Often we’re informed to be experienced and as knowledgeable as possible when walking into any situation. We’re encouraged to have our heads full of theory and to get our hands dirty only when and if we know what we’re doing.
We’re hardly ever encouraged to take risks because risks lead to negative things like; disappointment, a feeling of failure and embarrassing ourselves.
Regardless of our different interests, our path in life isn’t shaped by what we know; it’s developed by what we do. Let's take music critiques for example. Sure, everyone that purchases a record can talk about leaps and bounds about how an album could have been better, the production could have stepped up, or the lyrical content could have been better. They could talk, talk and talk to a point where they feel very knowledgeable about music.
But how many of these critiques have played in a band? How many of these critiques have toured the world performing in venues? Hell, how many of these critiques have even written a song?
As a consumer, it’s effortless to look at the world around us and point fingers. Which can make people think they know what is excellent work and what isn’t. But how much does say a critique achieve for analysing other peoples work vs someone who’s inexperienced and is putting themselves out there creating content?
Often the best creatives are people who have the guts to embarrass themselves, explore different things and see where they go. I find innovation usually begins by letting go of the fear of making mistakes and starting in a place where you’re willing to explore possibilities for the pure thrill of adventure.
For so long I wanted to get better at illustration, and I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs. But I would be consumed by so much fear that I wouldn’t put my efforts into creating new pieces. I’d spend all my time copying other peoples work. How on earth would I get better at creating and finding my voice, if I was spending all my time learning about other peoples voices?
The simplest solution to getting better at anything is to dive into the deep end and learn how to swim. Don’t let your amount of theory or knowledge on a subject stop you from being uncomfortable. Dive in, fail and determine where you can improve. This method might be the most stressful way to learn something, but it’s the guaranteed fastest way to learn and gain quick progress.
If it’s illustration, singing or playing an instrument; start today. Slowly refine and think about your problem areas and write these down. Focus on bettering yourself in a particular area and gradually build yourself up. Before you know it, you'll be looking back at this moment being thankful that you weren't afraid to fail.
Take things one day at a time, but make sure you’re making moves every day! Most importantly encourage others to do the same, so we can all learn and grow on our journeys together.