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Navigating the complex landscape of creative work often means facing a myriad of internal and external challenges. Every creator grapples with profound questions about purpose, direction, and the anxiety of venturing into uncharted territories.

In this special episode, we dive into such universal concerns, providing guidance and insight for those at a crossroads in their creative lives. I answer questions submitted by our listeners, who share their struggles with sustaining creativity in the face of daunting challenges. We unpack the emotional and practical sides of these issues, addressing topics such as overcoming creative blocks, the fear of public failure, managing perfectionism, and preventing burnout.

Join me as we uncover the power of perspective in overcoming creative adversities. Be inspired to transform challenges into opportunities for self-discovery, and to take the next step in your creative journey.

Topics Covered

  • The impact of fear of success and how it influences creative productivity
  • Strategies for transitioning seamlessly between different creative pursuits
  • Practical techniques for overcoming 'blank page syndrome' and reigniting the creative spark
  • Understanding and managing the fear of public failure and its effects on creativity
  • The role of perfectionism in stifling creativity and how to embrace a more flexible approach
  • Long-term project management strategies to maintain motivation
  • Addressing and preventing burnout through routine adjustments and self-care
  • The influence of audience engagement on creative output
  • How to effectively find and connect with the right audience

⏱︎ Time Stamps

00:00 • Welcome to the listener Q&A episode

02:24 • Tackling the fear of success

05:10 • Navigating creative limbo: moving forward gently

09:49 • Overcoming blank page syndrome: unleashing creativity

13:57 • Dealing with success and its aftermath

16:56 • Motivation and tips for long-term creative projects

19:56 • Addressing burnout in creative endeavors

20:33 • Recognizing and preventing burnout

23:04 • Addressing burnout: decompression and self-care

24:46 • Conquering the fear of not being enough

27:52 • Financing your creative projects

30:32 • Dreaming big vs. starting small

32:22 • Overcoming perfectionism and sharing your work

35:48 • Finding your audience through sharing

37:18 • Effective time management for creatives

39:15 • Conclusion: wrapping up creative struggles

📄 Transcript

Welcome to the Zen Habits podcast, where we dive into how to work with uncertainty, resistance, and fear around our meaningful work. This is for anyone who wants to create an impact in the world and cares deeply enough to do the work. I'm your host, Leo Babauta, creator of the Zen Habits blog.

Okay. So I have in store for you a big episode, packed full of a lot of amazing stuff. This episode is a listener Q&A. I've had people emailing me. And if you want to email me and ask questions or ask for tips, you can reach me at [email protected]. I get every single email, read every single one, and I reply to a lot of them.

But even if I don't reply, I make notes of it and it's really helpful. So, a lot of people have emailed in, and I now have a list of different topics, questions, challenges, fears, and requests for tips that people have sent in. In this episode, I'm going to go through almost all of them. It's going to be crazy.

So let's get started. Well, actually, let's talk about what we're going to cover: fear of success, no longer feeling called to something that you were drawn to in the past, and how do I now, like, start something new when I don't know what is new? Kind of a similar one, blank page syndrome. I can't seem to know what to create, and what I want to create. Do I just, like, start scribbling?

Someone who is burnt out, another person who actually had a successful creative project and then, you know, there were difficulties there that we want to take a look at, but also starting a new project. Someone asked for tips for writing longer work, something that's going to take a long time to create.

Fears of not being enough, how do I finance the production of my work, not daring to dream big enough, perfectionism. How do I find my audience and who even wants to hear my songs? Time management. How do I make time for my mission? How do I create systems and structures to support the flow of creation without losing connection to the creative spark? Staying focused and being patient for longer term work, and overcoming the fear of sharing myself.

So you can see there, there's a lot here and we're going to cover as much of that as possible. I think I'm going to actually cover all of it. We'll see how long it takes. Let's have fun with this. So I asked people like, what are the fears that are coming up for you?

One person said, "Fear of success." And so, fear of success. It's a common one. You hear this a lot. "I'm not afraid of failure. I'm afraid of success," but actually, fear of success is just how it looks on the outside. There's another layer underneath that. So when, let's say I said, "I'm afraid of succeeding. If my podcast takes off, I'm going to be huge. And I'm afraid of that." That's scary to me.

