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What do you do when you feel down and want to give up?

Hi, seeker! I’m Oana, the gal in charge of stoking the fire for the Upstairs Community. This adventure teaches me a lot about gluing creatives through the power of storytelling and meaningful conversations.

As a community builder nurturing my first online community, I often feel lost. Either because I don’t have the tools and the playground to flourish (it’s not an excuse, it’s just bad timing inside Pixelgrade’s crew). Or simply due to how exhausted of the digital universe everyone became during this pandemic. 

Some days look like I’m doing Sisif’s work. I don’t necessarily want to give it up, but I feel frustrated that I cannot burn the rubbers as I would like. It’s that tension that comes from me knowing I can reach new heights and me trying to do the best out of the resources I have at hand.

What keeps me going are two fundamental things.

One, I remember how much I love doing community work. As long as I invest my resources in this industry, I’m okay. Second, I know that growth comes with pain, so challenges are part of the game.

Sometimes, I need to sign out entirely to regain this clarity, other times, I need to explore other routes—talking to other community builders, for instance, is one of them. But because it’s deeply ingrained in my lifestyle and values, sooner or later, I always find my way back into the arena and restart the game.

I would love to hear your two cents on this question and learn how you keep sailing. I bet you have valuable things to share, regardless of whether you are in your early career days or a veteran. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers, just different approaches.

See you in the conversation section below.

Stay curious,

Conversations 6 comments

Let's start a personal, meaningful conversation.

Example: Practical philosopher, therapist and writer.

If I feel really down I take the day off and the next day start working one something completely different, smaller in scope so that I can feel some kind of progress, then I get back to the original project, sometimes with a new insight.

I try to remind myself why I’m doing it and rechannel the initial motivation I had when I started the project, task, or whatever it is. Reimagining the situation without the mental brakes that stop me from making progress usually helps me find focus and drive. It’s like thinking that I’m already on a sunny beach to give myself that positive feeling I have when I’m actually there. Seems to work for me.

Other times, I realize that I learned new things that make me reconsider the value of the work I do, so giving up can sometimes be the best option (and an eliberating one). I think pursuing something that you don’t believe in anymore for far too long is far more damanging than accepting the fact that changing course is not that bad. It’s okay to change our minds.

Ioana Făghiansays:
Relevant commenter background or experience:Writer, storyteller, marketer

In periods of time when I’m not productive, with low morale but with important deadlines ‘knocking at my door’, I pause. If I can, I take a day off. If I can’t, I change my setting. I work from another place and then I try looking at my tasks from a different angle. I divide my to-do list activities into smaller chunks based on importance and duration and I start small, building towards the more challenging tasks. Whenever I can, I ask for help or talk to a colleague simply to share the load and it recharges my batteries. Sharing is caring.

Roxana Țocusays:
Relevant commenter background or experience:Former Consultant and Project manager, currently freelancer artist

I give myself time, trying also not to self-isolate for too long. I visit places and people who fill me with positive energy,  I talk about the situation with someone I trust and also I try to keep in mind that this is only one moment in time, although it may feel overwhelming. A trick that I’ve read about for the professional area is keeping a folder with positive feedbacks, acknowledgements and personal successes gathered in time which can be reviewed when we feel down, in order to get another perspective and also a sense of balance.

Olga Kizinasays:
Relevant commenter background or experience:Creative Business Partner

Hi Oana! I think everyone has these moments sometimes, but I’ll tell you that you are doing amazing and inspiring job, thank you for this. When I have these doubts, I try to think about the people for whom I am doing it and make one exercise. I think about my heroes, my target audience (people I admire) and try to do something small for them every day. Ok, today I wrote an article, will it be helpful somehow? I think yes, good. I posted a link to one project, is it helpful? Yeah, although it’s just a small step. In other words, it helps me to record every day my little actions towards my audience. So I cheer myself up and move forward.

Relevant commenter background or experience:Community builder and storyteller
Oh wow! Thank you all for taking the time to share your insights. They are golden! While such moments are, indeed, part of everyone’s life, as Olga wisely said, I think we need to make more room to express what we feel when facing them. Regardless of how each of us navigates them, a lot of value lies in sharing our emotions with like-minded people. I’m forever grateful for your input, and please stay close because we’re going to kick off all kinds of conversations relevant to creative professionals. Hugs! 🤗

P.S. If anyone wants to share their two cents, please do that. This area remains open.

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