How do you start making something yourself? And above all, how do you finish it? We share three insights.
- A litte bit every day
The best tip for modern times: Break what you want to do into small pieces. Or, start a 365-day project. Want to crochet a blanket from granny squares? It’s a lot easier when you commit to making one square every day. That’s how you stimulate your creativity. According to psychologist Leonard Martin, people function best when they regularly feel that they’re getting closer to their goal. Take artist Henri Jacobs, for example. Every day he does a drawing and he advises his art students to do the same. “It solves start-up problems,” he says in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. “Many artists just sit and wait for inspiration, while art is simply a matter of working. Start with one line and the rest will follow.”
- Learn from your mistakes
If you’re very focused on results, then you often have only a way of looking at something: I must do it this way. And if that way doesn’t work, you give up. That’s why it’s far more productive to strive to learn (from) something. You feel more comfortable, you’re more willing to take risks, and you learn from your mistakes, which, research shows, means you’ll be more successful in the end. According to psychologist and trainer Arjan van Dam, “people who learn say: ‘I’m proud of every step I took.’ And when you learn, a mistake also means success, because you’ve extracted a learning opportunity from it.”
- Don’t compare yourself to others
We are naturally used to comparing ourselves to others. While the Internet made our world smaller, it’s also made the things available for comparison greater. So you come across the most beautiful handicrafts on Instagram and blogs. And you start thinking, “hmmm… mine aren’t as good, so why even bother?” What a pity! Don’t get distracted by what other people do or think – just use these things for inspiration. Above all, listen to your own feelings and do what makes you happy.
*These insights can be found in our Flow Journals.
Text Otje van der Lelij Photography Shutterstock