Ep.1 : How To Handle What Others Think Of Your Creative Work

While it may seem like everyone is starting a business, many people aren’t. Many don’t really understand what it takes and most people don’t know how to love or communicate with visionary types. I’m not saying one type of person is better than the other, but I am saying that visionaries operate on a different rhythm and from a different mindset.

Sometimes it can create a gap and that gap can create assumptions and then those assumptions become a reality to visionaries in the form of subliminal pressure. We then take on an influenced motivation and start making decisions catering to that.

Here are the top 8 behaviors that can happen when we don’t realize pressure is influencing our instincts:

1. We feel like we constantly have to prove our worth and success. Success helps us prove to others ( and to ourselves) that our decision to follow our dreams was not a mistake.

2. We rush and resent our development phase to get to that place where there is a measurable goal we can share, this again ends up being about proving success to override an assumption of impending failure.

3. We hesitate to refresh or niche in for fear of seeming wrong, confused or scattered to the outside eye.

4. We stress out about our title and what we identify as. While it is important for many reasons to align with an overall way to describe what you do for people, pressure can lead to it being from a place of feeling like the title itself will make others take you seriously.

5. We feel like we have prove that we work hard even though we might not have a 9-5 or the work tasks associated with it. Some of the tasks that we do in addition to the traditional business related tasks don’t care the same weight to traditional minds… social media planning, content marketing, and high quality lifestyle imagery is lost on many.

6. We either overcompensate or isolate ourselves in order to handle the opinions, questions and assumptions that inevitably come. Glossing over or avoiding starts looking like a better option some days.

7. We consistently have to learn to own transitioning into our new roles and direction, while everyone else is comparing and hanging on to our old.

8. We feel like we have to live up to expectations of what other think business is supposed to be like, and then we absorb it. So many people think a business just kind of happens and if it’s going to be successful it should happen pretty quickly… so when you tell people 2 years later that you’re still developing and growing, you get that patronizing face that makes you feel like a failure.

 

But here’s where a lot of the external energy is coming from.

We are literally brought up to label  ourselves and others. People feel comfortable when they can put someone in a box and put their finger on what they’re about. When someone doesn’t fit one box or is constantly evolving into new boxes, it creates a resistance inside someone that triggers an uncomfortable lack of understanding within them. That translates into trying to use their own logic to wrap their head around you.

But, unfortunately the feeling of being uncomfortable is negative so there’s the negative connotation associated with trying to figure you out which leads people to lean more on the negative side when filling in the supporting logic. You experience this in their body language, responses and reactions to you. 

Let’s be honest…People are more inclined to call someones scattered and aimless instead of multiskilled and within a creative process. People are more inclined to call someones a failure instead of telling them to try again and approach it from a new perspective. And, people are way more inclined to let you know how risky your decisions might be instead of affirming the intense amount of courage it’s taking to even consider those decisions.

Why does this happen?

One reason might be that all social interaction becomes a reminder and a mirror for many people still searching for understanding and purpose of their own.

They see what’s going on in the world and they take it in and assess their own value, abilities and worth. Sometimes when people feel uncertain or they see someone doing something they wouldn’t or couldn’t they resist and project. They dig up all their worries, assumptions and uncertainties and pepper them into their advice, questions, and conversations with you. Nobody means to do this, the majority of people aren’t out to be hater, but it happens.

That’s when you get questions like:

So, are you making 6 figures a month yet? Even though it’s only been 3 months since you quit your job. They’ve heard the 5 or 6 highlighted overnight success stories and assume thats the sign of something big and real… and they assign that to you. But, now you let 6 figures a month become bigger than it needs to be in your process.

 

Or, maybe when you tell someone you’re niching in they might respond with saying “omg pick one, I can’t keep up with everything you’ve been… and then they follow it up with that laugh. They don’t know how to respond or affirm someone exploring and evolving, to them it looks you’re flopping around uncertain, when really you might be adding or coming out of a season of mastering a complimentary skill set that enhancing your niche talents. But, the words stick.  You may even end up feeling embarrassed or ashamed of the things you’ve tried and learned instead of being proud.

But, here’s 4 ways to navigate the pressures

1. Maintain a realistic perspective -

You just have to understand that not everyone shares the same mindset. People can only speak from how far their mentality has evolved or what it’s been exposed to. You have to understand that sometimes your operating from a different place. Take it as a sign of evolution and that you are being prepared for something different. Now, part of being realistic too is not blowing out of portion how much people are thinking about you. Yes, they will share their thoughts and then they move on to the 1000 others things that matter to them. Yet, you’re still operating from a place of putting their comments on a pedestal, you’re thinking about them way more than they are thinking about you now… guaranteed. 95% of the time, the pressure we take on is self inflicted even if it is influenced. And, you can control that. You don’t have time to take on visionary victim mentality.

2. Give yourself permission to unapologetically not care -

This goes to my last point, you can’t constantly try to assume and understand why and how people are reacting or assuming things the way they are. You can’t afford to wait for someone to catch up in understanding and acknowledgement. You never know when that’s going to come or if it ever will. Plus, you can’t give someone else the permission of power over you like that. Instead, simply maintain the perspective of knowing you’re on different rhythm mentally, that God has intentionally revealed or stepped you through certain experiences, and just find peace in that. It’s not a bad thing, they’re not better and you’re not better, you’re just on a different assignment.

3. Define for yourself what success is - 

Success has had such a general definition for so long, and that definition was made by the traditional successful people, like it was an exclusive club profile. But, with technology, the playing field has evened out and now success can be defined by the visionary. But, you have to take the time to reflect, seek and decide what it looks like… otherwise you’ll be creating towards a goal that someone else made for you. When this happens you won’t see the value along the path or enjoy the mile markers once you get there. Your soul will crave what it craves and you’ll feel that restlessness until it aligns. This is a miserable space to be in, especially after putting in so much work and sacrifice. Never feel ashamed for unapologetically honoring your version of life quality.

4. Open up a dialogue and see it as an opportunity to teach, but then ultimately understand it’s truly up to you to know that you know whether they get it or not. 

Sometimes you want to prove so badly that you’re doing big things, you lose your transparency. You hide the real. But in that real transparency there is an opportunity to teach. Sometimes glossing over or staging success is what causes people to have uninformed understanding of what it really takes. When you feel led and you feel like it’s a safe place, don’t shy away from taking the opportunity to share some of the more raw elements of vision development. This may not only encourage people but it will also expand their understanding. You know that saying, you may be the only bible people read? Well, you might be the only business visionary type they personally have access to. Our walk is never just about us. Just don’t get caught up trying to convince or convert, simply share and keep it moving.

Now, before we end I want to leave you with a simple affirmation prayer that I say to myself to center my perspective when I notice influence of opinion creeping in. I simply repeat. “I will not simplify or dumb down my God graced complexity so someone else can wrap their brain around it.”