I know so many creative people that you may never meet. You know why? Because they're terrified of being known! They are singers, painters, photographers, dancers, writers, poets, and designers. All of them are talented, gifted and downright frightened by their own potential.
Many creatives reach a point in which they have to decide whether or not to express and share their creativity. Why? It's that damn breaking process we put children through. Children are wonderfully imaginative. Sit a child in a room with white paper and an array of markers and watch them create masterpieces that are—in their eyes—beyond reproach. It's a joy being a young person who knows no boundaries in what you can create until the inevitable "Decision Day" comes.
Decision Day—as I like to call it—is the day when some adult, someone you have some modicum of respect for makes a decision about the quality of your work. It’s usually a parent or teacher who sees your masterpiece, your painting, your drawing, your contribution to great American literature, and decides that it doesn’t meet some standard they set and all of sudden the fear leaps into your mind.
Whether or not you continue working and creating, there’s this fear now that you carry with you about whether or not you’re good enough. There’s a part of you that worries about what others will say about the thing in which you’ve invested time, passion and energy. How do many of us deal with this fear? We simply stop creating. We stop taking risks by producing and pursuing creative works out of fear that those risks we are required to take will bear nothing more than a few more notches on our belts of shame.
What I’ve learned from my creative friends and mentors who are successful in converting their talented ideas to actionable steps and tangible outcomes is that in many ways that fear of risk never leaves. But it’s by taking risks that they produce their greatest works that make the sheer anxiety around doing so all worth it. In many ways creative minds whether 20 or 40 are at a constant war with their own aversion to risk, an aversion that many facets of our society and culture continue to fuel. But each time you take a risk by acting on your ideas and producing work, you hit that fear where it hurts and each time you hit back you gain more of the confidence you need to keep producing. March on creatives!