I am not a reliable judge of my own creations…

🤷🏻‍♂️ The Counterintuitive Truth About Creative Success

As creators, we aren't the best judge of their own work... our time, energy, and emotional investment often cloud our objectivity. Let's continually practice creating with a light touch, detaching from expectations of outcome. Just like the vital rhythms of the body and nature, our business needs our reliable rhythms of creation...

Posted by George Kao, Authentic Business Coach on Friday, February 23, 2024

The more years I’ve spent creating, the more I notice this counter-intuitive truth:

I am not a reliable judge of my own creative work.

Sometimes, I make something that I think is awesome…

…yet barely anyone likes it.

Other times, I simply say something that’s so obvious to me…

…yet people are amazed at its value.

Therefore, I’ve learned to simply publish more.

This increases the chance that I will stumble on an occasional gem.

The key is to let go of attachment to outcome.

Just keep your rhythm of creating. Regardless of “success” or “failure” just continue to “chop wood and carry water.”


Put the critic in their place…

An important practice I’ve had to engage with — every time I create — is to ignore my critics… inner and outer.

For example, my books: some people say they’re great! To others, my books are mediocre.

I try to notice the patterns of feedback, and use it to improve each edition.

I just keep publishing… trusting that the personal growth of doing it again and again will help me create a better product next time.


Creating lightly

I prefer not to take a long time to try creating a “great” piece of work. Knowing myself, I’ll get stuck in my head, mired in perfectionism, and fall out of touch with my market because I fell too deep within myself.

More frequent publishing means more frequent contact with the market, which means a tighter feedback loop I can learn from.

I prefer to stay nimble, exploratory, and prolific.


Approaching feedback appropriately

I do care about the overall reaction from my audience.

But I practice very lightly receiving any particular praise or criticism.

Occasionally, I look at the big picture to see which pieces of content did well, and which didn’t. I study the patterns.

What might they be signaling to me about what to create next?

I care about the constructive feedback that I receive from ideal clients and true fans.

Suggestions from the right people are gold.

To be clear, I don’t care about the reactions of any one audience member, no matter how harsh or loving. It’s a fluke, an exception, until multiple clients/fans give me the same reaction.


The keys to creativity

To me, the most important things for creativity are:

(1) the daily practice of ignoring criticism (inner and outer)


(2) sticking with my rhythm of output.

The only thing that I allow to interrupt my schedule of creation are my planned breaks — I take 12 weeks of content sabbaticals throughout the year. During the normal weeks, I simply create and publish, however I’m feeling. It builds self-trust and strength.

I wish for you a sustainable rhythm of creativity. May you feel the liberation of expressing yourself authentically. To create regardless of criticism, to publish consistently, just like the vital rhythms of your body… thereby allowing you and your business to grow into a healthy and a thriving future.