THE FRAGILE EGO OF A CREATIVE

anup sohanta
anup aka @noopface is a writer, poet and author of the book ‘from the universe’s lips to my ears’

september 25, 2018


You spend hours on hours, pouring blood, sweat, and tears into a piece of writing. An edit here, a tweak there. “This is gonna be a hit”, is what you tell yourself. This piece is gonna bang harder than Sasha Grey on a Saturday night. Your client is going to love it, the audience is going to embrace it with open arms and perhaps even throw roses at you.

Well, it doesn’t blow up, evoke positive emotions or go viral. Your client takes a hard pass, so ferociously hard, that they’re doing a U-turn. There’s no applause or standing ovation. The market rejects you from safely behind their screens, the audience is practically launching rotten vegetables at you.

Limp Bizkit — Break Stuff plays loudly in the back as you proceed to destroy every item of furniture in the room.

It sounds a little dramatic, doesn’t it? But it isn’t. Well, it sort of is. You didn’t grab the attention that you wanted, you didn’t get the pat on the back; the likes, the comments, and the shares. So, what now? You’re feeling doubt, insecurity and a little anxious that maybe your writing just isn’t good enough for the world. Your mind becomes over-encumbered with the notion that you don’t have what it takes.

Good. This is exactly the place that you want to be if you’re riddled with thoughts that you aren’t good enough to place your creativity on the mantle, next to everyone else.

This is how you’re going to take those gut punches to your frail ego and shift your mindset to be better

Fear



Fear has a tendency to be so crippling that it stops people dead in their tracks. They’re unable to progress forward and it makes them cling onto their comfort zone for dear life. You’re happy with your 9–5 job, with a 1-hour lunch break and you get to watch 3 hours of Netflix in the evening. That’s cool, that’s a comfortable little environment that you’ve built for yourself but how does that have an effect on your ability to progress?

Fear is a monumental roadblock for people that are holding themselves back from their own potential. I used to write and be anxious to put it out into the world. I had the audacity to release my thoughts and feelings to the world. Who the hell did I think I was? I reinforced my footing in the world by reminding myself that some of the most innovative creations and ideas came from some of the most ridiculous sounding ideas. Bold ideas make an impact on the world and “boring” gets pushed to the back.

Growth comes when you look your fear dead in the eye and establish 3 things:

  • What are you afraid of?

  • What triggers the fear?

  • What’s the worst that could happen?

Seems pretty obvious, right? When you answer those questions, you’re able to step out of your comfort zone. Plants undergo pruning, to enable them to grow and flourish in their entirety. You too have to prune redundant areas of yourself that don’t serve you anymore, to reach your full potential. If you have to downsize yourself temporarily, to shape your ideas into fruition, then it’s a sacrifice worth making.

DEVELOP A THICKER SKIN

Not everyone is going to say yes to your proposals, pitches, and ideas, they’re not going to accept the concepts and content that you put out into the world. And that’s okay. You’re not entitled to their praise and approval.

In most cases, the world isn’t going to give you the time of day. The world will say that you’re not as good as you think you are or simply “you can’t do that”. This is the point at which most people, especially creatives, see that as failure and rejection. They clam up and it’s time to throw the towel in. That’s understandable, rejection is painful. However, what if you were able to wield that non-acceptance and transmute it from one container, into a proactive one.

So, what do you do and how do you do it?

You need to develop a thicker skin. Focus on improving yourself and your craft and care less about being rejected and how that is a reflection of you. If you are genuinely awful at what you do, there will be a reoccurring pattern, but to break out of that cycle, you need to stop caring about what people think and divert your energy towards being the best version of yourself.

When you experience rejection and when someone tells you no, that should be part of the formula of how to turn that into a yes. Instead of taking it personally, you take it back to the drawing board and break it down. Tinker with your ideas and figure out what’s wrong, why it wasn’t accepted and how you can improve it.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking; well, that’s easier said than done. Then you’re absolutely right. There is no shortcut for success but there is no ROI for wallowing in self-doubt.

KEEP ON CREATING

Everyone is going to form an opinion about you. Every single person; from your family to your colleagues, to the audience that you so desperately want attention from. By caring too much about what people think of you is crippling your creativity and your drive. Instead, listen to your audience and focus on your craft.

Take your reception, whether it was positive or negative and keep pushing forward. Convert your weaknesses into strengths. Your innovation is always one creation away from making an impact.


 

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