Have you ever felt nervous or even paralysed about the idea of sharing your work? I know I have. When I started Common Exception I was worried whether my idea was good enough, and if other people would connect with it. After starting other ventures, I’ve learnt that you need to go with your gut feeling, and be willing to see where it takes you. Without putting your work out there, there’s no opportunity to start, learn and grow. Once it’s out there, you can continue to improve and evolve.
Trust in the process
Your work isn’t an end in itself, it’s the beginning of a relationship and conversation. Whatever stage you’re at, trust that you’ll find your community, the one that wants to share the journey with you. This quote by Loyle Carner sums up the power of letting go: “My mum always used to say create and move on. You make what you made now, you release it, that gets you to where you’re at, then while that’s making its rounds around the world you‘re able to reinvent and re-refine the next batch of work. And I think that’s how it needs to be, continuously growing and evolving. You don’t get to do that if you just never put anything out.”
It’s ok to pretend
Our brains are a little like records, and if something scratches them they can get stuck on repeat. While acknowledging any feelings of anxiety, if you know deep down that your work is ready, push these feelings aside slightly and trust that it will be ok, because it will be.
Know what’s important to you
Knowing when you’re ready to release your work is about knowing your personality and what’s important to you. Trust the process, but also know what feels good to you. This isn’t about striving for perfection, but knowing how you produce your best work. I really care about art, design and words so these all need to feel right before I release them. I also know that my best work, and most productive times, are when I’m enjoying the process of creating, and not when I’m rushed or stressed. Other people work in different ways, thriving on high pressure or happy to release work on the go. Knowing when to let go of your work relies on connecting with yourself, and knowing if you’re pushing yourself to create your best work, or if you might be standing in your own way.
The trouble with perfection
If you’re aiming for perfection, either to release a piece of work or start your business, you might be holding yourself back. As someone who has aimed for perfection, and can still get caught up in the detail, I know how important it is to step back and look at the big picture too.
The big picture
Whatever you’re doing is just a part of your journey. You won’t get to where you want to be without putting your work out there. If you’re feeling nervous, just think of the big picture and what you’re aiming for, and trust it will be ok.