Recently I’ve been talking with all kinds of people who are ‘stuck’ creatively. Whether it’s about writing a book, designing a new business strategy, or changing careers, there’s generally just one thing that links this ‘stuckness’…
Fear takes many guises, and has a whole panoply of voices.
- The hectoring, critical Gasbag voice: “You’re rubbish, you’ll never make it work, you’ve nothing to say that anyone will want to hear.”
- The voice of reason: “Just look at what you’re risking. And if you fail, think of what it will cost you, and your family. And think how foolish you’ll look.”
- The concerned voice: “I’m only saying this for your own good. Best to stay with what you know.”
- The distracting voice: “What do you want to do that for? Go out, have some fun, you deserve it.”
There is no way to fight these voices….or rather, the big, noisy, devious, and very, very convincing voice of Fear.
Rather than fight Fear you need to combat it with…
A canny plan!
The way to combat Fear is…to get moving.
Not moving in great giant leaps, but in small steps…steps so tiny that Fear hardly notices what you’re up to, and almost can’t be bothered to stop you.
For starters, set up a structure. Fear tends to think – as do a lot of people – that Creativity is about having loads of talent, brilliant ideas, being visited by the muse, getting a dollop of inspiration. OK, it can be all those things…but if you don’t have the framework to put that stuff into, then you have nothing.
And by building a framework for Creativity first, Fear doesn’t realise what you’re up to.
Build a structure
- Know what you want to do
- Establish the time (7.30am for 20 minutes), frequency (Mon- Fri) and place (kitchen) to do it
- Set up your tools, so whatever you need is right to hand
Then, once a structure is established, you can start to…
- Switch off all distractions
- Produce, practice, be patient
- Don’t edit (yet)
- Keep going
When you’ve got into a routine, it becomes far easier to be creative, and for Creativity to take hold of the reins and determine your direction, rather than Fear.
Yes, Fear will cotton onto your canny plan…but by then you’ll be in a far stronger position to recognise and counteract its attempts to distract you.
Will you silence Fear? No. But you’ll gradually hush it. And Creativity will fill the space.
Goodbye Fear. Hello Creativity.
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