A lot of us want to make art and share it with others, but we also feel that something holds us back. Why is that and can we do something about it?
We’re afraid that our work is not good enough and of course we’re also fearful of the criticism. We’re unsure of ourselves and so scared of the disapproval that we don’t share our work at all, or only share it with people very close to us. Although, secretly, we want to share it with the world.
The reason why we’re afraid of criticism is because of the possibility of being disapproved. Our need to be approved is a deep-rooted need. Again, in my opinion, it comes down to evolution.
Not being approved in the caveman times was something you’d rather avoid. Disapproval meant to fall on the social status ladder. What’s even worse than disapproval? Shaming.
Being shamed is the equivalent of being cast out. If others shamed you in the times of tribes, it meant falling to the bottom of the status hierarchy. This, in turn, meant your access to resources became a lot more limited, which in turn meant your chances of survival shrank as well.
So why take a risk? Our brains still have the same circuit board we had a hundred thousand years ago. Our brain is merely trying to protect us.
When we put our work out there in the open for everyone to see, we put ourselves at a “risk.” Of course, there’s no real risk nowadays as we don’t live in tribes any more and we’re not being cast out.
This is why it takes a little bit of guts to put yourself out there. This is why we’re afraid of criticism.
But, who are the critics? It’s just regular people. Do they know any better than you do? No, they don’t. What they say doesn’t matter at all. Not in this day and age.
I absolutely love Casey Neistat’s quote from his very powerful video, “Do What You Can’t”:
“Because in this new world, no one knows anything.”
It’s true. The world has changed. Look at all the diverse stuff people are creating. Nobody can stop you. Some people will try, but “try” is all they can.
And don’t worry about your work not being good enough. First, as said, no one knows anything, and second, you will improve.
Keep taking crappy photos, make crappy music, write crappy articles, and share them! Don’t take it so seriously. Everything’s just a learning experience. E.g., the reason I write these blog posts is not only to share my knowledge but to learn myself as well.
Even if no one would read my articles, I would keep writing them, as I learn from the experience. The more I write, the better I become. Every time I write, I become 0.1% better. Maybe it’s 0.01 or 0.001; it doesn’t matter. What matters, is that these “zero point zero one’s” will add up in the long run.
So, whatever is your art, keep doing it and put it out there. You owe it to the world. If you feel you need to get something out, it’s your duty to do it.
PS. If you haven’t watched the video I mentioned above, go watch it now!