I’ve observed a specific pattern with entrepreneurs who feel creatively stuck: Their stuckness is usually related either to their passion or their skills.
In other words;
1. They are not clear about what they really want or what “their thing” is (PASSION), OR
2. They have not learned the methods or acquired the techniques for creating it yet (SKILLS).
Consequently, they find themselves buried in fear, confusion and inertia.
Fear and Procrastination Are Side Effects
You often believe you’re stuck because of fear or procrastination. Yet fear and procrastination are mere side effects of the above two reasons that cause you to go around in circles.
Read the following questions and answer them now to see whether your stuckness is related to your passion or your skills:
- Would you still feel stuck if you were 100% clear about what you want?
- If you learned all the methods and acquired all needed skills would you still feel stuck about the work you want to create?
When you put your finger on the exact spot that makes you feel paralyzed, you can then take the steps to put yourself back into a state of elevated flow where neither fear nor procrastination can reside.
Three Things You Can Do Today
Here are three things you can start doing today to make progress with your creative work:
1. Get clear on your passion. Identify your superpowers. Then, tie them together.
You experience some sort of personal and professional alchemy when your business is a blend of your passion and your strengths.
I’m sorry to say this, but you’ll struggle and suffer until you’re clear about “your thing.”
But once you have clarity, everything magically falls in place. It took me almost two years to be sure about what I wanted to do with my online business. So, be a matchmaker between “your thing” and your strengths.
To find out what you really want to do, ask these questions to yourself:
- What do I enjoy doing the most? (YOUR INTERESTS)
- What do I often read, research or feel curious about? (YOUR INTERESTS)
- What can I talk about for hours without getting bored? (YOUR INTERESTS)
- What do people come to me for help? (YOUR STRENGTHS)
- What am I really good at? (YOUR STRENGTHS)
- What is obvious to me but may be amazing to others? (YOUR STRENGTHS) – (Thanking Derek Sivers for this one.)
Then take your answers and see where they intersect. Those are the hot spots you should focus on.
Here is a great articles on finding your passion:
The Short but Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion by Leo Babauta
One other thing that could help you with having clarity on what you want is thinking about your life’s mission and your values. Can you describe in one sentence what your life stands for?
Why are you here? And what are your values?
Keep your mission and your values in mind and in heart in the process of finding “your thing.”
I struggled for a long time to start making progress with my business. But once I knew what I really wanted and how it fit my life’s mission, I started flourishing personally and professionally.
2. Choose one method to develop your creative business skills and stick with it.
You will run into dozens of people and programs who promise to teach you the essential skills for building your creative business. Each method or system will be different and focus on a different angle. What’s more, more than one person or program will make sense to you.
However, soon you’ll feel so overloaded with information and mentally burnt-out that you’ll lose the motivation and the raw enthusiasm you need to pursue your dream project.
You can’t put on two dresses at the same time. You have to choose the one that fits you best now and wear it.
When you do that, your inner voice will try to make you feel as if you’re missing out on useful advice and techniques. Don’t listen to it.
The best method is the one you stick with and follow until you reach a certain plateau in your creative endeavor.
Once you gain enough traction, you can always go back and study other methods again and test or integrate them into your master plan and methodology.
3. Own your imperfection and grow, adjust and fine-tune as you walk on your unique path.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that what lies under being obsessed with perfection is:
- the fear of failing in front of others,
- the fear of being unable to handle success, or
- the fear of getting ordinary results.
But there’s no way you can be ordinary as long as you speak, write and act from that place inside of you. No one can turn your idea into a project the way you can do it.
Remember that authenticity is better than perfect. Done is better than perfect. Action is better than perfect.
Go do it. Go be imperfect. Go fail. Your mistakes made in the course of action are a thousand times better than the inaction that’s been corroding you. Go fail, feel bad about it, and then go try it again. Go experiment and learn.
You don’t have to do things perfectly. You just have to take the first step. You can improve your techniques and skills only by practicing them; not by lingering.
At the end of December 2011, I created and launched my online program A Year With Myself in less than two weeks!
I was so tired of not shipping that I no longer cared about the risk of failing badly.
I did laser-focused work, planned the course, wrote hundreds of emails to hundreds of people, asking them to contribute to the 52 different modules of the yearlong program. I was so fired up that my enthusiasm became contagious. I got as many ‘no’s as ‘yes’s, but in under two weeks, I got the OK of over 70 amazing coaches, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and other experts.
Today A Year With Myself has over 750 subscribers, more than 50 paying members, over 35 sales partners, 2000 unique visitors, and a vibrant, growing and very active community.
When you want something really bad and you give yourself to it 100% without listening to your fearful inner critic, nothing can stop you.
Summary of the Action Steps
- Discover your passion. Identify your superpowers. Then, tie them together.
- Choose one method to develop your knowledge and skills and stick with it.
- Own your imperfection and grow, adjust and fine-tune as you walk on your unique path.
C. A. Kobu is the Project Midwife. She helps creative, passionate, entrepreneurial women get clear, step into their power and give birth to Their Life’s Great Work. People say she’s a mad Idea Powerhouse and an Instigator with laser vision. She says she’s the Creative Alchemist and the archenemy of your fear, confusion and resistance. Visit “A Year With Myself”, her empowerment program for women, and sign-up to get notified about her upcoming course “Birth Your Beautiful Project”.