I just got bad news or had a shitty performance, and it’s depressing me

Zooming Out


The Context

Each of us can improve our sense of proportion for our creative work, even if we're not visually inclined. We can still strengthen our sense of emotional proportion during the creative process. This capacity to view events in their true relations or relative importance, that's a muscle we can train.

The Tool

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Zooming Out

ZOOMING OUT -- Widening your lens to get perspective on the complete picture of your situation

Start with a longwinded but still powerful question. How is it possible that this could happen to me this way, and under what circumstances would it make perfect sense to do so? This becomes a bell of awareness. A reminder that we’re all trying to make sense of what it means to be us, and this moment not going to be the end of us. Like when a gallery owner rejects our new collection. Or when the publisher ghosts us after reading our manuscript. Or when a venture capitalist shoots down our startup idea like a clay pigeon. After we get over that initial anger and frustration and apathy, we take a moment to give ourselves some perspective. We ask the above question to zoom out and consider the complete picture of our situation. By widening our lens, we start to notice that there are dozens of other factors that might be in play, over which we have zero control. And by expanding the time horizon we're examining, we discover that this one isolated failure, rejection, setback, moment, whatever, actually has little to do with us. Maybe the curator who rejected our work just had a fight with their spouse five minutes before we called. Maybe the publisher is struggling financially and capped the number of new titles they're adding to their catalog this year. Or maybe the venture capital firm loves our startup idea, but it's not in a vertical in which they traditionally invest. That's zooming out.

Scott's Take

Scott's Take

Visual artists have exquisite sense proportion. Part of their talent is judging the accuracy of their lines, the alignment of the objects and the proper spacing between them, in relation to the work of art as a whole. It's inspiring to me, as the spatial intelligence as never been my strength. I'm more of a word and sound guy myself.

The Rest

Fear is what causes you to worry about the wrong things, overestimate risk and scramble your sense of perspective. But when you practice this subroutine of zooming out, you change the context completely. And you realize things aren't as bad as you thought. How will you strengthen your sense of emotional proportion during the creative process?

The Benefits

Create a more useful narrative around failures, rejections or setbacks
Strengthen our sense of emotional proportion during the creative process
Quickly view events in their true relations or relative importance
Strengthen your resilience in the face of elements you can’t control

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