Why Creative People Aren't Always Successful
Your brain constantly craves something new. A new project, a new story, a new experience. You and I are wired that way.
Some creative people prefer to stay safe, never really expanding their comfort zone and pursuing big dreams. Others just seem to “have it”. They’re not afraid to put themselves out there and possibly “fail”. To them the outcome isn’t as important as being themselves.
I’ve been reevaluating a lot in my own life. Why I hold back, why I’m scared to put myself out there, why I lack confidence. Taking a hard, objective look at yourself isn’t easy. But after being honest with myself I’ve found that there are two main things that hinder me in most of my endeavors.
1.) I LACK DISCIPLINE
It’s hard for me to stick with personal projects sometimes. I get past the “Ah Ha” moment, and my enthusiasm fizzles. The daily grind gets heavy. Life events come without warning. More ideas flood my mind. I begin to compare (never compare!). This happens to most creatives. They feel like if the stars don’t align the moment they begin, that it’s really not supposed to happen. And they leave a wake of unfinished projects behind them. I feel like I’m the most guilty of them all.
What we don’t realize is that these creative projects and ideas we have are like puzzles. We see the picture on the box, what we want our idea to look like, but we’re given this pile of pieces. It’s so daunting starting out, digging, searching, putting the first few pieces together. Motivation is easy to lose when you expect it to be one way, but find out it’s much harder.
If we would just stick to it, put the time in, and find the first bunch of pieces, the picture will begin to manifest. We get so caught up in how difficult it can be that we forget how momentum works. The more pieces you put together, the easier it is to find the rest. And then our puzzle turns into a beautiful picture.
2.) I CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK
I think for me this has a lot to do with how I was raised. Growing up I was taught that your name is important, and what other people say about you matters. For me, as an awkward artistic nerdy kid who was made fun of throughout most of middle school, this translated into “try to please everyone”. While it has helped me out with making friends and being an easy person to get along with, this mentality has crippled my dreams and potential, even hurt my relationships. I do believe it’s a wise thing to be considerate and empathize with others, but it’s not wise to assume what their impression of you might be if you take a particular action. If a project, idea, or way of life is a true thing about yourself, then that thought shouldn’t even enter your mind (note to self).
You can image that’s it’s harder to unlearn a mindset than to learn it. I struggle with this still, but what’s important is that I’ve begun to acknowledge where I am and continue forward.
What ever you’re working on at the moment, it’s my hope that you if you believe in it, you’ll see it through. Everyone has a unique way seeing the world, and your perspective matters. We can always learn something new if we are willing to be present in the moment.
If you aren’t satisfied with where you are in your endeavors, try taking an objective look at yourself. Get feedback from those close to you. Try to identify the mindset that is tripping you up.
So where are you with your puzzle? Perhaps I can help you with a few pieces. Drop me line, I’d love to hear about it.