I finally had a “light-bulb” moment. When I am stumped for ideas or just frustrated, typically I don’t understand what’s the issue, but I think I have a small grasp on it this time: I have too many expectations for myself. It occurred to me that I have no pressure from anyone else to do anything, so I had to ask myself why I constantly feel so much pressure to achieve, mark off my check-list, do something amazing or even just to do the dishes. Expectations. I simply have ridiculously high expectations for myself. There is, of course, no problem with having expectations for oneself, but there is a problem with bashing yourself when you don’t meet every one of them.
No one is perfect. I am very well aware of this and would not expect anyone to beat themselves up over the same things I beat myself up over.
So back to the creativity part of this (i.e. the “relevant to this blog” part): not forgiving myself for making mistakes and basic imperfections is quite a hindrance on creative thought in general.
That probably seems obvious and, on an intellectual level, it is. But remembering this is not all that easy. I find myself discouraged at times, feeling like “what’s the point” about pretty much any crafty idea I have, long before I realize that if I simply allowed myself to fail without consequence I would easily be willing to experiment and create.
Really- when I completely don’t give a crap, I make much better work. I come up with better, unique solutions to everyday problems. Simply because the pressure is off.
And, since I suspect that I am not the only one who works better when there is no fear of failure, I would encourage any of the (wonderful!) people who took the time to read this post to remind themselves of the importance of failure:
Without it, we don’t know what doesn’t work, and sometimes that is more important than knowing what does.
- Failure & Suffering (mindofjeffrey.com)
- Failure in the Workplace – Why It’s Good for Innovation (themarlincompany.com)