And there's truth to that. Just, you know, there's something kind of sick, scary thing about actually succeeding, but what is it you're afraid of? If you're afraid of that success, what do you fear at that point? And what you might notice is, "I'm afraid of being really successful, and people are going to ask a lot out of me, and then that's going to drain me, and I'm going to be burnt out." Or "I'm going to be really successful, and then I have to like, appear in public a lot, and I'm really afraid of appearing in public, and having to have a public life, and I'm afraid I'm not going to be up for that."

So actually, what we're noticing is that there's a fear of failure on the other side of success. "I'm going to succeed and then I'm going to fall on my face because I've succeeded. Before I fell on my face, it's even scarier. It's even worse because I'm now publicly failing as opposed to just staying here and avoiding that success." And then the public failure, it's easier just to stay safe.

So the intention that I have here is to highlight when you think you have a fear of success. Think about, well, "When I get that success, what's the failure I'm afraid of at that point?" "I'm afraid I won't be able to handle the volume of work at that point," or "I'm afraid I won't be able to sustain my inspiration and I'm going to run out of ideas." "I'm afraid of the responsibilities that this big outcome will bring to me."

And there isn't anything wrong with any of these fears. There isn't even anything wrong with the fear of success, but there's a deeper layer of fears that I'm intending to point to as I talk about this. And those are the fears to actually work with. So, getting a little bit more detailed in this fear of success is, I think, really useful.

Once you have clarity, it's like, "Okay, I'm clear. I'm not afraid of the success. I'm afraid of all of the responsibilities afterward." Then, then we can get clear on how to work with that. Just owning that I have that fear is a good thing. It really helps.

Okay. So that's topic number one. Check. Okay. What's next? Topic number two is, so "I'm, you know, in the past I've been creative, but I'm no longer drawn to or inspired by those mediums that I was engaged in before." This person was a theater producer and an actor, ran a school of improv for many years, but then they stopped. They stepped away from those things because they kind of... you know, that's not what they're feeling called towards.

So now they're a little bit in limbo or fallow time, and I don't know what's next, and I sometimes can get frustrated with myself for not knowing the answer. So that's the part that I want to focus on for this piece. "I don't know what's next, and I sometimes can get frustrated with myself for not knowing the answer."

And they go on to ask, "Would you have some words of wisdom for how to move forward gently and creatively, even as one can't fully see the path ahead?" So I love, love, love this question. "I don't know what's next and I'm frustrated with myself for not knowing the answer."

Let's, let's take a look at that real quick. "I don't know what's next." Anyone here relate to that? "I'm not sure what I'm supposed to create. I'm not sure what I'm feeling called towards. I don't know what's next for me in terms of my creative path, what I want to do that's really meaningful. What's my purpose?" These are all similar questions. "I don't know what's next."

And we can get frustrated for not knowing the answer. And what we can see here is that we think we should know the answer. "I should know what's next. I should be able to figure this out. I'm smart. I'm creative. I'm capable. I'm all of these amazing things, right? Therefore, if I am such an amazing person, why can't I figure out the answer to this? Look at all of those people who figured out the answer, and then there's something wrong with me for not knowing that. That's frustrating."

And what I want to encourage here is the idea that we're not supposed to know the answer to anything. If we have the answer, then great. But a lot of the time we don't know the answer. Even if we know a bigger answer, like "I'm supposed to be a theater producer." Well, okay, great. "What's your next project in the theater?" Ah, "I don't know that."

Or you have your next project and then, okay, great. What do you want to do today? What's the next thing that needs to be done for the project? "I don't know the answer to that." And so whether it's at a big, medium, or small level, there's going to always be a place where we don't know the answer.

And because we think we should know the answer, we're going to get frustrated. And often what we're going to try and do is not even do the thing that would get us the answer. We're not going to be engaged in the process of exploration and discovery. We're not going to have our curiosity turned on because we think, "I should already know the answer," which precludes us from actually staying in this place of not knowing.

And this place of not knowing can be really uncomfortable because we want to have a definite answer. We want to say, "Ah, I know it. And now I can be clear and move forward." And this lack of clarity is uncomfortable. It's not what we want. And what I really want to encourage you to do is allow for a place of unknown in your life.

Maybe over here, everything is great, but over here in my creative side or with my finances or with my spouse or with my kids or, you know, with this particular email, "I don't know the answer." Can we allow that to be okay so that we can then just stay in the not knowing, and if we sit there long enough, we can start to bring curiosity, bring a sense of adventure and exploration and finding out, and "Let me try a bunch of different things. Let me take some actions that might lead to me finding out".

