Tag: negative brain

Creative Mondays #032 – Prove them wrong.


If there’s one thing all creative folks have in common, no matter what their chosen artistic field is, it is that you will have your fair share of naysayers.  People who tell you the creative goal you have in mind just simply cannot be accomplished.  These people will, to your face, tell you that what you are doing isn’t going to work.  Or that your creative goals are unattainable.

Now I’m sure there’s a deep psychological reason why these people do this.  It could be jealousy, just plain meanness or any number of other things.  I think these people are the absolute worst kind of people to have around because what they are doing is killing creativity.  They are stomping on your dreams.  Killing your confidence.  They are, unfortunately, all around us and they can even be lurking amongst those who we consider our close friends or even our family.

People will tell you to ignore the naysayers and I agree.  Ignore them.  They should be meaningless in your artistic career.  But I say do not just ignore them, use their naysaying to propel you even further down the path to your creative dreams.  Prove them wrong.  The feeling of proving someone who doubted you wrong is a feeling that can only be eclipsed by the feeling of producing a piece of art.  I love proving naysayers wrong and it’s something I developed at a young age.

I remember I was taking a theatre management class in college and the teacher had us do some writing on a project.  I forget exactly what the project was focused on but at the end when the teacher went over what we had written, he pointed out that two of us in the class had written about that there would be no greater feeling of satisfaction in our careers than to prove the naysayers, the people who said we couldn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish, wrong.  It was at that moment I knew that I was not alone in my thinking that way.  There were others out there too.

This was proven again to me wham I heard the song Acceptance Speech by the band Friendly Indians.  In the song, the singer warns all those who crossed him to get ready to grit their teeth when he steps up to the mic to make his acceptance speech.  This song clicked with me from the first moment I heard it and, to this day, I will listen to it to focus me back on the path getting creative work down and proving the naysayers wrong.

Also, this may be a good tactic to try if the main naysayer who is holding you back is you!  If that’s the case, prove yourself wrong.  Show yourself that the things you want to do can be done.  If you do that enough, you’ll stuff your own personal naysayer back down where he or she belongs!

I will offer this one bit of warning, however.  You don’t want to dwell on the negative things that people say about your creative goals.  That’s a great way to rev up the old negative brain and that will not serve you at all.  I’ve talked about the negative brain before on in this blog, but if you’re joint us late, once the negative brain is ramped up, it’s hard to shut down, so don’t let the naysayers get you going in that respect.  Only use their naysaying as fuel to propel you further towards accomplishing your goals.

Prove the naysayers wrong.

How do you deal with naysayers?  Is there a better way than plotting to prove them wrong?  If so, let me know in the comments below.  Have a great week!

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Creative Mondays #027 – Nervous? Just do it.


Recently I received a scheduling for a puppet audition through The Jim Henson Company. When I was first called about it, I was initially pretty confident I could go in there and nail it. Then, I received the script and all the information about the audition and I was even MORE confident I could go in their an nail it. The character was something I could hit out of the part really easily, the script was funny (something I usually find is quite rare in these situations) and it would just be a tremendously fun project to work on.

Then, just a few days before the audition, I found out something that rattled my confidence completely. Just completely dashed that sense of ‘I got this” completely. The good old Negative Brain took full control. In one instant, I went from confident to a complete mess. “I got this” became, “Not in a million years.” In fact, my negative brain, as if does, started telling me, “Just don’t even do it. That way you won’t be disappointed when you don’t get it.”

Now, my negative brain is not strong enough for me to make majorly stupid mistakes. I completely understand the consequences of not showing up to an audition that The Jim Henson Company has scheduled you for. So, there was no way I was going to NOT go to the audition.

I began thinking about being nervous about something big in your creative career and how it can completely play with your mind. In situations like that you have two choices. Don’t do it, as your negative brain would have you and play it safe. Or, as the old Nike ad says, “just do it.” And really, there is no choice. Just do it.

Nerves are nothing. They are just a holdover from that primitive brain we’ve talked about before on here. They are there to keep you safe. But when you think about things logically you’ll see that nerves can sometimes misguide you.

Being nervous while swimming in shark infested waters is probably a good idea. You could die.

Being nervous when going into an audition, or unveiling your recent painting, or stepping out on stage to play a new song, recite a new poem, read a new story, etc., those things re not likely to kill you. You’ll be just fine. Sure, you may blow the audition, receive criticism, get booed, but is it going to kill you? Probably not. And in the unlikely event that those things happen (how many people really get booed anymore?) they will all be incredible learning experiences of what to do or not do the next time you are in one of those situations.

So, when it came to this audition of mine, there really was only one choice, do it. I studied the script harder than anything I had recently. I worked on my puppetry even more to be spot on when I went in. Part of the audition would be riffing/improv so I thought of things I may say in different situations that may pop up. I made myself completely ready for this audition.

Was I still nervous? Yes.

Was I going to let that nervousness stop me? No way.

Will I get the part? Who knows? But I’m more likely to get it now that I didn’t chicken out and not go to the audition.

If you are nervous about something, just do it.

How do you deal with being nervous about big events in your creative life? Has the nervousness ever won out? Or did you battle is successfully?

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