Honor Your Creative Journey and Stop Negative Procrastination
It’s been a very long and winding creative journey, but now Transform Your Procrastination is ready to go live. I am very proud of this accomplishment and excited about the possible ways it will benefit people – enabling participants to bring their amazing gifts into the world. However, the You go, Girl voices in my head are only somewhat stronger than the other ones shouting: What took you so long?? This should have taken MUCH less time. If you were a REAL professional, then this would have been done ages ago.
As it is for many of us, this negative self-talk is a thief of my hard-earned well-deserved joy and feelings of triumph. It creates negative procrastination – driving me to snatch defeat from the jaws of success. It drags with it self-doubt and unworthiness. Plus, it makes putting my baby out there in the world much harder and less effective.
Therein lies my fear: putting my new creation out in the world only to face the possibility of disinterest or outright rejection.
One thing I’ve learned is to use my negative self-talk as an indicator of something, usually fear, that I can and should face. Approaching the end of a creative journey is a common time for creative people to sabotage their efforts. Knowing this gives us an opportunity to be ready for it and take preemptive action.
I’ve written about fear and building courage before…
Today I want to honor the time and circuitous route that the creative journey can take. It took me awhile to recognize it. Comparing myself to more prolific creators and filling my brain with the should-haves of what my left-brain decides my journey should properly look like is a way of disrespecting my Muse and the impulses that lead to my unique creations.
Those periods of procrastination, feeling stuck, and doubting if your vision will ever be realized are an important part of your creative journey. They deserve honoring as well, because they helped to shape your creation into what it is now. Not only did your creation need to move through this (sometimes unnecessarily-long-seeming) process, but you did too. Every time we create a new work, not only does the piece change (from nothing into something, then from something into another thing) but we also change. The work affects us as well as our audience. And the process of creating affects the finished piece.
Even though these difficult periods are an integral part of the creative journey, it doesn’t mean that we can’t get ourselves more efficiently through them. A period of wallowing in discomfort is sometimes necessary, but you get to decide whether to do it for five minutes, five weeks, or five years. Here are some devices that can help.
Notice when you’re in one of these periods, and stop to examine it. This seems so basic, logical, and easy, but there’s something about being discouraged or in a bad mood that pulls us to stay there. The second part of stopping to examine it can take a bit of courage and determination. But as with most things, the more you act courageously, the easier it gets.
Determine whether you are dealing with an inner knowing that something isn’t right or complete about the project, or whether you’re facing fear about how your work will be received. It can be good to revisit the project to identify improvements and make the necessary changes. If you’re dealing with fear, go to step three.
Put yourself in touch with your original vision for the project. How has that changed from then till now? Do you still love it? Does your vision need to be further developed or differently approached? Are there other possibilities or directions for how the piece can evolve that are in conflict? Is doing a second variation something that you’d like to pursue as your next project? Spending time to get clear on your endeavor can often move you out of the doldrums. I find that once I gain clarity, it’s often helpful to go for a run or get some exercise to fully awaken my Muse. (Be sure to bring along something with which to record your thoughts. Often they will flood in.)
If you find yourself procrastinating more than you want to and you’re ready to change that, you may want to join a community of liked-minded people who are also working on their relationship with how they spend their time.
Transform Your Procrastination takes you on an introspective journey to uncover the things in your life that incline you towards procrastination. It guides you through fine-tuning the strategies to your own unique personality and situation, and it helps you to apply a means to hold yourself accountable. Throughout the seven-week course, you’ll be exchanging advice and support with fellow members of the Transformation Community as well as me. This community is used for prompts provided in each lesson.
If you’re interested and willing to meet the qualifications, there are a limited number of seats available in my Early Adopters Group at a reduced-price starting on June 19th.