Just show up!
"Aren't you afraid you're never going to be able to top that? Aren't you afraid you're going to keep writing for your whole life and you're never again going to create a book that anybody in the world cares about at all, ever again?"
"Aren't you afraid you're never going to have any success? Aren't you afraid the humiliation of rejection will kill you? Aren't you afraid that you're going to work your whole life at this craft and nothing's ever going to come of it and you're going to die on a scrap heap of broken dreams with your mouth filled with bitter ash of failure?"
I love, love, love this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. These two quotes are super interesting because it shows just how the cacophany of voices around you and within you will never completely die down.
The first quote above is an accumulation of things that people said to her after she created the global sensation that was her memoir Eat, Pray, Love.
The second quote references the things that people said to her 20 years ago, when—as a teenager—she first started telling people that she wanted to be a writer.
It's an incredible testament to how the creative journey never gets easier; but you must learn to evolve and transcend fear-based thinking. The amazing reassurance is that you get better and better at trusting your instincts as you grow.
Gilbert's talk is worth listening to in full because there's so much gold in there. But if you want the key takeaway: Take the pressure off yourself. It's not your job to deliver a work of great genius. Your job is to show up and do the work. To be a conduit for creative forces that exist outside of you.
In her words: "Don't be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then "Olé!" And if not, do your dance anyhow. And "Olé!" to you, nonetheless. I believe this and I feel that we must teach it. "Olé!" to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up."