Monday, August 27, 2018

Fighting the Doubt

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” - Voltaire

It’s there...waiting. That gnawing, seemingly nonsensical, but real all the same feeling: doubt.

Is this REALLY what you should be doing? Is this creative pursuit that you’ve chosen to do really what you should be doing with your time, money, and all the work it takes?

Now we could get into lots of reasons why you are experiencing doubt about your creative craft. They could range from no funds to pursue it, no reaction from people this week, in a rut or dry artistic period, or maybe you blame...I don’t know...who could it be...satan???

Certainly our artistic pursuits can be attacked by all these things. It’s all too easy to wake up and think to yourself...do I really want to do this? And it feels silly, because sometimes it happens right when you have just experienced success or real connection with those who you connect with your creativity.

I’ve written several times on this sort of thing, but it’s always good to remember this one thing: If you are meant to do this (and likely you have been doing this creative thing your whole life), you are going to keep doing it when this funk passes.

So here are some thoughts about how and why to combat doubt.

Remember who created you

So you know God made you in His image. You accept that all the gifts and talents you have been given are from Him right? So if you believe all that, what would ever let you think that you were NOT supposed to use your creative talents for Him? Why else would you have them?

It’s easy to believe what the world tells you; that you need to do “good” for the world. But the world is just that...the world. God is God. Capital G. The great Creator. Capital C. There should be no more doubts after this point.

Take a break

We can take ourselves and the ‘responsibility to our talent” way too seriously. Go see a movie. Go to an amusement park. Binge watch a TV show on Netflix. Let other people’s creativity entertain you and give yours a break. Often I find that being fed by some other creative vision (a movie, a TV show, a book store, or amusement park) gives me the push I need to get back into things and realize that my creativity is exactly what I need to be doing.

Take a longer break

Go on vacation (preferably the beach and watch the ocean all day...for a week). There’s nothing like getting away from the day in and day out of responsibilities and rigermerole to give you fresh perspective. I suggest the beach or Disney or someplace you can really turn your mind off for a week. You’ll find perspective, and usually a fresh spirit to move forward bravely and fiercely.

Get Better

“Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.” - William Shakespeare

Doubt can be a good thing. Maybe it’s telling you you aren’t good enough. And maybe you aren’t!!

If you feel you aren’t good enough or talented enough, but know that you have some modicum of talent that you can use for His glory...get better. Yes, it is THAT easy. Take a class. Work with someone better than you. Learn, practice, grow...strive to be better. Don’t doubt you are good enough if you haven’t worked hard to be better. Don’t doubt that God wants you to do something with your talents if you haven’t worked to keep honing them, improving them, and reaching people with them.

Get Out There

Sometimes it feels like no one is listening, so why bother? Why keep banging your head against a wall if no one is ever going to blessed by the creative stuff you do? Likely the problem is that a magic door has not opened, a record deal has not been offered to you, an invitation to join the worship team has not been extended, or a spotlight has not shone on you in front of thousands.

The reason for this void of recognition or lack of opportunity is less about your talent, and more about it never getting out there in the first place. If you feel you have made that effort to get out, then perhaps you just haven’t put out what you need to, or you haven’t reached the right audience.

And getting out there doesn’t mean on the stage. There’s a stage you can get on right now. Whether you do a live video on your Facebook page, or record a video and put it out to your FB or YouTube audience, it’s a stage that requires no invitation or booking. You can get out there if you choose to.

Have faith

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” - Khalil Gibran

Just like you can’t know happiness if you never experience sadness, you can’t have faith without ever having doubt. If you can’t have faith in your abilities, your talent, or your opportunities, at least have faith that God has you. He has plans for you. He gave you talents for a reason. It may just take some time to realize them.

Be confident there is a plan, and that it may take a vacation, some work, meeting the right people to help, learning some things, and/or finding the right audience before the doubt completely goes away.

But as a life long creative I can promise you, doubt will always creep back in. It’s part of the deal, part and parcel of a creative life. Don’t let it rule you, stop you, or freeze you. Just work through it because it’s just part of the amazing, fun, crazy life of a creative.

“Doubt can motivate you, so don't be afraid of it. Confidence and doubt are at two ends of the scale, and you need both. They balance each other out.” - Barbra Streisand

Have a great day!


For the Creative Soul is familiar with doubt, we doubt all the time. We see it all the time in the creatives we work with. If you have questions, feel free to contact us here.

1 comment:

  1. Eric, I want to thank you for this writing today. You hit the nail right on the head when it comes to me. I have been writing and producing music for almost 40 years now and have always struggled with these thoughts. Wondering if I was good enough, trying to find a balance of creating while at the same time trying to provide for my family. You words today have inspired me to look at this much closer and for that I thank you.

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com