5 important lessons on knowing your self-worth as a creative
4. Be unapologetic about the decisions that you choose to make.
Happy Hump Day lovelies! How many of ya’ll can feel the weekend right at your fingertips?
Honestly, I’ve been ready for the weekend since like three weekends ago.
Today’s post is inspired by a series of really weird and toxic events that have occurred in the last couple of weeks. I guess I can call this more of a venting/ hope anyone who can relate will appreciate this rant-ish of a post.
I know this is something that isn’t really talked about, because we have the perception that as an entertainer, artist, entrepreneur whatever it is that we’re into, it’s part of the business to endure bullshit. Now as much as I know and agree that you have to hit road blocks and failure to become a stronger person, I don’t think that it should be a way of life. I think that we all need to know when it’s time to stop settling for less, because we work way too hard to be treated like black jelly beans…you know, because it’s only the worst flavour of jelly beans…actually jellybeans in general are disgusting.
Outside of blogging and full time work (if you don’t already know), I dance and perform Spoken Word at various events in and around my city. As an artist in a city that isn’t really big on the arts, and a Nigerian community that isn’t always the most supportive, I have often found myself in really questionable situations; questionable in the sense of what the actual fuck did I get myself into? But of course, it’s the love and passion for what I do that keeps me going.
we have the perception that as an entertainer, artist, entrepreneur whatever we’re into, it’s part of the business to endure bullshit.
Being underpaid, sometimes not paid at all and most importantly, having to sacrifice my happiness all in the name of good sportsmanship are a few examples of those questionable situations. I was never really bothered at the beginning, because I was young, naïve and just trying to get my name out there as a performer. However, I would say it’s made me become somewhat of an asshole in the last couple of years, because I’m just not down to take nonsense from people anymore.
In present times, I’ve had to learn many lessons as a result of many dumb and awkward experiences (like you know when you have to sit back and laugh just to avoid physically attacking someone), and learning these lessons more than anything have made me appreciate myself more as an artist. I’ve had to let go and move on from people and situations that I didn’t think were serving me as a creative; but as life always has it, those people and situations always find a way to creep back and play hopscotch on my sanity. Let’s begin:
- Don’t be fooled by the smiles and pats on the backs
People are actually the worst, but you kind of learn to dissect whose down for you, and whose just talking to be heard. Over the years, I’ve worked with a ton of people that only supported my craft when they were benefiting in some way. Once that was over, it was like I didn’t exist to them anymore. I’ve also done ALOOOOTTT of shows for free to “help people out”, which even today doesn’t bother me because I’m not doing this to pay my bills. It’s ironic though, because those same people were never down to do anything for free, and would never come through when I needed them. But my most favourite of them all, the people that would pay small change and thought that they could disrespect me because they paid me. The new me will be the first to tell someone, their dog and their mama where to go with that mess.
- Put yourself first
Work hard, but don’t break your back for people. When the cards are down, they’ll remember what you did for them, but they’ll only tell people what you didn’t do for them.
- If it doesn’t feel right, let it go
I think for most people (artist or not), we tend to force things even when we know it’s not worth maintaining. Child, do like a 6 month weave and LET IT GO!!! Don’t get it twisted (man I’m on one with these puns), I’m not encouraging anyone to be a quitter, but I’m also not encouraging anyone to be a doormat for people to step on as they please. Don’t involve yourself in projects or with people that are deliberately subtracting from your happiness and self -worth!
- Be unapologetic about the decisions that you choose to make
Do you and forget what anyone has to say about it. Like I said before, no matter what you do, people will bitch about what you didn’t do for them and idiots will listen. You might as well keep it moving, and only worry about how to advance your craft for yourself and for the people that actually care about what it is that you are doing.
- AND the most important of them all: Let your craft speak for itself
Do your best and smile for the haters!
So I write out this post today as a reminder to myself and to others to be confident in your craft, never settle for less and never let anyone take that confidence away from you.