The (my) Fear of Creating
I love working on projects. I rarely have less than 5 tabs open on my browser, 2 side projects, and 3 things in the works. It’s not the best way to do things, I know, but it usually works out. The problem is as soon as someone comments on or asks about what I’m doing, I freeze. I revert to the mumbly middle school girl who picked at her bracelets and shrugged after every other word when describing what she was doing or wanted to do. I get scared. As much as I make things and encourage others to do the same, I have a huge fear of creating.
It’s not imposter syndrome. It’s not that I can’t accept criticism. It’s not because there are better artists than me. It’s not that I fear that what I do won’t be accepted.
Despite all of those very real issues, the biggest one is me.
It’s about not meeting own expectations.
It’s about not reaching my goals.
It’s about failing myself.
Talking about a project that’s in the works means making it public that my vision rarely lines up with my final outcome. It means dealing with “I thought you said you were going to do—” or “didn’t it look different before?”, questions which are rarely easy to answer. This personal failure leads me to throw out so much of what I do, delay the starts of anything new, and ultimately feed my fear of creating.
Over the years I managed to tuck this feeling away into the “reasons I’m not good enough” folder until I started connecting with other makers again. hating the progress of one’s process is not rare at all. It’s shockingly common. Need proof? Watch “The Expectation Trap” by Elliot Gough (ElliotExplicit) earlier this year.
This video placed perfect captions on my feelings and is slowly but surely helping me claw out of the trap and move away from being smothered simply by the thought of my ideas and conquer my fear of creating.
I’m working on it too.