It’s the middle of the night, and you’re lying in bed when suddenly, bam! There it is, fresh in your find, in its finished form. There’s nothing more exciting than the promise of a new creative idea. You imagine the response. People love it. Likes, subscribes, shares. Then something happens—at least for me—fear shows up. Sure, fear is in costume, but it’s there, whispering lies and half-truths, saying anything to stop this creative project from seeing the light of day. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m sharing five lies fear has told me and the truths to counter them.

Five lies fear is telling me and the truths to counter them:

Lie #1: “No one cares about this project.”

COUNTER: Before an audience can find my work, it is enough that I care about this project. It is not selfish to care about your project. Sometimes that’s all that keeps a project alive. The goal is to surround yourself with people who will say “let’s do it” as opposed to “you should do it” or even “should you do it?”

Lie #2: “Stay in your lane.”

COUNTER: If you identify “stay in your lane” as a lie, then the counter is simple: “there is no lane.” And that scares fear more than anything else. Fear is about control and there is nothing more controlling than classification, structure, and definition. Allowing yourself to discover the creative possibilities without knowing what they are is freeing. Structure will come. A new lane might be found. But not at the beginning of a project.

Lie #3: “There are bigger problems in this world to focus on than this.”

COUNTER: It’s okay to pick the things you care about and forget the rest. It’s not that I don’t care about the systems profiting from creative labor, I just feel like I lack any means of change. It is through my work and telling the stories I care about, that change can come.

Lie #4: “This has been done before.”

Even the lie lacks originality and yet it stops most of us in our tracks. Perhaps that is why AI is so attractive to creatives, because the computer finds what hasn’t been done before, and we don’t have to reconcile our feelings as it relates to originality.

COUNTER: There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes). Novelty is rare. What is new to me is enough. Originality is can be found through the creative process.

Lie #5: “There’s no room for imperfection.”

COUNTER: Perfection is unattainable and a distraction in every stage of the creative process. Move the weight from the outcome of the process to the process itself. Let the iterative process grow and evolve. It’s not about perfection but evolution. Comparison is a distraction.

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