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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  I’m stressed over feeling I’m not good enough — HELP!

I’m stressed over feeling I’m not good enough — HELP!

Hi Jancy icon smile Im stressed over feeling Im not good enough — HELP!
I’m a Jr. art director working at one of the biggest agencies in New York. This is my first job and it’s been roughly 8 months since I’ve started. Luckily, our company gives equal chances to juniors to come up with big ideas for big opportunities. The problem I’m having is that I’m always under stress and pressure, mainly because I am ashamed of my work performance. I am particularly afraid of idea check-ins with my bosses, and I never feel proud of my ideas. I feel guilty to bring such bad ideas and feel so sorry for my ECD who hired me. I know ad agencies go through a lot of lay-offs pretty often, so I’m constantly afraid i might get laid off or fired anytime soon. I don’t like this feeling of being uncomfortable and being self conscious all the time. I try to stay positive and stop killing myself, but then i end up with no idea again. On top of that I have so much work and so little time that I’m always running out of time to concept. Is this kind of performance anxiety normal? How should I cope with the pressure and stress? How do you overcome creative block?
Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it.

intro Im stressed over feeling Im not good enough — HELP!You are experiencing the creative condition. We remember when we thought it was “just me” too. There are few things scarier than the blank page at the beginning of a project. It isn’t clear if you have a writer partner. If not, press for one–it’s a lot harder to get to great flying solo. It suits some perfectly, but most of us prefer that sounding board and creative spark that happens with dialogue and partnership. Many agencies are trying to get by with unpaired creatives but it’s generally a poor model. There’s no down side to talking to your CD about this wish, that you need to achieve your goals and theirs. Meanwhile, run out and get our favorite book on idea generation, Tom Monahan’s “Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy”, an Adweek book available on Amazon. This is career-altering stuff—he has the best brainstorming techniques we’ve ever used, and they take the fear out of the creative process. How great is that? His techniques work in pairs, groups, and by yourself. They are simple and easy to use. You’ll see an immediate change in your perspective on finding the big idea, and you’ll regain confidence and joy in the process. Not to oversell or anything. And no, he isn’t giving us a cut. Good luck. Things will get better.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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