Ep 28: How to Overcome Creative Anxiety
Do you struggle getting to work? Are you afraid to show your work to others? Do you believe your work is not good enough? This is creative anxiety. Also known as self-doubt. Or your inner critic. Today, I want to walk through some steps to help you quiet your inner critic so you can continue flexing your creative muscle in peace. I am also going to introduce you to CBD, a supplement I take to calm my anxiety and available at www.mypaincenter.com
Your creative anxiety may be masked.
You may be mistaking it for not having time, or being a parent, nor not feeling ready.
Creative anxiety can stop a project before it can even begin.
Anxiety is self-protection.
Creative anxiety can hinder us. That voice in the back of your head telling you you’re not good enough.
We start to question our passion and our work. We also start to overthink our art and what will people like. This is more detrimental, when you start to produce art you think people will like versus art you are passionate about.
This is harder and harder to move away from with Social Media. We want to create content for likes and not for ourselves.
But You are not alone. Almost all creatives have struggled with this, many still do.
Today I want to walk through some steps to help you quiet your inner critic so you can continue flexing your creative muscle in peace.
- Identify what you are feeling and why
What is that you are feeling? What is causing this sense of anxiety? Is it that you’re afraid of failing? That your work will suck? That people will laugh at you? Make a list of everything standing in your way that’s making you avoid focusing on your creative passion.
For example, my list is – My jokes aren’t funny, no one will laugh, people will think I suck, I won’t book more dates, If I don’t book more dates I’ll never survive as a comedian
Once I get these thoughts out of my head and on to paper, I can see how silly some of these are. I mean let’s start with #1. If my jokes are funny then there are no other items on my list! So instead of moping around feeling anxious I should just focus on writing really funny jokes.
- Understand WHY you’re pursuing your creative passion
Why did you start along this path? Did someone tell you to?
Probably not. No guidance counselor I know sits you down and says you should go be a musician, or a comedian, or a dancer. No, they tell you to go be doctors and lawyers.
You most likely chose to pursue this creative passion. And that is a big step! You’re trying something completely new, something risky. Of course, you are anxious! And on top of that, you have to share this passion with others. Super scary.
But at the end of the day remember, you started this because you want to not, not because someone said you should.
Why did you want to make art when you first started?
Does it move you? Give your life meaning? Feed your soul? Enrich your life?
Remind yourself when you feel anxious why you started, what got you to this point.
- Lower your expectations of yourself
I am being a hypocrite here, but yes, stop being so hard on yourself.
I fall into this trap. We all have these visions about our art and where it will take us, and sometimes that that doesn’t align with reality. Or we put out content and it doesn’t do as well as we imagined.
We have to be okay with that. We have to give ourselves props that we even took the first step of making the art and then releasing it, which is more than others are doing.
With time, and practice, we will get closer and closer to our vision of success.
Our society puts a lot of pressure on us not to make mistakes. We as a society are impatient and want instant gratification. But we need to be self-accepting and understand that it’s ok to make mistakes. It’s OK to stumble. If you recognize your fears as listed in step 1, confront them, and keep moving forward. This is where real progress will take place.
And if you’re inner critic tells you are not good enough to continue, tell him or her to shut up. Because how are you going to get good if you don’t keep putting in the time and effort. Your inner critic is holding you down when you should be rising.
So tell your brain to hush and keep pushing.
- Calm yourself down if you need to
For many, they can only write with a glass of wine or with candles. Others need to take a long shower to clear their mind. While others go for a walk.
Find what works for you and implement it into your creative process.
For me, I spend a full-day in the office. By the time I come home from work I’m stressed out and overwhelmed. The last thing I want to think about is being creative.
I also struggle with anxiety and have a hard time leaving it at work.
So I actually utilize CBD in my daily routine.
CBD is a safe, non-psychoactive substance that relaxes and calms the body. It is the cousin of THC, that stuff in weed, except CBD is legal and doesn’t make you stoned.
Instead it helps me calm down, breathe, and restart my evening on a positive note. I am a big fan of the gummies – for some reason I crave sugar after work and mixed with CBD, it does the trick.
If you are interested in learning more check out my new website where I provide you everything you need to know about CBD and more – www.mypaincenter.com
And lastly 6. Join communities of like-minded people
Facebook is a great place to start. Join communities of creatives in your field or your city. Reading their posts keep me motivated and many times teach me something new. You may also find new resources or books to check out, upcoming events to showcase your creativity, and or new friends. Or listen to podcasts that could inspire you. Like this one. Or read – pick up a book by your favorite author or even a book on creativity. All these ideas can help you discover something new that may inspire you to create something that’s been blocked up.
In the end remember when you finally put out your masterpiece, whether it’s a novel or a new song. You will have made mistakes along the way. You will have tripped and slipped. You will have started over a hundred times. But now you have something amazing to share with the world. You. Because you told you’re your inner critic to hush. It’s all possible, you just need to get started.
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