If you want to create more, you can’t underestimate the power of being encouraged and cheered on.
We still need intrinsic motivation for everything we do, but that extra boost from the people around us is just as essential.
If you take anything from this reading, I hope it’s that your ideas, passions, and all the little random things that bring you joy are worth doing. And if you want to make something awesome or do something exciting, you need to go for it.
I’m not here to give you permission, because I am not in any position to do that, but I am here to encourage you to do whatever cool thing it is that you’ve been thinking about. But it’s not always as easy as it sounds.
We all have barriers that keep us from doing the things that we want to do.
If you’ve had some awesome idea, but you haven’t been able to do the thing yet, I encourage you do these four things first:
- Ask yourself why you really haven’t done the thing you want to do.
- Sort the worries, doubts, and fears from the hard facts (I’m talking about “I’m not good enough” vs “I don’t own a computer so I can’t code”).
- Eliminate anything that isn’t a hard fact so you can focus on those real barriers.
- Do the thing.
Most of the time when I have something I want to do, including making this blog and this article, I am held back NOT by physical barriers, but by my pointless doubts and fears.
Will anyone like what I have to say? Does anyone care? What if I sound dumb? What if I look back and don’t like it? Are my thoughts worth sharing, or are they pointless?
But do you know what REALLY helps those thoughts?
It’s realizing that EVERYONE, literally EVERYONE, has these thoughts when they want to do something (especially if they’re doing it publicly or in front of people they know).
One of the most common examples of this is imposter syndrome, but I’ll talk about that more another time.
Personally, I struggle with sharing my work with the people I know a lot. If I were only talking to total strangers, I might doubt what I have to say a little less… maybe. Why do I care what some rando on the internet thinks? But since I tell my family and friends all about my work (because I love them and want to share my stuff with them) I sometimes find myself over-judging my work and worrying way more than I should.
I know on a logical level that my family and friends aren’t judging me. They’re cool. The truth is, it’s usually not even the reality of judgement that stops me.
The reality is, these doubts, fears, and excuses are all in my head. And remembering that everyone has these struggles, because our minds are rude and try to tell us all kinds of lies, really helps me put these harsh thoughts into perspective.
If someone else spoke to me the way I sometimes speak to myself… I would not want to be around them. So why do I talk to myself this way if I wouldn’t let someone else do it?
That’s why I think it’s so important to not only be careful about who we surround ourselves with, but also how we treat ourselves.
I have the best days when I really focus on my thoughts and ask myself to change the mental stories I’m telling myself. Saying things more along the line of…
My family and friends support me and would never judge me (whether they liked something I did or not).
It doesn’t matter if a stranger doesn’t like something I do, they can’t hurt me and they’ll likely forget me forever in a second anyways. So why should I let them stop me from being happy?
I didn’t make a world ending mistake and I’m not dumb. I tried something, it didn’t work, and I learned my lesson so now I can do better next time.
The stories we tell ourselves are insanely powerful. The thoughts we choose to listen to matter so much.
I know it’s hard to rid ourselves of these bad thoughts. It’s not easy to neglect our doubts, fears, and anxieties when doing things. So instead of trying to find a way to get rid of them, I think the best we can do is acknowledge them and say:
“Eh, no thank you. I’m going to decide that you are just my rude brain telling me lies and I am going to think something better, and more true, so I can believe in myself.”
Like I said earlier, intrinsic motivation is essential when you’re doing something or making any kind of change. But you should still be supported by the people around you. It’s so much easier to have a creative and growth mindset when you’re surrounded by people who also have a positive mindset.
So now what should you do?
- Sort your facts from your fears.
- Change the stories you’re telling yourself.
- Surround yourself with encouraging people who will truly support you and encourage you in your growth.
If you have something you’ve been putting off because your mind is trying to make excuses and keep you from being happy: tell the negative thoughts, and anyone who’s trying to put you down, to shut up, and go do your thing.
Until Next Time,