When I’m not working with clients and blogging here, I am a photographer. As a photographer, I have always wanted my camera to be more of a consistent part of my life. I know some photographers that share their images all the time. They carry their cameras with them and capture life in beautiful ways. Though I do carry my camera with me often, I haven’t ever shared images that freely.
As I have wondered about this, I have realized that it’s mostly because I feel like they’re not good enough. I feel like a lot of my photos are boring. Sometimes they are fantastic, but many of them feel… ordinary.
There’s a cycle that comes into play here: the problem with not sharing more photos is that I then don’t take more photos (why take them if I never use them?). And by not taking more, I’m missing the chance to make a lot of beautiful images and the chance to continue to improve. I would be a better photographer today if I made more images. I’d be learning faster and stretching further.
Though it feels different than other creative blocks, it has the same root: I feel like I don’t have anything to create that anyone would want to see. It feels like the things I make aren’t good enough to be worth your time and attention, so I don’t make them at all.
The fear of making bad photos is one thing, but the fear of making things that just aren’t good enough is even trickier. I know the things I make aren’t “bad”. If they were bad, then I could fix that (I’d learn more and practice until they’re “not bad”). Not “good enough” is more difficult to manage. There’s no clear plan of attack— mostly because the struggle is internal. My default response to this is much worse (and more sinister): I don’t bother creating.
I wonder how often the lie that what we have to do, say, make, or create is “not good enough” keeps us from taking action.
I wonder how often we value being really great over taking the risk to just try and see what happens.
You’ll never make amazing things unless you start by making SOMEthing.[Tweet that]
You may never have exactly the right tools, the right skills, the right words, but you always have the chance to create in spite of all of that.
So here’s to making because it matters. Here’s to quantity over quality. Here’s to doing your work in spite of the resistance that you feel.
In the comments, what has been your experience with feeling “not good enough”? How have you found ways around or through it? What are the better stories that you’ve learned to tell? Click here to add your voice.