Creative work involves risk. If we start something but don’t finish it, we look bad. If we finish something and it’s terrible quality, we look really bad. Nobody likes to look bad. Nobody wants to be known as the guy who writes really lame action novels or paints absolutely awful watercolors. Nobody wants to be the guy who can never finish his ideas.
We want to be respected, loved, adored, and admired. We want people to think that we’re smart and well put together. Doing creative work means putting our image on the line and being willing to go down in a giant flaming ball if things don’t work out as planned. So how do we get past the fear? How do we kill the fear of failure? How do we silence that little, high-pitched, whiny voice that is always whispering, “You shouldn’t do this, because you might look bad,”?
It starts by getting our priorities straight. Whose approval matters most to us: the approval of others or the approval of God? This really is a crucial question.
If we’re constantly dependent on the approval of other people we’ll always be afraid of failure. If we’re constantly needing the affirmation and praise of those around us then we’ll never take any creative risks. We’ll never have the guts to stick our necks out and possibly look silly. Because other people might disapprove of us. They might think that our painting or speech or novel or spreadsheet or organizational blog or hand sewn shirt is pretty lame. And that would sting. We would feel bad about ourselves, which would then lead to us eating a complete bag of Oreos in one sitting.
One of the glorious truths of the Bible is that if we have repented of our sins and believed in Jesus we are completely accepted in Christ. Ephesians 1:6 says, “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”
We have been adopted as sons and daughters into the family of the living God. We are in the Beloved (Christ). We are fully accepted, loved, embraced, and treasured by God. That status absolutely cannot change. We will never be less loved or accepted by our Father. We don’t need to be addicted to the approval of others because we already have all the approval that we need. If someone doesn’t like something we create, who cares? If someone doesn’t “approve” of us and our creativity, does it really matter? We have full acceptance in Christ and that should be enough for us.
If you want to overcome your fear of creative work, I'd love to have you join me for the "Write Your Book" course.