IOnce I got my MFA and started working, I learned just how easy it is to become dependent on getting my sense of self-worth from others. It sets you up on this cycle of constantly needing a to book a gig to feel worthy and when I didn't I wasn't worthy.
The second problem with this set up is that you doom yourself to never growing, never setting goals for yourself as an artist, a woman and a fully realized human being with a purpose in this life. In other words, it's a recipe for disaster in the making and it is exactly what you're taught to do in MFA programs, writing programs, hell, in life. When someone else's values are the playbook you use to set up your life, you will always be lacking in some way.
The answer is to learn to structure your life according to you own values and set goals in accordance with that. Learning how to journal, to write down my feelings and sort out fact from fiction was the most powerful tool I used to accomplish this. As I got consistent with journalling, I began to share what was coming up in my writing in my therapy sessions.
My journalling become my own playbook for learning how to low at my life and separate out what was important to me and how to get closer to it. How to identify limiting ideas about who I was supposed to be and replace them with much richer dreams of who I wanted to be without apology.
It's heady stuff and I began putting it all together through writing and organizing that methodology in my TED Talk about how I learned to ReWrite My Story. I call it the DreamingOutLoud Technique.
April Yvette Thompson