Even if you’re doing well with your creative endeavors, or have had some success, it may feel like there’s something that is stopping you from reaching your peak. You’re not quite where you want to be. Maybe your trajectory feels like it’s stalled a little or even plateaued completely.
Have a good look at yourself and see if you’re being held back by one or more of these four big things that commonly stop people from reaching their peak.
Look, we all do it. Putting off doing mundane or difficult or daunting tasks is all too human. But the longer you delay making that phone call or having that tricky conversation or sending that email, the worse it’s going to get. You know deep down that you should just do it. And the good news? Once it’s done you often realize it was much easier/less time consuming than you made it out to be. And you get to cross something off your list so it’s not looming.
The other big area of procrastination is failing to act at all. How many good ideas have you had, but you haven’t acted on them, because you felt you weren’t ready, or you didn’t think you had the right skills or all the details or enough money yet?
There will NEVER be the perfect or right time to start a project, launch something, or pitch a new idea. There is no such thing as being fully ready because the target is always moving! The right time to act is always now. And don’t forget: acting on an idea doesn’t mean you leap into the final, end result straight away. Acting means doing your research, allocating budget and time, testing the waters, starting conversations, taking baby steps even.
Fear of failure
Fear of failure stops you from taking risks and seizing opportunities. It can be paralyzing, but only if you let it. To free yourself from the fear of failure you need to reframe what failure means for you. We tend to hear that word and equate it with BAD and NEGATIVE, but failure is part of the process. Failure does not mean disaster or the end. What it means is that you haven’t found out what works YET. Learn. Pivot or tweak your ideas and plan. Try again. The converse of failure is persistence. And persistence will out-perform innate talent every time.
Staying focused is the key to achieving success. It’s easy to be distracted by side issues and the demands of your email or phone or your pets or your friends…but staying productive requires attention and focus.
Make it easier to produce high-quality, consistent work by keeping focused on the current priorities and sticking to your plan. This is where setting aside time specifically to work on your creative plans is so important. Take a look back at some of my time management suggestions to help.
Self-doubt can undermine all your efforts if you let it. The best thing you can do to build your confidence is to stop comparing yourself to others, which I know is easier said than done. It takes work, and a lot of reminding yourself that everyone’s journey is their own. Look to others for inspiration instead of comparison.
Just remember, your success story is totally up to you. Look back, see all the stepping stones that brought you to where you are now. You have the skills, and you have the know-how to get where you want to go.