So what if your soul work sucks?
“Whatever you do may be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Since my day job is freelance copywriting and graphic design, I subscribe to a number of e-newsletters on marketing. A lot of the info is technical, but every once in a while I read something that’s relevant to soul work.
This morning I got just such an email.
It was a blog post by Corbett Barr, founder of ThinkTraffic, called What Publishing 500 Posts Taught Me About Rocket Science.
Most of the post was about blogging, but there was one section that caught my attention. Because I think it, and a video by Ira Glass that Barr links to in the post, touch on the heart of why so many creative people give up on their passion. Barr says:
(At the beginning,) your work will suck, and you have to fight through it…
He says the only way to get through it is to just keep producing more.
What’s holding you back?
Nearly all of us at one time or another struggle with feeling that our work isn’t living up to our expectations. But I don’t think that’s the end of it. Even when we know we’re good, sometimes we let our self-doubts get in the way of our dreams and goals.
If it’s not “my work sucks,” it’s “no one is watching/listening/paying attention anyway so why bother?” or “will I reveal myself as a crazy woman/pathetic person/fraud by creating this?” or “My work is useless, futile, not important.”
And so we go on shoving our soul work into the corner to sit in the ashes. We turn our backs and go back to balancing our checkbooks and farting around on Facebook.
So…back to Barr’s point.
Basically, what he’s implying is, the antidote to giving in to our doubts is a good, healthy, “So What?” and do it anyway.
So what if your work has a few flaws?
Each piece you do – each painting you paint, or song you sing, or sales call you make, or post you write – will have aspects that could use improvement. But each one will also have positive qualities. Focus on what you did well, and look forward to the next time.
Even if you hate everything about it, don’t think of it as a failure. Even the most gifted person will come out with crappy stuff once in a while. I have a theory that if you keep working, you’ll let the crappy stuff out so the awesome stuff behind it has room to break free.
So what if no one is listening right now?
So you don’t have an audience. Try this: go watch a good busker. The good ones don’t give a crap if there’s anyone watching. They walk out and set up on the street and just start going at it. They lose themselves in the performance. And before long a person pauses to watch, and then another, and before long there’s a whole crowd grooving on what the person is doing.
Don’t worry about not having an audience yet. Just do two things:
- Do your soul work with the passion it deserves, and
- Don’t be shy about letting it show.
The audience will happen.
So what if people think you’re weird?
It’s true, our soul work often requires us to be vulnerable. Which is scary and difficult. But you might be surprised how much empathy and support may come your way once you throw caution to the winds and just do it.
So what if…
OK, then there’s the last one. The big bugger. “My work isn’t important.”
This one is really the mother of all the rest.
Because what’s it’s really saying is, “I’m not important. I couldn’t possibly have anything worth sharing.”
Do you realize what that implies?
Think about it. Why are you here? What got you here in the first place?
You are the child, and grandchild, and great-grandchild, and so on, of hundreds of generations of human mothers and fathers going far back into the mists of time, each loving and fighting and sacrificing to ultimately bring you into the world.
You are the result of billions of generations of living things, striving to reproduce and evolve into beings of ever greater consciousness.
You are the result of trillions of cells all cooperating and coming together to enable you to think, to feel, to move, to change the world.
You are the end result of what happened when gazillions of molecules and atoms burst into being at the beginning of the universe, and then discovered that they could dance and swirl together to become ever more complex and ever more miraculous creations.
All these things happened to bring you here, right here and now, and able to act.
And lo! You have the impulse to create! To create something positive. Something beautiful. Something healing.
Whether it’s relevant just to you or to the whole world doesn’t matter. That little voice you hear, the one prompting you to pick up that brush, or write down that thought, or start that business – it’s important.
The entire universe conspired to get you here. And something tells me it’s not so you can do your taxes.
All creation is waiting for your soul to sing.
Why disappoint it?
Have you struggled with self doubts in your creative journey?
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