Creativity & Confidence: Getting in the Right Mindset to Make Something N

About six weeks ago I received the idea to do something totally different, something I've never done before.  I have fear & doubt about proceeding, but I'm going to do it anyway.  I'll share more details about the project over time, but for now I want to start sharing the process of how I manifest a new idea.

For me, the first stage is receiving the inspiration, which I'll write more about in another post. Currently I'm in the second and third stages, and I bounce back and forth in between them:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Is this anything? (aka questioning & self-doubt)
  3. Putting some time, investigation & work behind the idea

I bounce back and forth between stages 2 & 3 because self-doubt never really goes away, and sometimes it takes some work toward a project to build the confidence that I'll be able to complete it.  It would be great to skip step 2, but I think the best we can do is minimize it. Having gone through this process for several new creations, I am aware that stage 2 is coming so I am getting better at not letting it delay me for so long.

[Fun fact: After receiving the inspiration for my first two T-shirt designs, I tried to ignore them for over nine months before finally figuring out how to get them made. The first T-shirt design ended up being sold in Urban Outfitters.] 

I've been working on this new idea over the past 3-4 weeks, but the doubt has seriously crept in:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Who am I to pursue this idea?
  • How am I going to pull this off?
  • This is a waste of time.
  • This will never go anywhere.
  • Nobody cares.

(The voice in my head can be a REAL dreamkiller.)

If I let the voice in my head say enough of those phrases, then my momentum comes to a screeching halt. 

Realizing that my momentum is lagging, I need to do something to make that inner dreamkilling doubtful voice take a back seat.  When creating something new and getting out of my comfort zone, I need to cultivate an environment of possibility, expansion, belief, open heart and open mind.

Here are a few things I'm doing to accomplish this:

I'm being deliberate about how I start my day. I'd fallen back into the habit of checking my phone as soon as I woke up, and that's a recipe for reactionary living & self-doubt. Now I'm making myself do one of these things after I wake up & before looking at my phone or computer:  go for a walk, stretch, read, draw, or meditate. Those are all things I can do for free, as soon as I wake up, and they help open my mind and heart.

When I catch myself doubting, I'll change the channel. Our thoughts run so constantly that sometimes we're not even aware of what we're telling ourselves. When I catch myself in doubt mode, I'm going to distract myself. Think another thought, go do some dishes, jump up and down til I laugh. We don't have to entertain doubtful thoughts.

I'm going to do some visualization. Seeing is believing. I haven't done anything like this project before, so I really have to work on believing that I can pull it off. Can I even picture myself doing it? The picturing can be a visualization as I'm drifting off to sleep, a quick imagining after I wake up, or short daydreams. 

Look for clues & signs of confirmation.  These have already been coming. I think the universe sends us clues & information constantly, but we have to be open and attuned to seeing it. I see the world as a mirror, and I can look at what's around me and learn from it. A few examples so far are seeing others do what I want to do, seeing venues where I can present my project, witnessing in others the qualities I'll need to develop.

Get out and do something new. This helps remove me from my routine, shakes up my energy, and puts me in the path of expansion, inspiration & getting new clues and signs.  For example, I recently went to a free Creative Mornings lecture, despite not being very interested in the topic. The speaker moved me to tears, and by witnessing him I received some clues and information for my own project.

As soon as I can turn the volume down on my doubts, I can pick up my momentum again and get back to work. That's my goal for this week!

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