[specialbox]Editor's note: This is a guest post by Adam Rico. He is the author of Paid To Be You and helps people find their passion, be intentional about their career, and do work they enjoy. Connect with him on his blog and Twitter or Facebook. [/specialbox]
Information is like tap water now. You can find it easily and it’s free. Hop online and in less time than it takes to get hot water to your shower you can find the answer to just about any question.
However, it can be paralyzing to want a little more information before taking action toward a goal. There’s always one more book, blog post, podcast, magazine article, conference, or course to absorb. We think, “This will be the tipping point.”
We think there’s a formula.
If we follow this plan, sign up for this seminar, or read this book we’ll find the answer that will unleash our success.
Under the guise of research we get more information. Yet we know in our heart it’s something else — something deeper. When we pull back the curtain, the truth is much simpler. We’re afraid.
We fear putting our best out to the world and being rejected, or worse, getting no response at all.
How this happens
Somewhere along the way, we let ourselves down. Our confidence took a hit and the aftershocks continue to rob us of the self-trust we once enjoyed.
These memories haunt us and we talk ourselves out of taking action before we even begin. So we think and ponder and worry if we have it just right. We might have missed something and if we launch now we’re certain it won’t be good enough.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But one thing is for sure: We’re not in the game. Not being in the game is worse than not being good enough. When we’re in the game we can make adjustments and improve.
We never get that opportunity when our art stays held captive to rejection. So how do we deal with this?
Overcoming our fear
The solution to fear always involves increasing our courage. Fortunately, having courage doesn’t require removing fear, but it does require a commitment.
A commitment to value our art more than our emotional safety.
A commitment to serve others through our creativity.
Ultimately, a commitment to increase our courage despite our fear.
How to become more courageous
- Filter your information. Choose only a handful of people (online or off) to consistently follow and absorb. These are your trusted advisors and your information filters. Don’t get stuck in the research trap. You don't need more information, you need more action.
- Find a supportive community. There’s something about knowing there’s a community of people encouraging you and keeping you accountable to provide the strength to release your art. Get encouragement and feedback from others and don’t do this alone.
- Focus on your previous success. You’ve had some wins so think about what you did in those situations. Confidence is built through competence. So recall what you’ve done well when you begin to doubt yourself.
- Set a public deadline. You’ve heard this before but a deadline will get you moving. Even if it’s self-imposed, it helps to know when you’re going to release your hard work into the world. A deadline you’ve shared with others forces you to jump off the cliff when you’re scared to death.
- Commit to action. Just take one baby step. You may not know steps eight or nine, but you know step one. Do something even if you’re not sure it’s the best thing to do. Change the focus from yourself to serving others with your art.
Formulas can be helpful and maybe sometimes we would even prefer a formula.
However, we must carve our own courageous path if we’re to impact the world with our art. Some paths will be well worn and others will be ruggedly wild.
Regardless, your path will be uniquely yours and you have to trust yourself to know the way.
Question: What else gives you courage? Share in the comments.