You Know What to Do

Day 286 Week 41 Q4 Saturday, October 14, 2023

Creative outliers sometimes get stuck. Everybody sometimes gets stuck. There is a difference, though. I think that creative outliers actually do know what to do. And if they don’t, they can create a path to what they want to do and need to do pretty straightforwardly. This is because you, as a creative outlier, do know what to do.

Then, why is it that sometimes you feel stuck? Usually, because you are afraid to do what you know that you need to do. This is not because you are a coward. It’s because the act of creating and putting new things out into the world is putting yourself on the line in a way that most people don’t.

Every time you create something new, you are taking a chance. It might not work. Others may reject you. You might get negative feedback. In fact, as a creative outlier, there is no doubt that many things you did did not work and did generate negative feedback. It does not feel good to be criticized or rejected.

It takes a lot of courage to say something to you and to do something new and put it out there in the world for all to see and possibly reject.  But what if you think that you have pretty good taste and have gotten pretty good feedback in the past, and I’m pretty sure that what you were doing is above the threshold of what is acceptable and probably above the threshold of what is good? It may even be excellent.

So what is your response? Well, sometimes you tell yourself that you don’t know what to do. The truth of the matter is that you do know what to do but don’t necessarily feel like exposing yourself to the possibility of rejection. I am pretty sure that I am much more critical of myself than the outside world is. This is probably true of you as well. If you have managed to make it out of your childhood into being an adult and are still being creative, there is a good chance that you really are creative. That you are not deluding yourself and that you have some amount of talent and are capable of doing good work.

The real question is your work just good enough, or is it exceptional? You’ll never know if you continue to have the conversation with yourself and not with the outside world. You have to get into a feedback loop with reality where you may find that you are better than just good enough. You may also find out that you were terrible. This is a good reason to say that you don’t know what to do even if you do.

The dance goes something like this. The first times that you do things and expose them to the world, they may not be so good. Then you have to fix them and improve until they are so good. And if you keep on going through the process, they may even get to the point where they are excellent.

But if you continue to pretend that you don’t know what to do and never get the feedback, then how are you going to improve? You need this feedback because it is part of your growth. So just remember that you do know what to do and that you may be pretending that you don’t because of the fear of rejection.

You do know what to do.