I can’t count the number of times I’ve doubted myself.
Sometimes there’s an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness flowing over me.
I’ve learned to trust myself when I say “what you create must be put into this world. And you are the only person that can do it.”
It has taken many years to get there, and I definitely have a long way to go.
But I’m starting to shake the fear. The fear what others might think. The fear that maybe this isn’t my best work. The fear that I will fail.
Here are 6 thoughts on how to become a fearless artist.
There’s no way of knowing how people will react to what you create. So don’t spend time thinking about it.
You know what you know, you have the skills that you have. It’s literally impossible to do more than you can.
So why dwell on it?
If you know what you want to say, just say it.
Your responsibility is to make stuff. Do that, then open the window and let it fly out and do its own thing.
Some people like the rain, some people don’t.
The rain will fall on you without caring whether you like it or not.
Be prepared for the resistance
A short while after you start a new project, you will run into resistance. That feeling of “maybe this isn’t an as good idea as I thought before…?”
Whenever you get all excited and enthusiastic about that new idea, your body starts to produce different kinds of happiness chemicals that make your body all jingly and tingly. Those are the ones making you wanna do that thing nooooow!
After a bit, those start to fade.
It doesn’t mean the initial idea is bad. It is probably as great as you thought.
You just need to be prepared for that resistance.
It will always come.
And when it does, and you know about it, you can think to yourself “hello Resistance. I know what you want. But I’m not gonna listen to you.”
Then do your great thing!
Don’t take it personally
Everyone is playing the lead role on their own theatre stage.
And some people decide that their play is gonna be a sad and angry act.
And they’ll try to invite you onto their stage because they want other people to be in the same play and feel the same things.
Don’t let them. Just walk away and continue on your own stage.
Some people are just not ready to receive what you are giving. And that is ok. Give it to them anyways, maybe it will make their soil fertile so something can grow there in the future.
Some people will never be ready for what you give. And that is ok too.
The only person who knows someone's full story is that person.
Realise that nobody has a clue what they are doing
Everyone is walking around in this huge three-dimensional game called Earth without the slightest clue how to win.
Should I eat this mushroom?
Should I talk to this bearded man?
Should I pick up this snake?
I don’t know!
The world is a guessing game.
And nobody has the walk-through-guide.
Everybody is completely freaked out and confused.
Some are just better at hiding it.
Every individual's thoughts are worth exactly the same and there’s not a right way of doing things.
Keep your day job
If you are depending on other people to survive, you will have to listen to what they want from you.
You will have to create things that they will like.
But that is probably not the same things as your heart is telling you to create.
There’s a myth going around, telling people that you are not successful until you can afford to do what you love full-time. That is simply not true.
You are successful in what you are doing if that is exactly the thing you want to be doing.
If having a day job lets you create exactly what you want, don’t quit. That money gives you complete artistic freedom - and that is when you will put your true self into your artwork.
Know what you want to change
You’ve probably been told to find your purpose. That is a good thing to do.
When you know your purpose, you know why you are creating your things. You know the reason for churning away in your studio.
But finding your purpose could feel like a very abstract thing.
Try answering this question instead, and you’ll be very close to finding your purpose; what do you want to change in the world?
It doesn’t have to be a colossal change. Every big change starts small.
What do you want people to do differently in their every day? How do you want their emotions to change? What do you want people to do less or more of?
If you know what change you want to put into the world, you will instantly know that you are creating the right thing. That your thing deserves to be put into the world.
Because your change needs to happen.
As always; I want to hear what you think about this. Just hit reply!
/Jens - Trying to help creative people fit into a productive world.