“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath
Of course, as discussed before, there are several other enemies including a lack of motivation. In my experience, a lack of motivation often stems from one or more of the following things: doubt, fear, an inability to focus and/or to concentrate due to anxiety or feeling overwhelmed from too many responsibilities/distraction, or lost interest.
I’ve written some about fear and anxiety and about self-doubt. A lack of interest seems to explain itself – find the thing that interests you, about which you are truly passionate. Being overwhelmed often requires us to break our tasks into smaller steps and to set intentions for each of our essential responsibilities and then remind ourselves of those intentions.
One thing that helps me with all these challenges appears below (hint, it has to do with other people).
There are times in most people’s lives when they feel doubt – about a relationship, a sport, a college (major, class, career direction), a job, some other pursuit. Anything that requires a choice brings with it the potential for doubt. And we can doubt just about anything related to those decisions we make . . . or have to make . . . or want to make (before, during, and after we make the decision).
That doesn’t even take into account the doubt some people have about themselves.
At various points in our lives, questions arise. Do they really like me for who I am? Who the heck am I? Am I fooling myself? Do I have the ability needed? Is it done? How do I know?
Writers, artists, and other people chasing their creative dreams occasionally encounter various forms of doubt, fear, lack of motivation, and other obstacles. As a matter of fact, among many creatives I know, self-doubt is one of the biggest obstacles they have to overcome.
I’m not going to pretend one thing works for all forms of doubt. But I will say this, one thing I’ve learned that helps me regardless of the reason behind the doubt is the knowledge that each step taken gets me closer to my goals.
Another thing, that helps me even more than that, is reminding myself what my intention is for chasing those goals in the first place.
What Am I Writing For?
Answering that question (and reminding myself of the answer whenever I feel stuck, unsure) has helped me more than anything.
A third thing that helps me stay inspired . . . that reminds me that those obstacles can be overcome . . . is the accomplishments of my friends and colleagues.