How Do You Get Over Creative Anxiety?

In most jobs, especially in ones that involve numbers or quantity targets, it’s fairly straightforward to just get on with it. In jobs like that, there’s a right and wrong answer and you can go home at the end of the evening knowing you did a good job, closing the laptop on it until the following morning.

When you work in a creative industry however, oh man. Your work is never done and the ideas sometimes just won’t come. Unfortunately, those who work creatively are still beholden to the deadlines and targets just like any other industry. Whether you’re a writer, artist, marketer, musician, you can have the motivation to work, but a blockage stopping you. Personally, I struggle with this occasionally. I have my idea, my title, even my cup of tea to be drunk while I write the words on the page for people to read. Sometimes though, the page will remain blank and my tea will go cold while I convince myself that I can’t write, I don’t know how to write and even if I could write, it wouldn’t be any good anyway! This is called creative anxiety and it’s super, super common. Did you know that Sylvia Plath said that self-doubt is the biggest enemy of creativity? The good news is, you’re not alone. The bad news is, creative anxiety will likely not go away completely unless you work on a few things and learn some techniques to ease it as much as possible.  

How Can I Get Rid Of Creative Anxiety?

The most important thing to note that the reason for creative anxiety, all the worry and concern is simply fear. Or more specifically, the fear of failing. You might wonder: “what if everyone thinks my creative product is bad”?. Well to that I say: how will you know how good you are unless you try?   Here are some other tips to help you out with tackling your creative anxiety and getting your magic out.  

#1 Calm Yourself Before You Start

You can’t expect to just sit down and do your best work, especially if you’re feeling a little anxious. A good idea is to prepare yourself with a plan, and do some self-care treatments ahead of doing your work. This can look like meditation, a nice yoga session or even just making yourself a warm cup of tea and a little snack. Try to find a quiet place to work, so that you are able to concentrate as best you can.  

#2 Lower Your Expectations - Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!

We are our own worst critics and it is so easy to sometimes expect a lot of yourself when you’re not in the best space to take that criticism. Try to put things in perspective. When a book is published, the author didn’t sit down and write it in a day. It went through tons of revision and I’m sure the author had some creative anxiety and self-doubt, too. A beautiful song is not written and produced in a couple of hours, and it’s likely the musician had concerns about putting his work out into the world. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself time and space to get the work done at your own pace.

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