What We Forget About Giving Up
There isn’t a lot that’s particularly original or exceptional about me. My greatest fear is being average. Nothing I achieve will erase that.
However, the truth is that we are all a little bit average. All of us.
The secret to getting the most out of your dreams for the future is… hurry, lean in closer.
If I was in a celebrated musical from the 1960s, I would charge you money to learn how to fix what I broke for you in the first place. And you wouldn’t even know what you bought!
If this was an episode of a powerful television show, the protagonist and witty supporting cast would race against the odds (and the time block the show is constrained in by their network) in order to find a long-forgotten secret that changes the fate of the world, time, and the universe itself. Only to discover in the nick of time and at the risk of almost losing their over-inflated confidence (read: arrogance. it’s almost always arrogance) that they knew the secret all along.
We’re so sick of this trope that it’s actually become a meme. “The real treasure was the friends we made along the way!” And you’re happy. And you turn the screen off and go back to your rehearsed routine life, smiling in the moment but unchanged in your long-term reality.
But this is no television show. This is far, far, less interesting than that. Who still reads anymore? People who want to believe they are smart?
I won’t give you a long-winded answer about how there’s a secret to achieving what you want out of life. I don’t have the secret! If I did, I wouldn’t be dodging the question for more than three paragraphs.
What I CAN tell you is that believing that your creativity, your productivity, and even your every-day efforts have to be so far above average that you give up on trying? That’s hurting you.
That’s hurting your creativity, your present, and your future because you’ve discovered the beautiful trap of perfectionism. The number one reason why I put off starting something is because I’m afraid it won’t be as good as I want it to be.
Just like writing is re-writing, so is it with ANY creative endeavor. Just begin. And rework through it later, without your impossible expectations holding you back. It’ll get better if you give your mind a moment to sit with your ideas. Be a little kid again. Let your mind really explore every possibility without a quota you have to meet and let yourself let go.
Once you take the first step and really start on that thing that’s important to you, you’re already one step closer to finishing it.
Originally published at https://alyssadriscoll.com on February 27, 2020.