Over time I have noticed that these 3 common mindsets tend to hold us creative types back from unleashing our creative genius upon the world.
I have to admit that these issues sometimes affect me as much as the creative friends and creativity coaching clients I speak to. Perhaps you will relate and perhaps this blog and related video will help you to smash through these block and become the creative powerhouse you’ve always known you could be.
I’ve made a video about these 3 creativity killers, but the rest of this blog post goes into it further (i.e. it’s not a transcript of the video).
1 – Lack of Inspiration
Many creative types wait until they feel inspired before they start the work. This is because we grow up with this stereotypical idea of the inspired artist, driven by divine inspiration to feverishly paint (write, whatever) all day and into the wee hours of the night. Unfortunately, most of us do not actually experience this kind of hyper-inspiration very often. Oftentimes we find we can artificially induce this heightened state of flow with drugs or alcohol, but this is a path to ineffectiveness and often self-destruction and misery.
The other idea that I think we creatives pander to is that creating should feel inspired and blissful all the time. This is actually wrong-headed. Creating is work that you do to get a result. The result is to serve others. If you just want to feel good then perhaps try chocolate or masturbation or something. If you want to create amazing art or an inspirational business, then prepare to experience pain. Sometimes creating is a beautiful, blissful experience, but often it is simply hard work. Get over it.
Ultimately, this is the truth: inspiration lies on the other side of effort. I talk about it more in the video. The importance of this statement is profound. Please pay attention.
2 – Perfectionism
I struggle with this one a lot myself, but I know enough to know that at the end of the day, I must release the work I have done, in all it’s imperfection, once it is done. Take the video that I have made today to accompany this blog post. It is actually pretty crappy in a lot of ways. I am sure you have seen plenty of professional video content and looking at mine you will notice that it ain’t that crash hot in terms of production values! The lighting is a bit dodgy, I didn’t have a script or even an outline of what I was going to say, so I come off as a bit of a rambling maniac (authenticity, right?) and the camera keeps going in and out of focus – gah! Then when I formatted the video to upload to YouTube I noticed the image was slightly stretched and distorted.
But what the hell, there’s a message in their that I hope will serve someone, so I put it out there anyway. Over time, I will get better at video. For now, it’s good enough just to be brave and suspend my own harsh judgement of myself.
Same goes for the below music video that I recently rediscovered gathering virtual dust in my dropbox account. We made this video a year ago and I decided at the time that it wasn’t good enough to release.
I wanted to tidy it up and add some extra footage to make it more compelling. At the time that was fair enough, but then I sustained a brutal throat injury, which has made it impossible for me to holler over a loud rock band for the time being and so, after an epic CD launch, the band was put on ice. Then when I came across the video again, I thought, what the hell, it’s not GREAT but it has SOME value so I put it out and pushed to my Facebook networks. And you know what? I made some sales of the Creatures from the Bog mini-album as a direct result. How about that…
I talk more in today’s video about how perfectionism is often trick of the monkey mind to make us procrastinate forever, thus maintaining the status quo. This is a creativity killer that you must grow out of if you are to thrive as a creative being.
3 – Indecision
One of the surest paths to success in any endevour, so the experts tell us, is to clearly identofy what it is you want. And this is true, if you know what you want it makes everything easier.
What if you DON’T KNOW? This is the thing that stumps many creatives. They can think of several things that they think they might like to do, but they are not sure which one is THE ONE.
Look, here’s the short answer: if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, just choose one direction that you think you might be keen on and get to work. Choose something that you have been keen on for a long time if can. But if you can’t, just choose something that sounds like fun and get to work.
If it works out – great. If it doesn’t work out, well, along the way you will discover stuff about yourself. You will discover what you don’t actually want to do. You will come up with other ideas, other directions you can try. You will be one step closer to knowing what “the thing” is.
The point is, you won’t discover it by dithering forever trying to decide what you want to do when you grow up. You are grown up. This is it. This is your life. Just start now, where you are, with what you have. To do anything else is waste the amazing opportunity that you have to serve others and make this world a better place.
If you could use some support to reach your creative potential, please reach out to me via email and let’s talk about your situation, no strings attached.