Learning how to enjoy success


Hi Brooke,
I’ve made some huge leaps recently and am reaping the rewards of the ‘compound effect’ mentioned in your most recent podcast. I’m a graphic designer currently and 2 years ago decided to add illustration & drawing to my skills. This meant massive action which I committed to – attending classes, practicing regularly, studying etc. – and it feels like I’ve reached a new shore. My struggle right now is learning how to enjoy my success… I literally had to stop myself apologizing in class the other day when our drawings were lined up and the teacher said my work was ‘professional’ and everyone looked round at me. I’ve noticed that people have started to make comments both positive and envious about my work.
I think I’m feeling a kind of shame at being visible and I know that if I want to become a professional artist, this is something I need to get used to. (I don’t have concern I’ll self-sabotage in the sense of not working, I’m really enjoying the process and love the work involved even when it’s difficult.) The truth is I’m also really embarrassed that this is a problem for me and I feel I should get over myself! This has been a pattern for me throughout my life – I work hard, achieve, then feel shame when I get noticed. I think my main thought about it is ‘people will think I’m a show-off’. Writing that down, I can see this is emotional childhood at work. Maybe my new thought could be ‘I’ve earned this’ and once I’m used to that, I can go onto something more empowering.
I’d be grateful for your comments. I’ve jumped into my new river of misery – to create a portfolio of work – but would like to be better equipped when I reach the next shore.
Thanks and love,
Tanya (London, U.K.)