“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
I am going to let you in on a secret. Writing content for this blog is stressing me out.
Each time I think about sitting down to write, I seem to find every excuse not to open up my word processor and just start.
“My idea is not creative enough.”
“Will that topic even be interesting to anyone?”
“How do I even construct the first paragraph? If it isn’t really compelling, no one is going to read on.”
Yup, lots of negative self-talk goes on in my head.
And then it hit me. Why do I expect myself to be a brilliant writer when I sit down to write once or twice a month?
In fact, BECAUSE I only sit down once or twice a month to write, I have unknowingly created the expectation that those writing sessions must result in perfect, publishable material. I haven’t left myself any room to play, to noodle, to experiment.
And then when the day is done and I haven’t produced the high quality content I was hoping for, I brand myself a bad writer, an uncreative person, someone just not cut out for this whole blogging thing, making the process of sitting down the next time so much harder.
And so the cycle continues.
This is the very same cycle I see in others when it comes to cooking.
People tell me how they would really like to be more proficient in the kitchen, but every time they try to do something it backfires. They burn the food. They produce something bland and tasteless. They set fire to something in the microwave.
After these less than perfect outcomes occur, they berate themselves.
“See, I told you I am a lousy cook!”
“I am really just not cut out for this whole cooking thing.”
“Why can other people make this look so effortless and I can’t even do the most basic things in the kitchen?”
And the next time they think about cooking, they order out.
Becoming proficient in the kitchen is no different than becoming proficient at the keyboard.
Frequency creates mastery. Frequency creates creativity. Frequency creates excellence.
Each time you make a recipe, you begin to feel more confident in your abilities. You begin to feel freer to experiment. You begin to rely less and less on someone else’s idea for what the dish should be and begin to formulate your own thoughts on the flavors and methods to produce it.
But to reach this state of confidence and creativity, you need to create consistently. You need to keep showing up and trying, each and every day.
You need to provide yourself with the safe space to play.