Updated: May 13, 2020
Do you ever get that feeling that no matter how hard you try or work at something, you just feel like sometimes, you don’t know what you are doing? Creatives are more susceptible to this than most other professionals. Don’t worry. We ALL feel this way at times. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in any industry. How do I know?. Because I have spoken to so many people, listened to many books and watched numerous interviews. Most successful people go through this.
The human brain is wired as if we were still hunter gatherers. It leans on the flight or fight principal for many instant decisions. It also tries really hard to protect us. From making a fool of ourselves, from being judged by others, from making a mistake, from wearing red and green (serious fashion faux pas!). The list is endless.
You’ve probably been there. You wake up one day and you find a really great audition or project in your inbox. You start by thinking you would love to book that job. Then you think – what is the creative director looking for? Can I do that? Then, you start to doubt yourself. You think you are not good enough to book a campaign as big as this. You second guess yourself. The spiral gets out of control and it affects your creative choices.
I wish I knew why the brain does that. It can happen to the best of us. It’s like the mind has a personality of its own sometimes. One day it just wakes up and does its best to sabotage your day. And you know what. It’s OK. We can’t be on top of our game all of the time. Usain Bolt did not win every race he ran. Not every Beatles song was a hit. Not every Simpson’s episode was a classic. They all have one thing in common though. Their effort for that race, song or episode was perceived as the same as every other time.
I think that there is only one way to get to the top of your game. The pinnacle of any career. Try, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and keep trying. You have to be humble enough to know that you can always do better, that sometimes you won’t think you’re good enough. And then you get up, dust yourself off and say “F$%k you!” to the world. That’s when you get to the next level. That’s when magic can happen.