And if we can do this and engage with the process and stay here in the unknown and get comfortable in the not knowing, then a lot more becomes allowed. Frustration with not knowing is totally okay. But what if we could just breathe, allow ourselves to be frustrated for a minute or two, and then say, “Okay, I'm in the not knowing, and this is actually a really beautiful place of open possibility.” And then start to take some action there. Sit there and allow yourself to be there.

Okay, that was number two. Check! Let's go on to the next thing. Actually, this next one is very similar. They say, "I have blank page syndrome. No matter what I try to make, I cannot create it. I don't know what I want to create. Do I just scribble on the page so that I can say I'm making what's trying to come out or until one day I get an idea? I'm full of ideas, but they don't want to get onto paper. Even though I've wanted to do that for years. It is so confusing. I'm at a loss like I'm not supposed to create because it must be Universe's message that it's not what I need but the urge doesn't go away."

Okay, so that's this is number three: blank page syndrome. And what I want to say is that we have you can hear in there's a belief that these things don't want to get onto paper, all of these ideas, there's something wrong with me for not being able to do this. And that, and I also have a belief that the universe is sending me a message that this is not creating is not what I need.

Because you heard that there's, you know, this is a belief and these beliefs are not helpful. So it's good to just distinguish that we have them. It's not that we should always have helpful beliefs and never have unhelpful ones. It's that when we have the unhelpful ones, it's good to see that they're there. "The universe is sending me a message, don't create!" That's an unhelpful message. It's a disempowering one.

And "There's something wrong with me for not being able to create." That's also an unhelpful message. What we want to do is notice those and then see, like, "Is there another message or belief?" Maybe the universe is saying "You need to struggle for a little bit. You need to struggle. You need to face the blank page and not have anything for a little bit." Maybe that's what the universe is saying, that this is exactly where you need to be.

So I want to encourage this idea that we can actually create our own messages. And in fact, maybe where you are is exactly where you need to be. And the problem is that we think we shouldn't be here and we want to get out of it. Similar to what I was saying in my last answer.

So what if you, if you have blank page syndrome, what if you could just stay there and sit with the not knowing? Sit with the blank page. Yes, scribble onto the page is another, another way. As he said, scribble onto the page, write a bunch of things down or draw some shapes. It doesn't matter.

Just start to, first of all, just sit in the not knowing, sit with a blank page. You don't have to do anything, breathe and just allow yourself to relax. And if you can relax in that place, great. And if you can't, you know, just stay, stay with the discomfort and then start to scribble. Write out some stuff.

You know, you might have heard of the practice of morning pages. Write out two pages every morning. Just get into the practice of just doing something. Creating something. It doesn't have to be the perfect thing. You don't have to know what you want to create. Just create something.

And from this, something is going to emerge. You're going to be like, "Oh, it wasn't quite that. Maybe I'll try this over here. Maybe I'll get some watercolors and start doing that. Maybe I'll get a xylophone or whatever it is that you feel like a kazoo, a harmonica you know, something that's going to help me to like play over here." "Ah, no, it wasn't the kazoo. Let me try this over here."

And so you just try a bunch of different things and allow yourself to take that blank page and make a messy page. It doesn't have to be the perfect answer. The other thing I want to add to that is just take as much pressure, worry, and stress off of this. Allow yourself to relax. Shake it off. Walk around. Play some music if it helps. Again, start scribbling. Have fun with it. It doesn't matter what you create. Just let yourself be in the process of loosening up, relaxing, having fun, and letting it be play. Explore and discover.

Okay, that's my answer number three. Check! Ding! Okay, we're doing great here. So, we have someone here who had a successful online creation. It became successful suddenly, had an audience, and even generated a steady income. It was great for a while, but then the pressure got to me—expectations from the audience, criticism that wasn't constructive.

This person ended up in a bad place, and it only got worse. So, they quit. What I want to highlight about this, first of all, is that there's nothing wrong with any of it. You got successful, encountered a lot of difficulties, then you quit. This is actually what we're often afraid of when we say we're afraid of success.

There's nothing wrong with quitting. There's nothing wrong with how it went. Now, this person only does their creation for fun, sometimes sharing it online, really just stepping back from the official thing they were doing for their audience. Nothing wrong with any of that. I totally get it.

And so, we'll address what to do at this point. But before I do that, I want to go back and say, when you, or when this person got successful—or when anyone gets successful—it's like, "Oh my God." And then all of a sudden there's pressure, expectations from the audience, and people who are critical in a way that's not constructive, and now you're in a bad place and it's getting worse.

We often think that's not how it should be and therefore, I should quit. I'm not saying that's great or you should love it, but what if that's the next place for you to do your work? Instead of quitting, we could actually find a breakthrough there. So, if you're in that place, I would say, first of all, get some support. Recognize that you're in a bad place and you need help.

Therapy is one option, and coaching is another. And if you would ever like to work with me, I'm talking in particular to this person, but just anyone who is going through something and would like some support—I actually have two coaching spots open right now. So, reach out to me. Write to [email protected] and say, "Leo, let's jump on a conversation about coaching."

Obviously, I charge for that, but I am up for supporting people who are successful and are struggling with what's on the other side of that success. So, getting supported is the thing that I want to say. Pressure, fan expectations, criticism, being in a bad place—these are all things that you can actually grow from.

So, we don't necessarily need to quit, although that can feel like a huge relief when we do. But actually, could we stay in this place and then get support to actually create some breakthroughs for ourselves?

So, that's the first thing I want to say. So, that's number four. Check! Ding! Done there. Now, let's look at this person and where they are now and where they want to go next. This person is now tinkering with a new project for the last couple of years. It's being reworked into something positive and they want to share it with whoever needs it.

But it's hard to stay motivated. There are moments of feeling like no one will care and you're just going to end up being miserable again. But, "I'm slowly pushing my way forward." And so, they asked for tips for writing longer work. So, maybe, you know, maybe it's a project that's going to span a year or two years. Okay, so let's look at that.

So, first of all, if a project is longer, like longer than a month, right? Three months, six months, a year, two years, five years, more. We are going to get discouraged. We're going to get frustrated. We're going to feel like giving up sometimes. We are going to have our fears and our doubts come up, maybe daily, right? But definitely over the course of time.

And so what I want to share with you here is the idea that all of this is expected and it's really challenging, really difficult. And so, for this, I really encourage you to have some kind of support. Number one, coaching or some kind of coaching group, some kind of mastermind that you're in.

So again, come talk to me at [email protected] if you want some one-on-one coaching with me. But I also have a Fearless Mastery group that starts in January and ends in October. We're in the midst of it right now, but if you would like to join us for 2025, come and talk to me. We can start discussing it now so that you can begin to create what you need to get into it by January.

Get into a group mastermind, some kind of community, some kind of accountability, some kind of coaching. Without it, you're going to face discouragement, frustration, fears, doubts, and all those things by yourself. And I really believe that's impossible.

I'm not saying that no one ever does it, but when I say impossible, what I mean is it will feel like we can't do it and we need to quit, and that there's something wrong with us if we can't get supported. I also believe that we could create some breakthroughs with whatever shows up. If we're willing to get supported by a coach and a group, you don't have to do this alone.

So that's what I would say is a tip for writing longer work. I also suggest some kind of structure that includes accountability. I think that's another big one. And then a process in the structure of reviewing, learning, and growing as you do it.

Okay. That was number five, I believe. Check! Ding! Okay, next one is about burnout. So imagine you've poured yourself into a project and it took a lot of energy. Maybe you even have a side business. And then eventually, it just becomes this thing that you have to keep feeding the beast. This person says.

So frustration with finances and taxes. You know, doing a bunch of administrative stuff, a bunch of other things, the tedious things that are not related to the actual creation. And so, you can actually pour yourself into it, but eventually, it wears on you and you're feeling burnout.

So I think it's really important before we get to full burnout, to recognize that we're heading in that direction. If you only recognize it afterward, then fine, deal with it at that point. We'll talk about that in a second. But before you get there, you're like, "You know what, if I keep doing things the way I'm doing them, it's going to lead to burnout."

Catch yourself earlier when you're at 50, 60, 70 percent to burnout before you're at 90 because by the time you're at 90, sometimes it's too hard to course correct. You don't have the energy. So if you can catch yourself when you're at 50 or 60 percent of burnout, like this is going to lead to my burnout in a few months, then catch yourself and do something about it then.

What you might notice as ways to catch yourself are: “Am I exhausted? Am I tired all the time? Am I having a hard time sleeping?” Those are some symptoms. Another thing is feeling everything is burdensome, tedious, like I don't want to do it, but I'm forcing myself to do everything." And so if that's how you're feeling about everything, then that's a sign that you're leading to burnout.

If you're also working yourself into the ground every single day, and every day is a big churn and you have a hard time stopping around five, six o'clock and you're working until 11 PM, midnight, 2 AM to just do whatever you can do. If you find yourself in that place, that's going to lead to burnout.

So catch yourself. And again, get some kind of support to have something go differently. If you're unwilling to get support, again, coaching would be the place that I would encourage you to go to. If you're unwilling to get coaching, that's a problem because you're unwilling to get supported and have anything go differently in your life.

But let's just say you're unwilling to do that. What I would say then is ask yourself, "What are the things that I'm doing that are leading to burnout? What are the fears that are making me do those things, and how do I address the underlying fears? At the same time, I want to address the symptoms. So how do I get my sleep in order? How do I stop working past, let's say, 6 PM? How do I not feel so burdened by things? How do I actually feel more alive?"

Those are some questions that I would ask. If you didn't catch it earlier on and you're at burnout, what I would say is, first of all, you need to decompress, stop for a little while and take a break, if at all possible. You might need to shift some commitments.

For a month or two, you might need to talk to people and say, "Hey, I am burnt out. I need to take a break. What do we need to do to make that happen?" Talk to clients, talk to your audience, talk to your team, talk to your family, get some therapy. Let yourself decompress and rest, and do way, way less, and then engage in a lot of self-care.

And this self-care, by the way, applies not just if you've hit burnout, but even if you're at 50 or 60 percent. What helps you to refill your cup, to fill up your tank? It might be going for walks, taking naps, taking a nice hot bath, going to a spa, getting a massage, or talking on the phone with my best friend.

These are some of the things, but there might be others, like having some hot tea. Not things that are draining, so if you're just watching TV or scrolling through social media all day, that can often be draining. It's not actually self-care.

If you're eating a bunch of junk food, junk food in excess is actually draining. It isn't self-care. Having, you know, a couple of chocolate chip cookies when you're feeling down is not a bad thing.

Okay, that's burnout. That was, I believe, number six. Check! Ding! Okay, fears of not being enough. Why do I think I have something to offer in the first place? So this is a fear. Okay, how do we address this fear?

First of all, just being present to it. "Yeah, I'm not enough. Why do I think I have something to offer?" So under the 'why do I think' is a fear. I'm afraid I don't have something to offer that's worthy. And so we can just recognize that fear and then what do we need to do to take care of that fear?

We just sit with the fear for a few minutes. Take some deep breaths. Give myself some love. Being present with a fear can really help. Journaling about it. Getting some support from a coach, a therapist, or a friend. And another thing I would say is, what if you just take that fear and pour it into your art?

This fear of not being enough. "Ah, I'm afraid I'm not being enough." Okay, great. Pour that into your art. Let that emotion, that fear, just be a part of it. Incorporate it into it. And realize that this fear is something that every person you're creating for, every person who creates, also has. And so it connects you to everybody.

And then again, pour it into the art. There is nothing wrong with having this fear. It isn't the entirety of the experience that you could have though. So the fear is there, and if we can get present to it and just say, "Oh yeah, every time I do it, I'm going to give myself some breath and some love and just take care of it." And then when it comes, it's not such a big deal.

And then we want to say like, "What am I committed to that is not worried about whether I'm adequate?" I really want to commit to playing. When you are playing, there's no need to worry about being enough. And so when you create, I really encourage you just to be in the act of creation as opposed to, "Is anyone going to want this?"

Who cares? When you're creating, there isn't any enoughness. It's just like, "Let me be in the process of creating. Let me just create and see what emerges from that." When something emerges, then you can say, "Oh, is there anything here that needs to be refined? Do I need to remix it? Do I need to evolve it?"

Great. At some point, you can say, "Is this worthy of people paying for it?" That's a good question. Ask them. And so we're going to get to sharing in a few minutes, but I would say the sharing thing is a different part of the process.

Slow down and don't get ahead of yourself. "Are people going to want this? Am I enough?" That's in the future. For now just focus on the creation process, and then we'll move to the sharing process next. We'll talk about that soon.

Okay, so let's say that was number seven. I am losing count as I talk, so if I get the numbers wrong, I apologize to anyone who's being triggered by that. So, seven. Check! Ding! Done with that.

Okay, next one is about resources. "How do I finance my production as an independent artist?" I would say, as much as possible, self-finance or do it for free as much as possible. I know that not everything can be done for free, but for example, this podcast—I'm recording on a computer that I already had.

If you don't have a computer, that's a problem, but you know, you can record on your phone. You can record on your laptop; just record it. And there are free tools for publishing it. So do that as much as possible.

Don't take on things that are going to cost money until you start to bring in some revenue. But as you start putting the free stuff out there, you're going to see if people resonate with it. If they do, you can start something like a Patreon or Kickstarter or just ask for people to buy certain things.

Then the money will start to come in, maybe just a little bit at first. And then as you keep creating and putting stuff out there and getting more money, you will then start to be able to finance more. It also helps to have, if you don't have the money to self-finance, another job, something that will pay the bills so that you can use that job to finance.

So I've had people who are like, "I work at Google, but I want to quit my job at Google and do this other thing." Great. Let Google fund this other thing first. And once the money starts coming in from this other thing, then quit your job at Google or work at Google and save up. You know, I've now saved up hundreds of thousands of dollars from my job at Google. And then you go and work somewhere else.

I'm not saying you need to work at Google to fund anything, but this person who had this amazing income has such an incredible resource. And so if you don't have that, it can be really tough. So, you know, go out and drive for Uber, or get some other gigs that are going to fund this thing.

But as you're putting stuff out there, ask for some money and see what resonates with people. What are they willing to pay for? If they're not willing to pay, great. Try something else. Keep trying until you find the thing that actually resonates with people enough that they're like, "Oh my God, I want to pay you."

That happens when they get excited about something and they're like, "Oh my God, I want you to keep making this." Okay. You want me to keep making it? You need to buy my membership, get on my Patreon, whatever it is that I do.

Okay, so that was number eight. Ding! What's next? Not daring to dream big enough. "I fear I will fail myself and still stay in my nine-to-five job where music is just a side hustle. How do I go bigger in my passion, design my life so that I have more time for my real work?"

Okay, well sometimes *we start by dreaming small. And that's where we need to be sometimes. I'm not saying you can't dream big, but for some of us, we just haven't worked the muscle of dreaming. And so, you start small. It's like, "What if I could put out some music every once in a while, and someone would like it?" Great, that's your dream right now.

And as you work with that, you're like, "You know what? I actually think this is too small of a dream. I want to be putting out more stuff out there every week and maybe I can get like 500 people to love this." Great. That's a new dream.

Later, you're like, "I'm going to be the next Taylor Swift." Okay, great. So you work your way up to that. Now, maybe you dream at the Taylor Swift level to start with, and great. But if you're not daring to dream big enough, that's just because maybe that's a little too far for you.

So let yourself dream small first, which is where I would start. You don't need to dream big initially, but just notice when you're thinking, "You know what, actually, I might be dreaming small." And again, that's where it can help again to have someone outside of you, like a coach, to help you work with that. I might sound like a broken record at this point, but I really believe in coaching. And I feel like some of this stuff is so hard to work with without a coach.

Okay, let's see, we've got a few more left. That was number eight. Check. Ding. Okay, let's go to number nine: Perfectionism. "When is the creation ready for release? When is my creation ready for release?" Way earlier than you believe, especially if you're worried about perfectionism or not being good enough. Way earlier.

What we want to do is release it way before we think it's ready. People usually try to wait until the thing is perfect or good enough to protect them from any kind of criticism or feeling inadequate. And that is a huge mistake, because what that means is that they're going to wait and wait and wait until that fear goes away, which it never will.

So what we want to do is overcome that by sharing as early as possible. And this addresses another thing on the list: overcoming the fear of sharing myself. It's exactly the same thing; it's the other side of perfectionism.

Perfectionism is wanting to wait until something's perfect before I put it out into the world. And overcoming the fear of sharing myself is, "I don't want to share it because it's not perfect." They're the same thing.

So my solution to that is, "Share it immediately." Let's say I scribbled onto a blank page. Great. Share that with one person, maybe your best friend, your spouse, your coach, or your accountability group. "Here's what I did today." It sucks. Like it's just a bunch of scribbles. Great. Put that out there and let it be a mess.

Let yourself be in the process of growing, and what that does is it starts to create permission for yourself to be a complete mess, to not be good enough, to be in the process of learning and exploring and creating, and that's messy.

You give yourself permission for that. And then you give permission to others. Whoever you're sharing with sees you in a process. It's amazing to be able to see someone in their process. We usually don't. We think, "Oh man, people are amazing already when they share it." We didn't see them going through the process of getting too amazing. And when we can see it, it's so empowering.

So I encourage you to share immediately. Day one, create something, scribble, share it with one person. Create more, scribble, or, you know, record yourself doing something, share that with one person. Get into this process: I create, I share, and then get some feedback. You know, that's the scary part as well, but get some feedback.

And so you create, you share, you get some feedback. And then you incorporate it, and you keep doing this. And then at the point where you want to charge for something, maybe that's weeks or months into this, you've been sharing every day or five days a week.

You now know if your stuff is resonating. You know if people are loving it or not. They're excited that you're sharing with them every day. You can create an Instagram or TikTok account where you post every single day. Like, "Here's my creation for today." At the very least, once a week. I actually think every day is better, or five days a week. Twice a week, three times a week is great. Once a week would be the minimum for how often to share.

Okay, that was number nine. Check. Ding! "How do I find my audience" is number ten. "Who wants to hear my songs?" So my answer to that would be, my answer to number nine, share immediately. Share with friends, share with family, share with social media.

As you're in this process of sharing, what you're going to do is you're going to find the people who resonate. "Who wants to hear my songs?" How are you going to find out unless you put it out there and you understand like, "Oh, these weirdos, they're the ones who want to hear my songs." People who have a lot of piercings, like a million tattoos, or dress like anime characters—whatever it is,

I'm not intending to pick on any of those "weirdos." I'm a weirdo as well. But you know, you find your geeks, you find the people who are like your people. And the way you do that is by putting stuff out there, sharing it with them as you create.

And then they are like, "Oh, that spoke to me." And a bunch of other people are like, "Nah, that didn't speak to me." Great. That's how you find your audience. You find the ones who resonate with what you're putting out there on a regular basis.

Okay, you know what? I think I'm only going to do one more just because this is getting a bit long, and if I haven't addressed some, I might cover them later.

The next one is about time management. So this is number 11. Oh wait, that was number 10, right? So 10, check, ding! Okay, number 11: "How do I make time for my mission?" The thing that people usually do is manage their time to make this happen. And what usually happens is, "I've got a bunch of other things going on. So I'm going to do all of those and then see if there's time for this creative project."

That's kind of an afterthought. It's like, "If there's room, I'll do it." And that is backwards because, in that model, "I have a bunch of other stuff going on and then I'm going to try and make time for this." You will always have a reason not to do it. There's always too much.

And so your creative project will be last, and it won't happen. So what we want, especially even if you have time, you're going to find, "Oh man, but there's this new email that came in." You'll find reasons not to do it.

So instead, I say flip it. Choose your mission or your creative project first and say, "I am committing myself to this. I'm going to do it every day at 4 p.m. or 8 a.m. or whatever it is, five days a week, or however often you want to do it, for 30 minutes, for 60 minutes, for two hours, however long you want to do it." Start small at first—30 to 60 minutes to start with is my encouragement if you're not already doing it.

If you put that on your calendar and say, "This is a commitment I am committed to," and tell other people about it: "I am doing this." And then at the end of that session, I will share with you what I've done, what I've accomplished—make that commitment to others and be accountable to them.

And once you've made that commitment, you will do what's needed to show up for that, and everything else in your life will flow around that commitment. So, making the commitment is what I suggest.

Okay. That's number 11. Check and ding. So I just shared at least 11 answers with you about struggles that you're going through. I'm hoping that you've gotten out of it what you need. Again, share with me your other struggles. Anything I didn't answer, email [email protected]. I'd love to hear from you.

If you want to talk about coaching one-on-one with me, please do email me at [email protected]. And Fearless Mastery, if you want to be a part of my community, come and talk to me.

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Music: Salem Belladonna & Robrecht Dumarey

Editor: Justin Cruz

Post-production: Diana C. Guzmán Caro & Amanda Goddard