A few weeks ago, I asked a question on Instagram to open up a conversation about what really stands in the way of us creating and sharing our best kind of work in the world. A few common and recurring ones that came up were – us doubting our abilities, us being our own worst critic, the fear of not being good enough, not having enough time in the day, the need to create something perfect and the need to fit in with the shoulds and expectations of the society instead of following our must and living our truth out loud.
I know how that must feels.
I have been there too.
In this blog post today, I’m going to share what’s been working for me in a hope to make you feel less alone and more hopeful in your wholehearted creative journey.
Self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and fears
This was unsurprisingly the most recurring one. We really are the worst critics of ourselves and our amazing work. I certainly have been there over and over again in my life and it’s not that I have overcome doubting myself one hundred percent but it is more like I’m in a constant conversation with it. I don’t think there is a way to overcome it for once and all. In my opinion, anyone claiming to help you overcome it for good isn’t really being really honest. That is not true. I think it is more like an ongoing conversation sometimes on a daily basis. I don’t think we can ever overcome them.
We can certainly learn ways to deal with them better, understand them and figure out how we can keep showing up despite feeling afraid. I believe we can deconstruct them, dig deep and see what’s at the root of them, what’s causing them in the first place and approaching that part of us with compassion and radical self-acceptance allows us to move forward alongside their presence without denying that they exist or without trying to avoid their presence. Instead finding ways to have healthy conversations with them on a more ongoing basis allows us to take action despite feeling afraid.
It all starts with the mindset.
When I started this journey of wholehearted creative living understanding this key element that it all starts with the mindset has made things possible for me. For me, accepting that they are a part of me and not negating them but letting them be, engaging in constant conversation with them and never turning my back on learning ways to better understand or communicate with them is what’s working.
Fear of not being good enough
For me, accepting that beginner stage is an essential part of me becoming ‘good enough’ at something is working well. Again, I think everyone doubts themselves. I don’t think it ever goes away. but I do believe we can cultivate a habit of approaching our work and life from a place of ‘I am enough’.It is hard and not always easy to do so but taking small steps on a continuous basis build our confidence in ourselves and our skills. If you find yourself struggling with being a beginner I have written this ‘Giving Yourself Permission to be a Beginner’ post especially for you.
The Should do’s and Society
We all face this crossroad at some point in our lives especially the ones who aren’t born to fit in a box. I’m a big believer of doing things in our own way and in a way that feels right for us.
How do you want to spend your life?
What lights you up?
What brings you joy?
These are the important questions to ask if you are struggling with the same.
Is fitting in more important than living your truth out loud?
Is it something you are willing to do?
The truth is, nobody can do your life for you. If you ask me, I’d say it is a matter of choice. Not an easy one but definitely a matter of choice. You have the choice and if you feel like you can’t make a choice, understand that not choosing to make a choice is also a choice in itself.
Here’s how I approach it:
You can’t be everything for everyone and your life is too precious to be wasted thinking ways to fit in. True connection and belonging can be experienced only when you can be the authentic you without a hint of judgment. Pick and choose people whose opinion of you matter. Leave the rest. Make a list of people whose opinion of you matters and whenever you feel demotivated and discouraged by someone check if that person exists on your list or not if their opinion of you matters or not. You are worthy of showing up and sharing your story. Not everyone is going to like that story. Not everyone is going to resonate with that story. It is not your job to make everyone happy. You are not everyone’s cup of tea.
Have you heard about ‘Trust and the Marble Jar’ by Brene Brown? Click to watch a tiny snippet and my suggestion would be to read Daring Greatly to dive deeper into this very topic.
It is a tough one. We all have the same hours of the day available to us. What matters the most is how we choose to spend them. I try to break huge goals into small actionable steps. This way it gets easier to get to the finish line in time and still not lose motivation. Also, I have made a list of my non-negotiables – things that I need to make time for no matter what. (In a gentle and doable way, of course!) It makes everything easier. If you struggle with making things happen and are interested to find more simpler and gentler way to get things done, check this ‘Simple Planning – How to Plan Next 12 Months’ post.
Another aspect worth considering would be thinking about how much time each task takes in real life and not let our expectations of how much it should take bring us down.
The need to create something perfect
I’m a recovering perfectionist too and my standards for the perfect are pretty high but recognizing that my perfectionism is getting in the way of me creating and living my truth out loud has enabled me to look past it somehow. I’m slowly embracing the idea that imperfect is the only option and that’s okay too. Not easy. Easier said than done but my work, my voice, my story, and ideas hold more value if I get to share them however raw and imperfect. That’s the beauty of it. Isn’t it?
I’d love to know what stands in the way of you creating your best kind of work and the things that are/ aren’t working for you!
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