People who don’t have faith in their own abilities, people who don’t believe they’re special enough to have something to say, are probably not going to write down everything, or anything. Because they don’t value their own opinions and ideas. They don’t believe their comments, feedback, suggestions or stories are worth documenting. Who are they to blacken pages with their thoughts? They’re not worth the air they’re taking up, so why should a blank canvas be any different? It’s deeply disheartening to me. It's heartbreaking when people can’t bear to confront themselves on something as harmless as a piece of paper. However, it’s not their fault. There’s clearly a lot of old programming running in the background of their mind.
WRITE MIND — Respecting yourself enough document your own ideas
It’s funny, we hear all these celebrities, executives, politicians, gurus and other public figures all giving us the same warning. Don’t take yourself too seriously. But when did we decide that was such a negative thing? Is it possible that our fear of being perceived as pretentious is conning us out of writing down something that might create real value in the world, even if only for ourselves? Sure, nobody should get too high on their own fumes and start believing their in house press. But then again, what’s so wrong with respecting yourself enough to write your own thoughts down? Polly writes about this in her outstanding advice column collection. Being an artist means taking up a little extra space without apology. It means allowing yourself to annoy other people with your deluded views of yourself.
The most important piece of advice my mentor gave me about creativity was, if you don’t write it down, it never happened. That single sentence transformed my mindset as a creator, but also as a human. It inspired me to build this personal creativity management system for generating, organizing and sharing ideas, which I’ve also written books about and taught classes on. But what’s interesting is, offering that insight to other creative people doesn’t always have the same effect. Some people look at me like I’ve just asked them to jump out of a plane without a parachute. Write everything down? Are you shitting me? As usual, my selfish error is assuming that everyone is like me. Apparently, that’s not the case. Turns out, my advice is almost impossible to implement by people who have a low opinion of themselves.
If you’re someone who resists the mere idea of documenting your own thoughts and feelings, maybe it’s time to start taking yourself more seriously. There’s zero guarantee your words will change the world, but then again, they’re not doing you much good inside. Kind of like a fart. Better out than in, right? John Mayer's lyrics come to mind: Have no fear for giving in, have no fear for giving over, you'd better know that in the end, it’s better to say too much, then never say what you need to say again. Is everything you know written down somewhere?
Deepen your faith in your own abilities
Replace negative programming about unworthiness
Overcome your fear of being seen as pretentious
Build a personal system for generating, organizing and sharing ideas