Most Creatives I know have one: a project they’ve been thinking about and talking about doing for months. Sometimes years. They’ve thought through the concept. They’re excited about the prospect. They say they’re gonna pull the trigger…and yet….time goes by and they never act on this project! Maybe its starting a podcast or writing a book. Maybe its teaching a workshop, launching a product line, or entering an art show. Or even just pressing send on a weekly email.
Whatever it is, this project is taking up mental space and still isn’t out in the world- so are we actually going to do these things or not? In this episode, I’ve got 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Right Now to help you figure it out.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself:
- Do I Actually WANT To Do This Project?
This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often we skip over this question and jump right to an end result we feel that we SHOULD want or that someone told us we SHOULD do.
Often when I find I’m not taking action on a project, and I really look deeply into it, I find that this idea isn’t really in alignment with my business goals or personal values. I’m not actually excited about it, or I’m not challenged by it, or it feels like I’m only doing it because I saw someone else do it. Keep in mind, there are going to be projects in your business that you may just not want to do but still have to (think taxes or filling out a long application for something that you really want to be part of) and that’s not really what I mean here. Ask yourself if you really HAVE to do this – will it get you closer to your business goals or direction (you can refer back to our mini episode on how to focus your creative brand to find more about this!).
If the answer is that you really DON’T want to do it, and you really don’t have to…get it off your list! No matter how good it sounds, clear up your headspace for work you really want to be doing.
- Am I Afraid? What Could Happen?
OK, so if you’ve determined you do want to take this project on, let’s figure out why you’re not taking action. Ask yourself this next question and face it honestly. Are you afraid of this project? If so, why? List out the worst possible outcomes for launching this into the world. Often times seeing out fears on paper lets us realize how unlikely they are to come true or even how NOT scary they really are. Naming the fear can allow you to face it head on.
- Is it Imposter Syndrome?
Do you feel like you REALLY want to do this, but somehow don’t feel good enough? Or like other people already do it?
One of my favorite quotes from author Elizabeth Gilbert is “It has not yet been done by YOU.”- meaning everything in the world has been done before, but nobody has done it with your spin, your expertise, your story. Kick that imposter complex to the curb- often getting into action will remind yourself of why you are called to do this work and why the world needs your voice.
- What Resources Do I Need? (Including Time!)
OK, so you know you want to do this, and you’ve gotten through the mental “stuff”. Let’s look at the practical reasons you may not be taking action and address them head on. Again, make a list- are you noticing a theme here? As creatives, we carry too many swirling thoughts and ideas around in our heads- getting those ideas out and on paper makes them more actionable.
What do you need in order to do this project? Materials? Supplies? Physical Space? Whatever of these you don’t have easily at your disposal, start making a plan to get them- whether its reaching out to people you can borrow or trade from, saving up funding to buy the tools you need, or looking for alternatives, creating action steps with deadlines will move you closer to completing that big project. Remember, momentum is key for projects like this!
One big resource many creatives overlook is TIME. How much time do you need to do this and how can you get it on your calendar. For me, this often involves treating myself as a client- and that involves one less client that I can take on in my business. I look at this as a serious investment of my time and potential revenue, so if I’m working on my own business, it means I HAVE to deliver and launch in order to recoup that investment.
- How Can I Make This Fun? What If It Were Easy?
Finally, ask yourself these two questions! Does this project have to seem like work? Does it have to be done the way everyone else does it? Or can you lean into your strengths and the parts of your creative brand that you LOVE and make this fun? This may involve tinkering with the delivery method or launch plan, making the marking feel more personal to you, making it feel smaller and more intimate or growing it to feel more like a movement. There are SO many options here!