In so many things in life, I think that “losing the fear of being wrong”, might be the difference between success and giving up.
This idea comes for this lovely quote I came across a while back…
“To live a creative life, we must lose the fear of being wrong.”Joseph Chilton Pearce
I wanted to share it with you because I think it is an important message.
New Things are Scary
Some years ago now I did a Painting and Drawing course. It had been a long time since I had painted anything other than walls. It was scary to move into an unfamiliar medium (acrylics). The teacher, John Gould, had us working on a large project across the seven weeks. It turned out that my project covered four canvases! Talk about jumping in at the deep end. At least the canvases were smallish.
For the first two weeks, I wasn’t game to put brush to canvas. I really didn’t know much about applying paint at that stage. Leaving the second week, John said, “You’d better start working on the canvases next week”. I only had five weeks left to work on four canvases.
Learning by Doing
I had to be brave and just get on and paint, not be afraid of doing it wrong. To accept that I wasn’t going to learn without getting on with it.
I knew I would not produce a masterpiece on my first attempt. It was entirely possible that I would not like what I created. I had to be okay with that because the only way to learn is to let go of fear, have a go, be kind to yourself and try again, and again, and again.
It is scary to put your creative soul out into the world. You open yourself up to potential criticism and people not liking your work. This is one thing I have learnt through creative business, by the way. Not everyone will like what you do (of course!) and that it is ok. It still takes a certain degree of confidence in what you do to show it to others. That confidence develops over time and practice. No one, except perhaps a teacher or another student, needs to see your work until you are ready to show it. The point is to go through the process, to learn and experiment. To make mistakes – do it wrong – but take the attitude that the learning is in the doing.
For me, back when I did my painting and drawing course, what mattered was to be brave enough to step out of my comfort zone. To be brave enough to try something new with the intention of stretching myself creatively (and have fun!). And not to worry about doing it wrong!
Not feeling like we can do something new, or feeling like we can’t make mistakes, are things that lead to creative block. I think Joseph Chilton Pearce is right. We can’t live a creative life without taking risks and risks mean sometimes we will be wrong. It is just part of the package. Part of our growth is losing the fear of being wrong.