The Calculated Creative

Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals

A 5 step framework to live a more worry-free creative life

Fear is anxiety produced by overthinking.

Things like worries about:
- Money
- Deadlines
- Imposter Syndrome

But more thinking won’t make those worries go away.

No matter how hard you try.

Here’s a 5 step framework to confront your fears and live a more worry-free creative life in the process:

1. Define

Use a specific action you’ve been thinking about taking for a while.

But are scared of following through with.

And list all of the worst things you can imagine happening if you actually did it.

List enough that you can begin to pinpoint the worst 3.

2. Prevent

Create a new list of things you can do to stop those worst 3 fears from becoming reality.

Or at least decrease the likelihood of them happening.

3. Repair

If the worst case scenario does happen…

What could you do to repair the damage?

Who could you ask for help?

Create another list of answers.

And as you go through this list ask yourself:

Has anyone else in the history of time found a solution to this problem?

The answer is most likely yes.

4. Upside

What are the benefits of an attempt at taking action?

What happens if you succeed?

Be conservative in this list.

The upside doesn’t have to be much to be worth the effort.

5. Costs

If I avoid taking action…what will my life look like in 6 months? A year? 3 years?

- Emotionally
- Financially
- Physically

Get as detailed as possible.

How this is relevant for a:

Freelancer — Fears are likely popping up from every direction. Instead of trying to ignore them, face them head on. And create a list of action items to help you work through next steps IF things get wild.

Full-timer — It can be hard to get multiple teams on the same page. By working through this process as a brainstorming session with others in your org you can focus creative energy where it’s needed most.

Dabbler — It’s likely that you have yet to take the first step toward your dream creative career. Or maybe you have but you’re stuck on which one to take next. Use this system as a way through the darkness.

The Takeaway

Your assumptions are fragile.

And by getting them down on paper you can begin to:
- Test their validity
- Identify which ones are real
- Deal with ones that aren’t as bad

Learn to drive without the emergency brake.

It won’t make your creative career easy.

But it will definitely make it easier.

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

The Calculated Creative

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