Fear – The Silent Creativity Killer: The Fear Of Expectation

image: Joe_Focus

In a recent post called Fear Of Sailing I asked if the reason we’re ignoring creating specific projects or in a particular media is not because they’re no longer important to us, but because they’re SO important we’re afraid to even begin.

In a series of upcoming posts, I’m going to look at some of the forms that fear takes, and we can break them down and beat them, one by one.

Today we’re looking at the fear of expectation.

Let me ask you first: How regularly do you create?

I expect it’s nowhere as much as you’d like, our as often as you’d like. There’s a part of you that longs to burst out, shake off all the shackles that hold you back and create your heart out like never before.

So why doesn’t this happen, why aren’t you creating at your full potential, or even anywhere near it?

One of the biggest (and most underhand) culprits is the fear of creating an expectation you don’t believe you can sustain.

All the time you’re fumbling along, creating a little bit here and a little bit there, but never really getting any kind of flow or rhythm, never quite making the art you know you’re capable of, in a way this situation is completely safe.

Although you have the frustration of not being creative, you also have very little risk of “failure”. Maybe an even more powerful and debilitating risk you avoid is that of creating an expectation you can’t live up to.

Because currently hardly anyone expects you to be creative – or even knows you’re creating at all – if you stopped creating altogether for a week, you think no-one would notice. You wouldn’t let anyone down.

If you created consistently though, work that you’re proud of and touched people’s lives, there’d be an expectation to repeat it, over and over again.

You’re scared you won’t be able to live up to what people want and demand, so the easy option is to not let yourself reach that level in the first place.

The best way to overcome this fear is to focus on all the ways your art inspires others in ways that no other art in the world can.

There’s only one you, and there are people that need your art, your message, your voice to brighten their lives, to inspire them in their own art. You have a duty to them to create.

If you created one amazing piece of art that changed someone’s life, and then never created anything ever again, the fact would remain that you’ve still made that one piece, and it’s had a profound effect on people.

Who knows what it would inspire them to go on and create, and who that in turn would inspire. You become an epicentre of inspiration for artist near and far.

Each time you create something new, there’s not an invisible contract that says you must follow this up with something equally good within the next month or you’ll be stripped of all your rights to call yourself an artist by His Artiness The Right Royal Lord And Prince Of All Art That Is Created.

You create the best you can each time.

You create what you’re inspired to create each time. It’s your choice, each and every time.

Give people a chance to love what you create, with everything you create.

Give yourself a chance to forget what anyone else thinks and create what matters to you, get it out into the world then move on to the next project that matters. That’s all that’s important.

Kick this fear of expectation between the legs, rise up and create your heart out!

If you like what you just read, please use the buttons below to share with others who might do too. This helps support and spread the word about my work.

If it’s your first time here, you might like to subscribe by email or RSS to receive new posts when they’re published. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

3 thoughts on “Fear – The Silent Creativity Killer: The Fear Of Expectation”

  1. A familiar battle. Some days I feel I just can’t handle one more disappointment, so I avoid creating. Really have to push myself to get back into it, reminding myself it’s ok to not be spectacular.

    “You create the best you can each time.”

    A good reminder that some creations will be better than others. And sometimes I might be pleasantly surprised.


  2. Brilliant article Dan!
    Just soooo spot on!!! Your analogies as always are so pertinent!
    Thank you for this, you nailed one of my fears in words that I had been unable hitherto unable to articulate!

    Recognition is a wondrous thing!


  3. Diane/

    It’s something I think we all struggle with – “it’s ok not to be spectacular” all the time. The most important part is to keep showing up and creating, then inevitably amazing stuff will come from it, it’s only a matter of time…


    Thank you, glad it rang true for you. Although we know what we each struggle with, it sometimes needs someone else to articulate it to help us realise. That’s what I find all the time!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s