Overcoming Fear As A Creative
Overcoming fear as a creative is something to be expected if you are a public artist. If you are posting material online, chances are you are looking for a pair of eyes to view your work. It’s only natural for you to create something into the world and to share with it others. If you didn’t want that, you’d keep all your stuff private and not tell a single soul about your craft in my opinion. Therefore, with this piece of knowledge typically being true, adding the human factor into creativity can bring with it the element of fear.
This then begs the question: what are you scared of as a creative? Are you scared of having your worked judged? Afraid your work isn’t good enough? Terrified of becoming successful? There is a long myriad of things which can generate the feeling of fear in a creative because our minds can process a million different ways to be anxious over something given our imaginations. Henceforth, the point of this article is to otherwise challenge and combat some of the more common types of fears I’ve run across in my experience. And hopefully, after you are done reading this article, perhaps you may have some more insight into overcoming fear as a creative.
My Work Isn’t Good Enough
I feel this is a fairly common fear to have when trying to overcoming fear as a creative. The world is ripe with a large number of creative products with the invention of social media. All throughout twitter, youtube, facebook, DeviantArt or wherever else have you; there are plenty of great artists, music producers, writers and so on posting the art that they’ve invested years of effort into to share with the masses. So, to compare your art to someone with that level of experience is rather intimidating, but it’s not the end all to be all.
Assuming you have been putting in some kind of work and aren’t just starting fresh into the creative world, there is little to fear in this aspect as the general public is much more tolerant of your works art then you’d believe. A simple glance at what is popular in the world and you can see that sometimes it’s more of the fact that advertising, charisma and personal investment in a creator can bridge the gap in skill for others to like their pieces of work.
Furthermore, even if you feel your work isn’t good enough, living in fear of that isn’t going to change it. You have to put in the work to constantly produce pieces of creation into the world to get better. That is why consistently studying, receiving feedback and creating is important because it will give you more confidence along the way to otherwise quell this useless fear from your mind and help you become a more bold and confident artist.
As, more than anything else, you will have the experience of having exposed yourself to the world to otherwise serve as a reminder that things aren’t as bad as they seem when it comes to the quality of your work. This, in turn, will help you overcoming fear as a creative when it comes to this aspect of your work.
I’m Scared Of Criticism
Another barrier to overcoming fear as a creative is the fact that many creatives are scared of receiving criticism. And to that I have to say: There is no getting around this. Even if you are the most harmless creator in existence, there will always be someone that is going to criticize you. And this in itself is not bad. Why is that so? Depending on the type of criticism and feedback you receive, this can help mold you into a better creative.
It is best to mentally put any comment such as “lol you suck xddddddd” from Johnny123 in Alabama into the garbage bin and forget about it since it will help you towards overcoming fear as a creative. 9 times out of 10, these are idiots or people who aren’t serving in your best interest to want to make you grow as a creative. After a while, you will learn the mental fortitude needed to be able to handle a lot of the people who don’t have the balls to post their own creations into the world and are commenting safely from the peanut gallery of life.
Instead, the type of criticism that will help you is one that is well thought out and gives you ways to improve what was wrong with your creation to help you get closer to making the art of your dreams. I say this because I’ve received hard feedback from some of my creations and that constructive criticism helped me grow as a creator and I actually enjoy receiving it so I don’t stay stuck in the same loop of producing subpar creations into the world. I want to see myself improve over time, and criticism is a painful, but needed way to get it.
Yes, I understand it doesn’t feel good as even in saying all that it still hurts to have your work harshly criticized or to find out you aren’t as good as you thought it was. It’s a blow to the ego, the investment you put into your art and it’s something you’d rather avoid. However, as with most things in life, the most painful things help you grow the most and it’s best to go in with the mindset of ripping off a band-aid. As the quicker you receive educated criticism, the quicker you’ll grow as a creative in my mind.
Thus, with that said, do not allow criticism to stop you from pursuing your creations. If you are serious about your art, you will have to accept the harsh truth that you will be judged, but only you can make the judgment that either allows you to continue being an artist or not.
