“…well, dare we call it boredom? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a kind of fear of getting started.”
Rice Freeman-Zachary, in Creative Time and Space.
This idea of “fear of getting started” got me thinking about all the creative projects I’ve been involved in, and the process I went through before I was able to get them going.
I didn’t enter into any of my creative endeavours without some form of inner struggle. Not necessarily a dramatic struggle, not always, sometimes just a bit of to and fro before getting myself going.
But still – why should there be any inner resistance to a creative project that is exciting, personally fulfilling and sometimes even financially rewarding? It would seem like a no-brainer, right?
I have to confess that I’ve used all these excuses myself, many times. I’ve used them to avoid writing, painting, drawing, starting a blog, guest writing, teaching yoga classes, teaching writing and art classes… I think I’ve used them for everything that I’ve ever done in my life that was worth doing.
At the time of making these excuses, if you were to tell me that they were just synonyms for “you’re too scared to start”, I would have argued vehemently that you’re wrong. That my excuse is valid and that I really am not too scared to start, it’s just that…. (fill in the blank with my excuse.)
- I’m too busy right now.
- I don’t know how to do that.
- I don’t have time now.
- Any form of procrastination.
- I don’t have space.
- I’m not qualified/learned/skilled enough.
- Feeling bored or listless but not able to get anything going.
- “But my children need me. That’s why I can’t …. right now.”
- But no one will want this…
What excuses do you use as a way of hiding the fear of starting a creative project? And how do you move through it to get going?
P.S. There’s nothing wrong with this process… creative projects have a way of pushing our psychological safety zone barriers so that we can grow, incrementally, every time we dare to express our creativity. But being aware of what’s going on makes it easier to move through the fear and get going, instead of becoming stuck in that fearful space and believing our own excuses.
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