I feel that most of us ‘creative’ minded people have a ‘doubting demon’ housed in the backs of our consciousnesses, slowly feeding and chipping away on our confidence. This constantly reminds us that we ‘don’t have what it takes’.
This constant diet of negative thought makes it very difficult to ‘believe’ in our own work, and to prove to ourselves that it IS good enough to keep pursuing.
Well okay, maybe you don’t have one of these critters dwelling in the dark recesses of your confidence, but I definitely do. Unfortunately I listen to this advice more than I should.
I have discovered that the trick to finishing a project doesn’t have anything to do with the encouragement we receive from family, friends or our peers. It does however have everything to do with the never ending fight within ourselves, against our own self esteem, self perception and how we value ourselves in comparison to what we think of others.
Having listened to my inner doubt one day and avoiding my true desires to write, I found this fantastic piece of advice while stumbling through the vastness of the internet. It struck me so profoundly that I posted a note right over the top of my computer to constantly remind me of its thoughtful and inspiring message.
So here it is. I truly hope you glean from it everything I did and it can prove as a source of weaponry against your own ‘doubting demon’.
I wish you only good luck in your pursuits, whatever they may be. Follow your dreams, they will lead you to good places.
"Any creator of anything knows this feeling:
You experience someone else's innovative work. It's beautiful, brilliant, breath-taking. You're stunned.
Their ideas are unexpected and surprising, but perfect.
You think, “I never would have thought of that. How do they even come up with that? It's genius!”
Afterwards, you think, “My ideas are so obvious. I'll never be as inventive as that.”
I get this feeling often. Amazing books, music, movies, or even amazing conversations. I'm in awe at how the creator thinks like that. I'm humbled.
But I continue to do my work. I tell my little tales. I share my point of view. Nothing spectacular. Just my ordinary thoughts.
One day someone emailed me and said, “I never would have thought of that. How did you even come up with that? It's genius!”
Of course I disagreed, and explained why it was nothing special.
But afterwards, I realized something surprisingly profound:
Everybody's ideas seem obvious to them.
I'll bet even John Coltrane or Richard Feynman felt that everything they were playing or saying was pretty obvious.
So maybe what's obvious to me is amazing to someone else?
Hit songwriters, in interviews, often admit that their most successful hit song was one they thought was just stupid, even not worth recording.
We're clearly a bad judge of our own creations. We should just put it out and let the world decide.
Are you holding back something that seems too obvious to share?"