Many of us get stuck when we’re launching our most important projects. Since your best work is often grounded in personal passion, you can feel vulnerable and confused about how to move forward. What if you can’t get it right? How will you know when it’s finished? When is it time to get feedback?
It’s important to understand what ideas need in order to grow. You don’t want to expose your work to feedback and criticism too soon, when the work isn’t quite ready. But what conditions can you set up in order to nurture this work so that it becomes stronger?
Gardeners struggle with this question all the time. To grow seedlings, they often use a heating mat and fluorescent lights to protect and nurture these young plants. This happens with tiny humans as well, as incubators provide premature infants with a safe space to live as they develop.
Your own early ideas also need light and warmth, time and attention, and a safe place to grow. Trust yourself to provide a kind of incubator that prevents the harsh eyes of the world from commenting until the work is strong enough to stand on its own.
Most important, protect your work from your own doubts. Silence the voices in your head that can suppress an idea before it has had time to germinate. Remember your successes, all the times you have prevailed in difficult circumstances. Your belief in yourself is the light and warmth new work deserves.
When the time is right, do reach out for feedback from people you trust. Ideally choose supporters who can be objective, who can listen as you share your best intentions. Good feedback helps your work grow, but only when you are ready.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.