If I started writing a blog would you guys read it? What content would you like to hear me talk about? I’ll put this creative piece of work out once it’s perfected. What happens if people don’t checkout my blog, artwork, or music? What if people think my company idea is dog shit? What if people rip that idea to shreds? What happens if people don’t notice the countless hours and hard work that went into putting out a single piece of work? What happens if that work only gets fives likes, ten views, zero feedback, and slowly starts to sink to the abyss of the internet in the matter of a day?
Stop. Just fucking stop.
Think about how many times you let other people’s thoughts––or even your own––dictate whether or not you dove into a new endeavor. Our world today is so concerned with what people will think about us and not that this is anything new, but now we have social media to instantly give us confirmation bias.
This works in one of two ways; we put out a creative piece of work, it gets a ton of traffic feeding our dopamine receptors like a drug addict, so we keep going. Or, on the other hand, the second we put something up that receives less love than we were expecting, we begin to crumble. We take that five likes, ten views, and zero feedback as confirmation that our work is shit. I mean, it might be. But chances are it just didn’t catch on this time around and if you were to look a little closer, you’d find a shaky sense of self tied in with expectations and insecurities as the real culprits behind why we think our work is shit.
If we can’t notice these pitfalls, we’ll never take off. We’ll always be the person who lives in a world of fantasy imaging what our life could be like instead of actually attempting to try and make something of ourselves.
Giving a damn what other people think – I’ll say it right now, if you’re asking your followers what they would like to see from you in terms of your creative work, you’re most likely in it for the wrong reasons. You are more concerned with instant gratification, likes, and followers, than actually putting in the work.
If you have an established following and you’re asking that question, it’s a little different, but not really. Ultimately, I believe that anything someone decides to pursue should come from a place of self interest. If you’re asking what your followers want to hear, then you’re just catering to the masses and in time, you slowly begin to lose yourself based on the mere fact that what you’ve been putting out has never come from a place of true authenticity. It wasn’t even your fucking idea!
On the other hand, if your asking your followers if they’d be interested in, “fill in the blank,” and it’s not solely for the purpose of attention, then you’re probably afraid. You’re too concerned with what others are going to think. You’re too scared to put out work that people may not respond well too.
In some area of our life, we all face this problem of letting what other people think of us get in our heads. For me, I can get caught up in wanting to be cool with everyone, if I’m not careful. Whereas my writing, I don’t give a shit if someone likes it or not. But maybe for you, you don’t give a shit whether or not you’re cool with everyone, but you wouldn’t dare put out a piece of creative work because you’re too afraid of the feedback––or lack of feedback.
Again, two things are taking place here; A) you’re in it for the wrong reasons and will only attempt to put something out if you know you’re going to get love back. B) there’s a old narrative or insecurity that you have not yet looked in the face. Like the grooves of worn ski tracks on a mountain, there’s a story that you’ve been telling yourself for a number of years now that you can’t seem to get out of. It is your job to peel back the layers and start carving a new path.
Perfection aka fear – I’ll put this out once it’s perfected. I’ll start up that project once I have the perfect work environment. I’ll put this out once I have the right exposure, number of followers, software, program, computer, whatever.
But guess what? There will never be the right time. Your work will never be perfect. You’ll waste years of your life waiting for the right workspace when you could have already been building a following––no matter how small––had you just put something out. Or if you’re not concerned with a following, you could have put a massive dent into X, Y, and Z, but instead you waited three years for the right moment, that, I’ll go out on a limb and say never arrived. It never arrived because this is what self sabotage looks like––aka fear.
Why do we this? Well would you look at that, because of fear, short and simple. Every which way you try to break this down will lead you right back to fear. And what is this fear in relation to? Most likely everything I just mentioned earlier. The only way to get past this is to become aware that you’re caught in this rut in the first place. From there you now have the power to start challenging your limiting beliefs.
So I usually don’t plan out my blogs before hand and kind of go with the flow, but as I write this, I think I realized that that’s it m8’s. All the reasons we don’t take off with a new endeavor can be traced back to those two main reasons; we’re not in it for the right reasons, or we’re too afraid of what others will think of us which really boils down to fear. I mean, I thought of other reasons like instant gratification, lack of self worth, or not willing to put in the time, but as you chip away at each of those, it only comes full circle.
I don’t believe that this blog needs to get more complicated than that. If you find yourself in something for the wrong reasons, get honest with yourself and stop wasting your time. Maybe this just isn’t for you. There’s nothing wrong with that. Find something that excites you. It’s really as simple as that, and down the road, if you’re still pursuing whatever this may be, chances are you’ll know that this is the real deal if you made it this far. From there you’ll be able to find a way to make it work in your favor, and by favor I mean show me them benjamins baby.
(For people going “I’m not in it for the money asshole.” A) That’s probably not true, you just haven’t admitted it to yourself. B) Money is not bad if your relationship with money is in check. C) You don’t have to be. It can be something you do for fun. I think people call it a hobby or something like that? But! If there’s a demand for your hobby and you’re good at it, why not make a little cheddar on the side? Again, making money for something like that is not “bad.”)
As for fear, challenge that shit. Most likely it’s nothing but smoke & mirrors. Don’t let fear rob you of your potential. Don’t let fear of what others may think or say control the path that you want to take in this life. You’re going to show up to the grave with steam coming out of your ears wishing you would of told Nancy to fuck off while you add that chance.
Fear is a mother fucker and will bring even the strongest people to their knees if they indulge in it. But at the end of the day, we need to realize that fear is delusion in disguise, it’s not real. Once we realize this, we reinforce this notion time after time because the second we get comfortable and decide to loosen our grip thinking we beat fear, it comes from the depths to consume us once again. This is life my friends. It’s not over until it’s over.
“The real potential of becoming An Artist Nobody Likes was far, far scarier than remaining An Artist Nobody’s Heard Of.” – Mark Manson The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck