decade they have won 5 NBA Championships, which for most involved in the art world, doesn’t really mean much … but to fans, it’s enormous. All of these exceptional, talented, committed (and tall) players could not possibly have reached their life’s dream all alone and without Coach Jackson.

So too, for artists. More and more artists and creative people are realizing the need to have an objective person look at their life situation, career situation, financial situation, etc. and make recommendations, suggestions or even just observations. A Life Coach for an artist, does not carry a whistle, but rather with skilled training, helps artists identify areas in their life that may be affecting their art…places where there may be a feeling of “being stuck.” Or, the feeling of being a fraud, afraid to say “I am an artist,” or feel like a legitimate artist, simply because you may have chosen another life path and now were trying desperately to return to your true passion. ART .

Artist Goals, as opposed to field goals, are an important part of the coaching process. To test your goals, you may want to consider using the SMART technique … are the goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely? A quick reality check can lead to less frustration and more fulfillment.

Being an artist can be a lonely endeavor. You are usually your only collaborator, critic and cheerleader. Who doesn’t need someone that will help support, motivate, provide perspective and encourage accountability? A good thing for athletes and artists alike !

Jane Doctor, is a Certified Life Coach and helps creative people find the quality of life they desire. She can be reached at 818 398-4262 or www.coachingandcreating.com