The Challenges You Encounter As A Creative Person
Today, I feel like writing about a topic that is responsible for major damage in the world of creativity and achievement of all sorts: People who try to discourage you from doing something; including yourself.
Whether you are a filmmaker, an artist, a writer, an entrepreneur or whatever you like, you need to read those pieces of advice given by successful people. Even if you’ve already heard about those techniques, if you’re implementing, it means that you need to hear one more time and put it into praxis. If you haven’t, then this article is even more useful for you.
Lots of people feel entitled to give their opinion all the time. Very often, it comes from the wrong place. They don’t know what they’re talking about or they project their frustrations on others.
Because, sincerely, would they need to tell someone to give up their dreams, if they were completely at peace with themselves? I doubt it.
Take A Good Look At Yourself First
On the contrary, it’s not your job to stop someone from achieving a goal.
Your job is to take care of your own business, to encourage people to do something, achieve your own goals or/and to remain silent if you’ve nothing positive or useful to say. It’s not going to help you either to think people didn’t earn their success, if they are successful, or that they are never going to succeed if you can’t see their potential yet. You don’t have a clue about it.
Here is some piece of advice that has the power to set you free.
Stop beating yourself up, if you’re not succeeding right away.
If you do something for the first time, chances are that you’ll need time to find the right strategy to succeed. The great American life coach, consultant, and entrepreneur, Tony Robbins, said this:
“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”
Tony Robbins, Life Coach & Entrepreneur
Lots of people give up because they’re not seeing immediate results. They often think they’ve tried everything and give up as soon as they encounter adversity.
Fact is, that you need to be extremely persistent.
And the higher you’re climbing whatever metaphorical mountain you are climbing, the higher the resistance from some people and/or the challenges are going to be. So, stop beating yourself up, because others will take care of it for you anyway.
Stop sabotaging yourself
It doesn’t matter if you want to make a dresser, learn how to cook properly, be a better actor, build a company or write a bestseller. If you’re not a psychopath, you’re going to question yourself consciously or unconsciously at some point. That’s perfectly normal.
But at some point, you have to take control of your inner critic, because it isn’t helping you anymore.
Gratefully, psychologists have found a few things out about this phenomenon. A way to make your inner critic stop running you down is to listen carefully to what he has to say. Because he has protected you at some point in your life. He protected you from being hurt. From losing the approval of your parents, if you wanted to do something which was opposed to their values. To protect you from being bullied by teachers or other children.
Your inner critic was, in fact, your friend once.
But the problem is, as you evolved, your friend turned out to be a nightmare because he didn’t evolve with you. Now, instead of keeping you safe, he’s suffocating you.
That’s why it’s important to not fight that inner voice but to understand it first.
Once you’ve understood the function of your inner critic, you can start to manage your creative blockade.
Identify your lack of motivation
Tony Robbins recommends to find out what motivates you the most when you’re not taking actions:
- Are you avoiding pain or gaining pleasure?
- What kind of pain are you avoiding, when you procrastinate?
- Or is it pleasure, that keeps you from starting something?
- Is it because your creative project isn’t big and/or interesting enough to motivates you?
Write it down.
Being afraid is also wanting to avoid pain.
The bestseller author, early investor and podcast host, Tim Ferris, recommends writing your worst-case scenario down. The trick is to be as precise as possible while you’re doing it so that you can find specific solutions to your problems.
For every “disaster” that comes to mind, write a strategy down, on how to reverse your “mistakes”.
You’ll see that lots of situations are reversible.
Tim Ferris also prescribes combining the achievement of your goals with an incentive.
Place a bet on your goal. The possibility of losing or gaining money can work wonders.
Also, plan as if you had only one week or a limited amount of time to finish your creative work. You will focus on the important things right away, instead of distracting yourself with irrelevant information.
Having an external commitment can be enough. If you don’t want to break your promises, you’ll push yourself to achieve your goal.
Persist and develop a strategy
If you try one thing and it’s not working, change your strategy. If the second thing doesn’t work either, change your strategy. If you try a third thing and it still isn’t working, change your strategy.
Change your strategy until it works, instead of giving up right away.
There are many ways to achieve the same thing, but if you give up, after the first difficulties, you’re not going to achieve anything at all.
A way to develop a better strategy is to read a lot, go to seminars, watch webinars, talk about your project with people who know what you’re talking about and/or find a role model, who did what you want to achieve before and copy his/her method.
But, after having absorbed all the information, you must put it into practice.
Stop looking for permission
I’m just going to quote the fictional character Frank Costello – based on the real Costello from NYC – in The Departed played by Jack Nicholson. This quote is part of a monologue during the opening of the film. Just to be clear: I don’t endorse any of the opinion or racist quotes of the character. Just a few lines that are very powerful and true.
“(…) no one gives it to you. You have to take it.”
Frank Costello in The Departed
Do the job, even if you don’t feel like it
Unfortunately, there is no secret recipe for this, no fairy, who is going to do the work for you, no magic potion. I’m sorry to bring you this sad news, but at some point, you’ll have to get up off the couch and discipline yourself to achieve your goal.
Discipline needs to be trained like a muscle.
The less you do, the less you’re going to feel like doing something. The number one female speaker in the world, Mel Robbins, recommends the following habit:
“If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.”
Mel Robbins, Speaker & Coach
So, get up, because you’re never going to feel like it at first.
Write everything down
Keep a record of your progress and of your setbacks.
Make to-do lists you actually use. Read them later and analyze your pattern.
“Thanks for sharing”
And last, but not least, you have to free yourself from people, who tear you down.
Some people just despise or mock others for wanting more.
Make more money, have better relationships, create something huge, when they start from nothing.
They hate it because it triggers something within them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t feel the urge to put obstacles in your way or make sure that you know they’re disapproving.
Very often, it’s unconscious.
If they’re worried about you, reassure them and move on.
If they try to discourage you on purpose, well… Fuck them.
If you enjoyed this article, please like, share and comment. Many Thanks 🙂
If you need to go further, some useful websites:
For more helpful pieces of advice, great talks and podcasts, check out:
There is a bunch of other great people, who recommend smart things, but, those are very good to start.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.
The School of Greatness
The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self
The Artist’s Way Workbook
For the Kick-Ass quotes of Frank Costello: