I had another topic in mind for this week’s blog post but then I ran across a youtube video of Mary J. Blige and Taylor Swift singing Mary’s song Doubt and it struck a nerve.
I just recently had a rather momentous birthday and it shook me a bit. While I have accomplished much and I have loads of things to be grateful for, I’m not where I was hoping to be at this stage of my life. I have been fighting doubt all of my life and I think it’s finally time to give up the fight.
Wait? What? You think I’m going to….Really? That’s what….?
Oh, HELL no! I’m not going to give up being creative!! I can’t! That would be like….well, it would be like giving up breathing! I would die. No, what I’m going to give up is the fight.
In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield categorizes doubt as a form of creative resistance, “a toxic force that deforms our spirit and makes us less than we are or were born to be”. Despite its corrosive nature, Pressfield believes that doubt can be an ally. Doubt “serves as an indicator of aspiration,” Pressfield writes. In other words, if something is not important to you, there will be no doubt. If your audience or your customer is not important to you, there will be no doubt.
Seth Godin touches on The Resistance in The Icarus Deception. Godin’s thought is that you cannot win a fight against the resistance; the resistance is a sign that you are doing something that matters to you. Instead he has started viewing the resistance as an essential part of his art. “The resistance is the shadow of art; no art, no resistance,” writes Godin.
So I am giving up the fight with my doubt and resistance and instead I am going to start to dance with my doubt. Hi doubt, welcome back. We’re going to create some art now. Are you ready? I know it’s scary, but all things important have an element of fear attached to them. It will be just fine. Queue the music please….and a one, two, three…one, two,
three…one, two, three….