"I feel like a fraud."
"What if they don't like it?"
"Who am I to call myself an Artist?"
In creative professions, these thoughts are all too common.
When you are tasked to create something completely new, there really is no way to measure success. The lack of a comparative yardstick breeds a lot of self-doubt and uncertainty.
You will not find a creative who won't admit to some feelings of doubt. This feeling of inadequacy despite of all external success, is often referred to as the Impostor Complex.
We are all looking for solutions to overcome these unpleasant emotions that hold us back from reaching our goals. If you're reading this blog, I know that you're constantly looking to grow and develop. It's just so scary.
I'm not going to pretend to have the magic solution. I'm not going to preach to you as if I have already conquered this fear.
I will rather share with you two strategies that I have found to help me through it.
1. Be a SCIENTIST.
"What if I reach out to him, and he thinks I'm stupid?"
"What if I offer my services, and they say no?"
"What if I submit my article, and it's rejected?"
Fear give us the answers - "Everything will fall apart. Your business is over. Your life is over."
This fear is paralyzing. It's hard to see what's next on the horizon when the task in front of us seems like an insurmountable mountain.
Take one minute to see another point of view. Approach your goals as a scientist.
It's all one big EXPERIMENT.
If we don't experiment we will never know what will succeed. Our job is to try something new, analyze the results, and respond accordingly.
"But what will happen if I let someone down?"
Well then, oh well. That was a flopped experiment. Everyone learned something in the process. You are now a stronger person because of that failure.
"What if I embarrass myself so bad, no one will ever listen to me again!"
The way I combat this anxiety is by recognizing that life is full of endless opportunities.
Each moment we are being created anew. Even if we can't see it right now, our potential is boundless.
So try, and fail, and know that you will definitely have another chance.
2. Take the NEXT right action:
Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed by fear, my mother reminds me to just TAKE THE NEXT RIGHT ACTION.
Yes, I may not be ready to declare myself the greatest person in the world, but I can do one thing right now that will bring me closer to my goals.
Somehow, it's easier to outsmart the doubtful monster inside of us, when we focus on one small task.
Baby steps are better that giant steps that never happen. And they quickly add up.
Share with me in the comments below:
What is your next step?
What is the one experiment that you can do today?