Let's face it. Actors are entrepreneurs. We're the CEO's of our own businesses. And as our own bosses, we ultimately are responsible for our progress and overall success. Yes, it's true that audience plays a big part in how successful we can be, but the buck really stops with us.
Whenever I encounter a young actor still in school and not yet a professional, I always try to warn them about the harsh realities of doing this professionally. Not the statistics about "only 1% of actors ever make a living...yada, yada, yada", but the harsh reality that this career needs to become a part of your life and a working routine if you ever want to achieve anything with it. There's a lot of "punching the clock" that happens with this career.
Most of the time, (as is in life), progress won't be apparent. You'll often feel like you're just marking time in a marching band that will never take the field. It's during those times that you have to just keep plugging away and let go of your expectations. It's kind of a Zen thing...if you're totally in the moment and not concentrating on results or progress, you can keep doing what needs to be done.
It's important to take the time to reflect on your progress, and if something isn't working, go ahead and initiate plan B. But you don't want to constantly live in the state of critique. If you know what day to day things you need to keep doing (via lists, plans, etc.), then you can keep on building. Major achievements are reached through minor achievements, all adding up to the greater one.
The journey of 1000 miles might begin with a single step, but you have to keep on walking. As Bruce Lee used to say..."Walk On."