Are you stuck on your creative project? Frozen? Petrified to keep going? You’re so nearly there.
Yet seemingly out of the blue, your project seems way too complicated. Too hard.
What were you thinking, telling yourself that you could take this on? Suddenly your life’s work feels like this massive gamble that will never pay off.
I get it. Boy, do I get it. I, too, spend a huge chunk of my time frozen in fear.
That’s because creative endeavor can be nail-bitingly scary.
Here’s the thing: It’s just your primal brain trying to protect you. It happens to all of us.
Yup, every single person who’s ever created something of value has had every one of those fears, and then some. Yet somehow, against all odds, they kept on going. And their work saw the light of day to inspire us. Aren’t you glad they did?
You need extra courage to create today. I’ve got you! Here are some strong, encouraging quotes from famous creatives to keep you going.
“Time is how you spend your love.”
― Zadie Smith
The takeaway: If you saw time as a love budget, how much of it would you spend on your creative project today?
“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
The takeaway: What is it you have to give up today in order to create? Fear of what people will say? Fear of being inadequate? Once you identify today’s fear, you can face it head on and slay it like the demon it is. Repeat tomorrow.
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
– Georgia O’Keeffe
The takeaway: Yes, you’re afraid. You’re a human being taking a huge risk. But don’t let fear keep you from reaching your goals. Embrace fear. Bring it along for the ride. Speak to it or laugh at it if you have to. But don’t ever let it stop you.
“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”
― Anne Lamott
The takeaway: What would you do if you knew you only had a year to live? If your creative project is one of the first things that springs to mind, keep going.
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
The takeaway: You know who you are. You’ve known it for a long, long time. Being petrified is part of that process. Keep going.
You’ve got this!
Yes, you’re a creative. An innovator. You’ve always known it. And you haven’t just known it – you’ve done something about it.
You’ve taken the steps towards creating the work you feel you were born to do. Tentative steps at first, then an all-in, full-immersion plunge.
Then you had to come up for air. And whenever you do, emerging from that sublime state of flow, fear and self-doubt inevitably sets in.
Fear is normal. Self-doubt is the most human thing in the world.
But you know who the boss of your fear and self-doubt is? You are. You call the shots. You get to decide whether you’ll use it as fuel for your best work, or whether you succumb to it, allowing it to stop you from going where you want to go.
You’ve got this! Keep reminding yourself of who you are and how far you’ve come. Keep facing your fears.
Come back to these quotes whenever you need extra courage. The full force of every creative person who’s ever created something seemingly in a vacuum, is with you. The muses are on your side.
Go forth and create. YOU can set the world on fire.