It’s a struggle people deal with in all walks of life; you want to do something but your brain keeps giving you a bunch of reasons why you’re not ready yet. When asked about how to deal with the voice inside your head that is constantly telling you you are not ready, you don’t have permission to try, you will fail so don’t make an effort…it is hard to come up with a definitive answer on how to combat your own mind into letting you do something.
There are a lot of ways you can look at it. The first is that there might be some truth to what your mind is saying. Maybe you AREN’T ready, but you can’t expect to have immediate success when you’ve just started to learn something new. You can’t expect to make a brand new graphic novel after two weeks of practice and study. You can try, but you most likely will not be ready to do so. So the question, then, is when will you be fully, truly ready? And you’ll find with most artists, they’ll give you the answer that you will never really be ready.
See, what you do at any time you start trying something new or applying what you’ve been learning is you are just taking the tools you have and using them to make something. You use what you have at that point to do what you wish and dream, only using what you’ve been given or learned up to this point.
Getting around it
Now dealing with these limitations is a whole different situation. You have to understand what your mind is telling you and why it is telling you this. It’s also accepting the fact that you may be rejected, you may fail, but what matters is your willingness to try. The willingness to try, to fail, to be rejected, and the willingness to go on even if everything is not at the point you want it to be is the mindset you want to have.
And that’s probably the hardest part. Because failing or not getting to the point you wanted is painful. It hurts! No one wants to fail, no one wants to be rejected, and everyone has a perfectionist in their head telling them what it should be like. And if you don’t achieve what you wanted, you are going to start to reject yourself.
That’s the first issue you have to address. You have to be able to accept that you know you may fail, but you have to be okay with that. That’s the biggest obstacle for many people. You have to give yourself the permission to fail in the face of the world, be rejected for not achieving what you set out to do, yet keep moving forward. Keep working towards the goal even when everyone else gives up on you, even when you yourself quit on yourself.
Because if you don’t give yourself that permission, if you don’t allow yourself to fail, you are not going to push yourself towards your goal. What you’re going to do is continue to plan and plan, trying to work out a perfect scenario to achieve your goal, just so that way you do not fail or get rejected because you are too afraid of being rejected and failing. You’ll just keep planning, thinking of what you want to achieve, but never set out to do so.
Why is this challenging?
This is very challenging for many people. Mainly because it’s the revealing of a vulnerable part of yourself. You’re revealing a part of yourself that was probably seen before by others, but instead of others telling you it’s okay to fail, they told you to go away until you’re perfect. Rather than tell you to try again, to keep improving to get better, they told you to hide away in your room or lock yourself up until you are perfect.
You have to go back to what you were before. Where you attempted, showed the world, but failed or didn’t hit your exact mark. But when you do this, you have to realize and tell yourself it is okay to fail. Keep trying, and trying while showing your progress. Not just hiding away until you hit perfect, but showing progress working towards perfect.
You have to also accept what you are trying to express is legitimate. What you are trying to achieve are your goals and dreams. It’s a real construct that you want and wish for. Pushing yourself through this journey will have all these dips and valleys, but it also has high points of joy. Knowing that with each fall you take, you’ll rise back up, more often becoming stronger and better than before.
It’s in this sense that it’s challenging because you’re revealing a side of yourself that isn’t perfect and is in fear of rejection. But it’s the realization that life is a journey, and you are never perfect at first. You will go through numerous highs and lows before you find success, and that’s totally normal!
We like to see the development
Though it is difficult to show you are not perfect or to show the unrefined image of yourself, you should realize that people like to see growth and development in others. Take Justin Beiber for an example: He started out on YouTube as a tiny little kid beating on some pails just doing his drum thing. He wasn’t big yet, he was just a kid. He wasn’t an influence yet or an idol to kids and teenagers. He was just a kid who wasn’t popular, but we got to see him grow and develop from what he was to what he currently is now.
Another example would be Jason Chan who works at Riot Games, and he’s an example for the exact same reason: We got to see him develop. Starting out at maybe eighteen or so, building his first website, making different art, and we got to go on that same journey with him. He started out just as a young teenager that no one really heard of or knew about, but then became big and now works at a big game company.
The point being made here is people tend to like to see other people develop and grow. And that should bring some comfort to you when you are combating the voice telling you you are not ready. There may be people who aren’t supportive or reject you, but there will also be people who root for you and want to see growth.
There will be people hoping for your development, wanting to see your growth, and rooting for you to continue and eventually hit your goals. These people are now emotionally connected to you and will be lifelong fans, wanting you to continue on your path and continue to see you develop.
People are Connected via the Journey of others
As stated above, people want to see you grow and become emotionally connected when they get involved or engaged by your development. But why?
It’s because we are people who find a connection in the heroic journey of others who start off with so many hardships, yet despite all that represses them, they continue to build up towards their goals. People want to see success, but not just success out of nowhere, a success that came from development and growth.
Yet again, many people don’t want to show they have that hardship, setbacks, or things holding them back from their goal. They just want to achieve success and then show everyone that they have made and achieved their success. But the willingness to show, for example, “Hey, I’m just a kid banging on a bucket and this is my journey,” brings a much deeper connection than just being a successful person.
It’s tied to a form of people-pleasing. To want to show or appear that we are perfect right away, without dealing with trouble or hardships. We believe that the people on the outside won’t appreciate or respect us unless we are perfect right from the get-go. That we have to be perfect from the start, otherwise no one will really like and accept us, but they will reject us and we will fail.
Exposing yourself, however, brings a much deeper connection. Because people don’t want to just see perfect from the start. People would much rather see your journey and growth, to see how you go to the point you are currently, rather than just demand you be perfect from the start. It’s the idea that people want to see success, but also go along that journey with you, and see you develop from a small start that isn’t fully made, to being a masterpiece in the works.
The hard part is that this is a very emotional process. It is very difficult to be willing to be seen like that rather than to try and be perfect and let imperfection show. It’s often difficult because it is foreign. But it updates your mind, to be okay with opening up and showing yourself to others. It is okay to keep making progress towards perfection while making mistakes along the way, showing that you are not perfect.
Why the connection is deeper
When you see the development of a person over a long course of time, you hold a much deeper meaning and greater thoughts of the person. It would be much different if you met someone who just appeared perfect from the start. If they were perfect at the beginning, you wouldn’t know what they went through nor their journey to where they are now. It would be a blank slate of “look at me, I’m perfect.”.
And it is this that is a foreign concept. If you’ve grown up without someone empathizing with you about failing or not being successful the first time around, you’re afraid to show your flaws. Its something that is the main point in many cultures, to not bring disrespect or dishonor to their family or name. Thus they are taught to not show their flaws or failings and to not come out until they are perfect, so they grow up not being used to it nor willing to show their imperfections.
But once it has been surpassed, and you open yourself up to be witnessed as an imperfection, you will find connections with others who are like you or have been in your place. The emotional connection is much deeper and greater once you see the development and journey of the individual.
Thus, you will have something to empathize with and see the similarities in each other when you open up, building a stronger bond and relationship. Everyone wants to see someone who is the underdog become a greater, better, person. And that feeling and inspiration can drive your own individual success.