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How much time do you spend thinking about why you shouldn’t start creating something new instead of just doing it?

How many statements of disqualification do you listen to everyday?

Do you ever hear questions in your head like these?

The truth is I hear this list a lot.

And I even yield to its taunting voice.

I thought I’d write down what I hear mostly for my own benefit.

Maybe you’ll find it encouraging to silence your lizard brain also.

Questions of Disqualification?

-What if your next project, your next presentation, your new curriculum, your new software app is not any good?

-What if no one uses it?

-What if no one likes it?

-What if no one leaves a comment on your next blog post?

-What if you don’t finish the Marathon you are training for?

What if your ebook doesn’t get read?

-What if no one buys your new product idea?

-What if your book manuscript doesn’t get published?

-What if no one listens to your new podcast?

Time Wasted

How much time do we spend churning through these questions instead of just doing the work?

I am going to wager a guess.

I bet I spend almost 75% of my time, some days,
entertaining these kinds of questions instead of just doing the work.

How many incomplete projects or ideas do you have in your cue?

I have an eBook in process titled Fire your boss, instead of quitting your job.  I’ve been editing this project for the past month.

I also have a series of four or five interviews that I have committed to do but keep delaying due to some missing practicalities.

I have four upcoming talks that I am delivering.  All of which I have been procrastinating on.

Take an Inventory

  1. Would you be willing to take an inventory of the number of projects, ideas, initiatives
    that you have started in the last six months, but not completed?
  2. Now take a similar inventory of the number of projects that you have completed?
  3. How many of the completed projects, ideas, products, inventions, books, stories, speeches, stood up against the above list of fears?

Do The Work Anyway

Once you answer the questions above with the answer I am going to do it anyway.

Then you are free to do the work you love regardless of people’s responses.

Jeff Goins published a great ebook that speaks to this kind of thinking, Your Are a Writer, so start acting like one.

Why don’t we each starting acting like we were what we wanted to be?

You are a writer.

You are a designer.

You are an author.

I am a…….

What will you do today that yesterday you dismissed because you thought
no one will like what you create?


You might also enjoy the podcast interview with Jeff Goins.  Listen here.  

  • Bryce Vietz

    This is 2 years old but relevant to me now. I graduated with a bachelors degree in graphic design, however, my specialty is more illustration but I can cover both bases.
    My dilemma is that the corporate world doesn’t think I’m worth a damn for internships or jobs. And I’m a good illustrator, but my work has a psychedelic feel to it. So I guess the ‘mainstream’ crowd doesn’t think that would resonate with an audience. Who are these people to be authoritative about what works and what doesn’t. It’s really irritating. Even if nobody likes it, I wish somebody could at least look at my work and tell me why it doesn’t work.

    • Aaron McHugh

      Bryce-what an interesting space you are in. I’m curious how this will work out for you over the coming weeks-months-years. My first attempt to get a job was simply terrible or at least that was what I thought at the time. I turned in application after application and I felt like a ghost. No one- I mean NO ONE returned my calls or even gave me an interview. It was simply weird.

      What happened was I found that I was simply trying to go down the wrong path (in my case). 20 years later I can say that the rear view mirror of my life provides a lot more clarity than does the front windshield as I am driving forward. Keep engaging in your craft. Keep practicing. Keep up the risking being seen and known through your art. And gift everyone else with the permission and grace to never care about what you’re making. The irony is once I decided I’d simply do what I love because I love it….it took a lot of pressure of other people and I actually began enjoying it more. Keep going bro.

      Hope these help encourage you.
      A couple of other blogs to check out on my site by title:

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Posted on: 09 / 04 / 2012