Beat Creative Fear - 5 Hacks From the IOD Sisters
Alright, let us know if this sounds familiar…
You’ve just visited your local stockist and loaded up with all sorts of IOD goodies. You had a lovely chat with the owner and even picked up a few pointers to help you with your project – you’re feeling giddy and can’t waiiitttt to try all your new products.
By the time you get home and pull them out to start, something has changed. Suddenly, you’re feeling a certain heaviness creep over you. That new IOD stamp that was so exciting just a few minutes ago suddenly feels a little intimidating.
And then the self-talk begins.
What if I move while I’m stamping and smudge my project?
What if I don’t like what I create?
What if I’m not good enough to do this?
What if I’m just not creative enough?
What if it’s so ugly I have to throw it out?
What if….what if…what if…????
Ugh! Now you’re feeling crummy, and your creative desire has been squashed on the spot. You’ve even lost the will to try because it’s not worth the risk of disappointing yourself, confirming that all those nasty thoughts were true.
That right there is creative fear, taking up residence rent-free in your head and holding you back from the joys of creating.
The first thing we want to tell you is that you are not alone, my sweet friend. Creators of all levels struggle with creative fear (yup, Jos and I are no exception). We want you to know that there are many ways to break past creative fear, and we’re gonna take you through some of them now.
Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of negative self-talk from creators and makers, and let us tell you, it breaks our hearts. Most of us would NEVER talk to a stranger the way we talk to ourselves, and it’s plain toxic. What are we even doing!?
Luckily three simple tips can help you nip this pattern in the bud.
- First, talk to yourself like you would your best friend. You’ve got her back! You want to lift her up and be her hype girl!! You’ll help her figure out whatever it is, even when she makes a mistake.
- Second, talk out loud. When those nasty thoughts are given a physical voice, it’s much easier to recognize and course correct to something self-supportive.
- Third, reframe your mindset when trying something new. What do we do when a baby takes its first steps? We celebrate! It’s precious. Give yourself that same grace when you’re trying something new!
Jos and I believe strongly that creativity is not skill-dependent and all people are created to be creative. However, it’s hard even to try if you think you are not creative. So for those of you who say, “I’m not creative,” it’s time to stop saying that right now!
Every time you feel tempted to use that old language, remember this post and use this affirmation:
I am a creative soul, and I have unlimited creative potential. My creativity is an expression unique to me, and I will not judge or criticize that creative expression because it is divinely inspired and part of my personal journey. I will focus on the possibility of what can be and delight in new discoveries along the way.
It’s easy to get fixated on the outcome of a project. That weight of expectation can hold you back from starting (just like we discussed in the intro). This is especially true if you are a new creator or beginning with a new tool or technique.
So, how do you create without expectation?
Try scheduling creative playdates for yourself where you expressly agree not to be attached to how it turns out. Choose a few simple project tutorials you find online. You can easily bookmark these on Instagram or Pinterest, so you always have a quick place to pull from. The key here is to choose something fun and not too complex that allows you to get into action, don’t spend more than five minutes choosing the project.
While you are doing the project, feel free to experiment. See what works, and find out what doesn’t. It’s in this exploration that you can learn so many things!
- Master and discover new techniques
- Get in touch with your personal style, likes, and dislikes
- Learn different materials, textures, and layering so that when you do work on projects that matter, you’re ready!
- Keep a notebook handy, label your techniques you like and write the steps down!
There are so many resources available for you to be supported by like-minded people!
Your local stockist is a great place to start. They can give you pointers, help you select the right products for your skill level, show you product demos (or give you a sample) and let you try your hand with the latest IOD products before you purchase. Many stockists also have social media or video channels you can follow for tutorials and inspiration. Several also host workshops where you can learn with the support of a teacher until you’re ready to venture off on your own. Find your local stockist.
And of course, the IOD Creative Tribe is the best online hub to share your creative work and get support if you’re stalled, stuck in a rut, or just need help troubleshooting a technique or product.
And of course, learning the technical skill of something is always a huge way to build confidence. Check out our 101 tutorials for IOD stamps, paint inlays, moulds, or transfers to learn all you need to know about the basics. Then tune into our YouTube challenge for more advanced tutorials and techniques.
In closing, we’ll leave you with one more piece of advice from Nike® – JUST DO IT! The biggest difference between those who find creative success and those who don’t is simply showing up and creating day after day. It’s not special skills or talent – those develop along the way! Embrace the process.
Ok, this is a big topic and we’ve just scratched the surface. We’d love to provide more mindset support because we know that when you break past your creative fears and get yourself making, amazing things happen! So tell us in the comments, what creative fears are you struggling with? How can we help?
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