I’m Scared Of Success
Another wall in the way to overcoming fear as a creative is the fear of success. Yes, this is a real fear as there are people which hold the fear of success in the back of their minds when it comes to posting their creative works to the world. And, to a degree, this is a valid and realistic fear to have. The online world holds many opportunities for a person to reach success given the wealth of opportunities which exist across social media.
So, to suddenly be hit by a whirlwind of success overnight can be quite the fearsome thing to find yourself submerged in. There will be many people who crave your work, many eyes on your work, a lot of new people in your life and a sense of quality from the work which helped you become quality. Ergo, from all of this, I would say that if you don’t want this to happen to you….don’t post your work online.
I say this because every time you post something to the public, there is always that small chance that it can become a hit and shared across many different platforms. That is the nature of the beast when it comes to sharing your art with the world. Therefore, to avoid being overcome by this reality if it comes to true, it is best to be prepared by understanding a lot of the struggles which can come with being a successful artist.
In my opinion, I’d recommend having some kind of community, network or group of friends around you that you can trust when this thing becomes hard. This makes it easier to deal with any sort of backlash you may receive, hard decisions you have to make or if you need additional expertise on a rough problem that is eating you up. Furthermore, it would be wise to educate yourself on the potential ways to sustain yourself with your art by looking into different practical ways you can make a business around it and protect yourself. As there will often be many chances to increase your income and there will be sharks in the water that are more than willing to take advantage of an unknowing artist and cheat them out of what they are worth.
Therefore, to conclude, I would say that there is a lot of wonderful things that can occur from getting popular, successful or finding a way to sustain yourself on your art. However, you should take the proper precautions beforehand and ready your mind mentally if you want that to be a reality. As every dream that becomes real has its own set of problems which come with it and you must be ready to deal with it when the time comes. There is no getting around that in my mind and having this mindset will be another building block towards overcoming fear as a creative in my opinion.
My Work Has To Be Perfect Or I’ll Be Too Scared To Post
This is by far one of the things that makes me angry as a creative and is a big wall towards overcoming fear as a creative. Now, I’m not mad at the people themselves, but at the fact that the perception of perfectionism is possible. To me, it only serves as a way to be toxic the creative process as you are trying to live up to a standard of quality which does not exist in this reality. Therefore, to me, I feel this is something that is best left gutted and burned in a fire to never again see the light of day for most creatives mental process.
Now, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t have some form of standard or quality to your work. This is saying the opposite as I feel having the excuse to not post your work because it’s not perfect is a way of trying to avoid the work needed to improve your work and stay the course of facing your fears. Understand that it is a noble goal to want to pursue the highest quality you can achieve as an artist, but letting something stay in a WIP bin for months or years because it isn’t perfect is only doing a disservice to yourself, your fans and the world that may need or want your art because of some ridiculous notion that perfect art is possible in this imperfect world of ours.
Instead, a better mindset to possess is one where you are constantly hungry to improve your art. As when you seek improvement as opposed to perfectionism you are moving in the right direction toward progression. And progression is what we crave as human beings to see the work that we invest in produce a tangible result.
Ergo, to achieve this state of progression, I recommend understanding the flaws of your work, creating small realistic goals to achieve and doing these again, again and again until you reach a point where it becomes a game to always further the level of your work in some small form or fashion.
By seeing the flaws in your creations and improving them in your art, you can achieve growth as a creative in my mind and create more impactful work as a result of indulging that misguided need for perfectionism in the right direction. Which, ultimately, will help you towards overcoming fear as a creative when it comes to the need to see your work as perfect.
I do not believe reading this once will help you towards overcoming fear as a creative. I feel that you will have to bookmark this article, come back to it daily, weekly or monthly and actively put into practice the words which were written for a creative that is living in fear of their work. It takes constant practice to want to overcome your fears, but I feel it is a reality and I hope that this article served to help at least one person who may be dealing with this daunting feeling hanging over their heads.
Now, go out there and create something wonderful.