Lately I have seen that all the discoveries I was coming up with were kind of obvious things. I would get that aha moment and the light bulb in my head would go “I need to share it!”. But then I would start thinking and suddenly see that my idea is not really my idea, that I have read about the thing before, and I have even known it for a while. I was writing posts on my Russian-speaking blog, and felt like I was expressing very obvious things.
At first I felt like I hit the showstopper. So what do I do now? Do I sit around and wait for a really original idea? And indeed, are there so many original ideas that are shared out there? I guess, it is just my big ego that wants me to come up with something genial and groundbreaking, but that – instead of motivating me – keeps me procrastinating and stuck.
So I said to myself: “stop expecting some great originality from yourself. Just share whatever you feel like sharing. Share your story, if you want to share it. There are so many stories being recycled and retold (like Romeo and Juliet, for example), and still people love them. And maybe, people don’t crave novelty all the time – for that you can always watch some news (and even in the news – is there anything really new there?). People don’t need originality all the time – they want emotion. So give them emotions, if you can!”
It has been said before, and here I go and say it again. It looks like people are hungry for authenticity. Why so? Have they had enough of made-up fairy tales that now they want to watch reality TV? Have they had enough of the glamorous celebrity images living in their perfect world, that now they want to see “real people” on blogs and vlogs of Youtube living their usual daily life? (and we can discuss how real is the “realness” of bloggers – but there must be some appeal in watching them living their “real” life, right?). And maybe an advice “Be authentic” sounds too huffy-fluffy and pseudo-positive, but here I am writing a reminder to myself, more than giving anybody advice. And in that reminder I would say: Follow your excitement. Do what you enjoy. Don’t expect some great innovation from yourself. Just share it if you feel like it.
And it is not about conquering your fear. Fighting with fear is useless, like fighting with yourself, – in the end you will never win. It is not about fearlessness. It is about courage. It is about looking your fear into the eyes, accepting it for what it is and moving with it. And maybe, the fear will accompany you as long as you are moving. As long as you are doing that what is new to you, the fear will be there. Its lifelong mission is to protect you from the harm and danger, and it sees danger in everything new, this is how it is. And though his protection is not always needed, it is still there – so don’t fight it. Thank it or not, but let it be. Just don’t let it rule over your decisions. Move along with it. Learn the art of moving along with your fears (my ideas of fear, courage and fearlessness come greatly due to the book “Big Magic” by Elisabeth Gilbert, and I love her writing – about creative living beyond fear – in this book. Highly recommend it!).
So put those expectations aside. Don’t let them stop you. Don’t let your own perfectionism stop you. You will feel much better doing things and being creative, even when doing it poorly and with many mistakes (great way to learn!), than by sitting on the side, waiting for the perfect idea and watching others do the thing. It is like learning to speak a new language. There are people who take 3-4 levels of a language course before they start speaking. I always was the one who threw myself into a new language, like diving into the water. Talking like a little kid. Because you cannot expect until you get so much better that you will speak it without mistakes – it is by speaking and making a lot of mistakes that you get better.
It is by doing whatever excites you, by creating whatever your want to create – by doing it, failing at it and making mistakes there, by this you are getting better. And I am sure, you will be more grateful to yourself later that you were doing it, performing poorly – than not doing at all.
So go get those typewriters out of their dusty corners and start typing! 🙂