Hello beautiful people and happy full moon, happy August, happy “I got out of bed today” day! 🙂
I’ve been thinking about how we’ll often DO THE MOST — I mean, not just have the standards of the perfectionist, the anxiety of the compassionate, and the drive to prove we belong here… but full-on doing Ev.Er.Y.Thing — to be sure we receive the love, respect, acknowledgement-that-we’re-enough, whatever that we’re longing to receive.
Did I just call you out? Am I seeing you when I’m seeing this in me too?
Creatives are notorious for overstuffing, overdelivering, overgiving every time we’re hired to share our gifts and I think I’m figuring out why.
1. There’s a place in us that feels guilty for how much flippin’ FUN it is to do what we love to do, so we overdo everything to try and restore balance to that fiction.
2. We’ve had a lifetime of people in our lives (usually well-meaning family members) telling us that what we do is NEVER gonna pay us well, so when we do get paid, we feel some sense of shame about it (because now we’ve made our loved ones wrong).
3. We worry it’s a fluke that anyone temporarily lost their sanity and valued what it is we love to do, so we’d better stuff lots of extras into the experience so they will be overwhelmed by all we shared and stay insane long enough to maybe hire us again.
The only thing that happens when we let low enoughness cause us to overgive is this:
~ Our buyers DO get overwhelmed and THEY feel like they failed when they couldn’t properly appreciate everything we crammed at them.
~ Our buyers wonder WHY we’re so eager to give so much more away and wonder if they’ve missed a red flag about the quality of our craft.
~ Our potential buyers SEE us being so desperate to get the validation that it’s safe to be paid to do something we love that they decide they’re NOT our buyers because we don’t make it look like a party to be in our world. We actually make it look like painful shit that’s in their OWN low-enoughness nooks and crannies and they don’t like that vibe so they avoid it in us to help them avoid it in themselves.
Um… again… just me?
Yeah. I thought you might relate.
So how do we fix this?
I’m undergoing an experiment I started a little over a week ago and I freakin’ love it. It’s called “What do I feel like doing now?” and I check in on this question sometimes hourly. I allow myself the freedom of imagining what it would be like to ONLY do the next thing that feels amazing, whether that’s working on my next book, doing more of these charts, taking a nap, fleshing out the curriculum for my next offering, jamming with y’all in our membership, working a puzzle, or writing THIS for you right now.
It’s not that I always have the luxury of DOING each of the things that lights me up at that exact moment, but much of the time I *do* have that option and I’m leaning into more of that.
Because as creatives, we often have a LOT of different ways we can choose to spend our time. Why we spend so dang much of it scrolling social media that makes us physically and spiritually and mentally and emotionally unsettled and outright sick so much of the time is beyond me. (Oh wait, no it’s not. I’ve studied addiction theory. I know EXACTLY why it is social media checks all the boxes in our brains. The developers have admitted as much.) But because we have so many different ways we can spend our time, we often stall out, get overwhelmed, feel powerless, and DO NOTHING.
And then, when lightning strikes and someone hires us to share our gifts, it’s as though we feel so completely freaked out about how much we have to prove, we overstuff WAAAAAAAY too much into everything, not only NOT proving what we hope we’ve proved in doing so (that we’re enough, that we deserve to be paid well for our gifts, that we’re talented, that we belong here) but in fact proving the opposite. Making the recipients wonder what they got wrong about us, when they invested in us in the first place.
So here’s my challenge for you: Do less. Give less. Stop at “pass” in the “pass/fail” measurement and stop going for extra credit. I’m not asking you to be lazy or stingy with your gifts; I’m encouraging you to do ENOUGH. Nothing more.
Because in doing enough, we reinforce that we ARE enough. And that, my friends, is where things get *really* good.
You with me?
Sound off in the comments below. Let me support you for doing just enough right now.
Your “enough” is beautiful.
All my love,