Helen Mirren said, “Self-doubt is the thing that drives you to improve yourself.” I first read this quote and said to myself, “WTF, Helen!? Self-doubt is an asshole who must be destroyed! Self-doubt is the thing that drives you insane!” In my experience, self-doubt is a default mode that I must fight against each day in order to succeed as an artist. I wanted to know why Helen, a creator that I deeply respect, would say such a thing. Upon further investigation, I think I see what she meant.Read More
You know the feeling. You’re sensing a bit of a rut with your creativity, so you decide to take a look at some others’ work for a boost of inspiration. You start looking through Instagram, blogs, Facebook, or some other medium, and that sinking feeling creeps in. By the time you notice it, you are so far down the spiral, you don’t even know when inspiration was replaced with the feeling of overwhelming self-doubt. Now you don’t want to make anything at all. What’s the point?
So what happened? Compare and despair happened. The minute you measure your own work to the work of others, the feeling of despair sets in.
There have been whole years that I let comparing get the best of me, and I didn’t engage in my creative pursuits. Now, when feel it coming on, it lasts no longer than an hour. This has taken a lot of practice to curb. I have found a few tried and true solutions to overcome the compare and despair monster. And I'd like to share them with you.
If you're struggling to start writing that novel, or forming that band, or getting your business idea off the ground, you might be stuck overthinking it. Overthinking can keep some of us paralyzed for days and even years at a time. There is a solution, and it’s pretty simple. The answer is to just start.