I aspire to be a creator and storyteller.
Discovering, creating, making – these verbs define who I am. While they propel me to action, deep down, I want others to share in my passion. To care about the things I discover, create, and make.
Recently, I had to confront a paradox. The more I feared what others thought of my creations, the less I focused on trying to make something truly wonderful. Something worth caring about.
I like to call these fears the balloon myth:
- Worrying what others might view, think, or say about my work.
- Wondering if others care about what I do or create.
- Obsessing about what others think.
- Assuming others are analyzing my every decision and creation.
Once I stepped away from these fears, I began to see my work from a different perspective. But most importantly, I observed an almost universal truth.
No one cares.
And this is amazing news for an aspiring creator like me. Waking up to the truth – and popping the balloon – meant freedom. I could experiment, learn, be creative, fail, and try again. All the while, not tied to the fear of what others might think, say, or do. But here is the irony:
Everyone is as obsessed as I am – worrying, wondering, assuming. They have bought into the same fears I’m trying to fight. They are living in the same self-created balloon I’m trying to pop. No one cares because everyone cares.
Make Me Care
The paradox is I still have this burning desire for people to care.
- I want people to see what I create
- I want people to enjoy what I create
- I want to positively impact people through what I create.
And this is a good desire.
We need more creators willing to make beautiful, inspiring things capable of making this world a better place. We need not only more but better stories, art, poetry, movies, pottery – whatever it is you create. But what you create is not worth other people’s time unless you capture their imagination and wonder.
This is why I have challenged myself. When I have an exciting story, a heartfelt message, a different perspective – anything I want others to see, hear, enjoy – I imagine something.
I imagine someone standing in front of me, arms folded, demanding, “Make me step out of my balloon. Make me look beyond my self-centered world. Make me see the wonder and awe surrounding me.”
“Make me care.”
What do you think? Do you find yourself sometimes buying into the “balloon myth”? How do you overcome paralysis and fear when creating? Share your thoughts below and let’s talk about it!
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