Hey creative friends, Happy New Year. I’m excited about what this year will have to offer. This is the beginning of another adventure, for sure. At the start of every new year, I know we all have goals, intentions, and hopes of doing certain things differently, maybe even ‘better’.
Having said that, we also make certain decisions (consciously or unconsciously) about what to not focus on. Perhaps, postpone to much later in our lives. It is this set of decisions I want to talk to you about today. Ready?
Good. Go grab your favorite beverage. Sit in a comfortable chair, lean in and let’s chat.
So, tell me. Among the things you’ve decided not to do this year, which of them is because you don’t think you’re good enough.
Which of them is because you feel like you’re not there yet”. Or, you don’t have what it takes? Maybe, you tried it and convinced yourself–nah.
I’m talking about all those things that when you compare yourself with those you admire, you feel like you don’t measure up. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Right?
Sometimes, it’s hard for us to admit to ourselves that not being good enough is the reason we’re giving up on our dreams.
We may even convince ourselves that we’re not giving up, we’re simply pausing or prioritizing.
So, take a minute and think about it. Did you subconsciously cross out some creative goals from your list this year? For example, you don’t feel your creative work is good enough so you’ve decided not to show it till some time in the future when you retire and can focus more time on developing your craft.
Of course, this is simply an example. You know yourself better than I do and you can pinpoint exactly those areas in your life you’re waiting to “get better at” before you start showing up fully as the person with the incredible skills that you currently have.
What computers, spaceships, cell phones and your creative dreams have in common
I read an article the other day and it made me think about you. Yes, you-hiding your creative skills till some arbitrary day when you become good enough.
Did you know that the computing power of today’s smartphones, (for example the iPhone that you’re holding in your hands right now on which you’re probably reading this post) is more powerful than the computing power of the computers that powered the first spacecraft which took man to the moon in 1969?
Why is this piece of information relevant to you? Let me unpack it for you.
This is how it hit me when I read that article. If NASA had waited to have “today’s technological advancements, we’d still be waiting for man to go to the moon.
It simply wouldn’t have happened. Why do I say that? Because the thing is, we haven’t seen the best of cellphone technology yet. It’s going to get even better. NASA had to start with what they had. They couldn’t afford to wait.
In much the same way, if you’re waiting for your “best” work before you call yourself an artist or before you start sharing your work with the world, your best is yet to come and you’ll wait a really, really long time to get started.
The other thing is, because of the work NASA did decades ago, its enabled improvements to be made to computing technology. Without that initial technology, there’ll be no basis on which to make some of the improvements to technology we enjoy today. And that’s what you have to remember. You need to get your work out so you can have a basis for improvement.
When you start without waiting to be good enough, it ensures that you'll have the time you need to grow.
Recently, I saw a piece by an artist whose work I admire! She’d created this particular art piece four (4) years prior
Comparing that piece to her current work was like night and day. Does it mean her prior work is not good. No. In context, that piece may have been her “best work” at the time she created it. And without creating that piece and sharing it with the world, she wouldn’t have learned what she needed to improve in order to be able to create the quality of work she does now.
In the same way, the NASA technology that took man to the moon was the best at the time it was made.
The important thing is to simply build on what you currently have. Don’t wait to be good. You’ve already got what you need for this season of your life.
Just keep building on it. Quit waiting for a “convenient season” in your life before you go all in with your creativity. Let’s be clear. You can’t guarantee what the next seasons of your life will be like. All you’ve got is the season you’re in today. So, use it.
Remember, you can’t get to your destination without going through the journey. This year, start your journey, or keep moving through the creative journey you’ve already started.
Step by step, day by day, you’ll get closer to your destination.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, don’t count yourself out before the year even gets started.
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Also published on Medium.