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The Declaration of You! Success

Who else is excited for The Declaration of YouI?!

This summer, North Light Craft Books is releasing the much-anticipated book The Declaration of You by art power trio Jessica Swift, Michelle Ward, and Pierre François Frédéric. They promise to give readers "the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do!"

As part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, Beth Demmon from Wheatpaste Art Collective is thrilled to join over 100 other bloggers in highlighting one of the weekly themes. This week's theme - SUCCESS. Here are the points we're going to cover as part of the tour:

  • What do you believe the main factors of success to be?
  • Does success look differently to you as an adult than it did when you were a child? How so?
  • What part of your life right now doesn’t feel successful to you? What does?
  • What’s the accomplishment that you’re most proud of, and why?
  • What’s your personal declaration around success?
Success can be difficult to pinpoint; with so many different ideas and views of what "success" entails, it's easy to feel gloomy when comparing oneself to others. One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Teddy Roosevelt, who said "Comparison is the thief of joy."
How right he was! In this age of social media, it's easy to feel anxiety by comparing yourself to the seeming success of everyone else. We could definitely all benefit from taking a step back, evaluating ourselves, and realizing that yeah! I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!
What do you believe the main factors of success to be?
Personal fulfillment is a huge factor to success, actual or imagined. Yeah, you might not have invented Post-It notes or Toaster Strudel, but I feel like if deep down in your core you know that you are on the right track, that's the most important thing. Sure it's nice to have recognition from parents, co-workers, friends, etc., but the moment that you start focusing on the "success" that others seem to have and you lack is the moment that you start down a slippery slope into Bummertown.
Plus, who better than yourself to figure out what success really means! Not everyone wants to be rich or famous - success to many people means simply being able to support one's self or family, or to finally start that blog you've always meant to, or even just waking up in the morning. Start viewing the glass as half full rather than half empty and just watch how feelings of success start to cultivate!
Does success look differently to you as an adult than it did when you were a child? How so?
I feel like as an adult, success has to be self-started a lot more than as a child. Growing up, it seemed like there were lots of opportunities geared towards establishing a sense of self-worth which is essential for kids. By the time you get to be an adult and enter the "real world", there is a lot more pressure to carve out your own achievements rather than working towards set goals like making the honor role, success in team sports, pursuing hobbies, etc. If you had a fulfilling childhood (which thankfully I did!), you'll have been given lots of opportunities to try many different things that eventually narrow down as you grow older and your time becomes limited.
What part of your life right now doesn’t feel successful to you? What does?
There are a few projects that I've had on the back burner for (I'm sorry to say) a few years. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do certain things and achieve certain milestones - often life just gets in the way, and before you know it 1, 2, 5, 10 years have gone by! Still, I try to remind myself of the daily successes that I'm able to accomplish, and use feelings of negativity as motivation instead.
Happily, there are more areas in my life where I feel successful rather than not! I'm still in my twenties and my husband and I are homeowners, which provides a very tangible feeling of success. Also, I've been involved in the visual arts my entire life and even went to school to get a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. My parents both really went out on a limb when I took what had been a hobby to a degree program and stuck it through for 5 years. Now, I'm SO lucky to be using my degree in the art field - not necessarily as a fine artist, but as a part of the team here at Wheatpaste where i get to use my "art vocabulary" on a daily basis and get inspired by artists from all over the place. How cool is that?!
What’s the accomplishment that you’re most proud of, and why?
It's easy to point to professional accomplishments as an adult since they are sort of culturally universal milestones that people can list out and understand. Still, I'll have to go with completing the 4-day trek of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu last year. It was insanely physically demanding but 100% worth it. 

Friday, July 12 at 9-9:30 AM PST, we’ll be on our Facebook page having a comment party around the topic that’s been featured that week.

The Declaration of You

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