Lesson 7 - The world can't make your decisions for you

We creative folk are pretty sensitive.  That’s usually a great thing.  We listen intently to people, are able to see various points of view, and take cues and inspiration from everywhere.

But because we are so impressionable, we often place more merit on the influence of others, or outside circumstances, than we give ourselves.

Which basically means that we give up control over our own decisions.

Here’s my story:

After getting a little tossed around by life for a few years, I had somehow reconciled myself to asking permission for everything.  How I “should” behave, work, spend my time and money.

To be fair, I needed some of those guiding hands to teach me things I was too young to know.  But I also spun in a lot of circles because I couldn’t figure out exactly how to place the overload of information in reference to my own sense of self.

So I (and I believe I’m not alone in this) assumed that those outside influences were right and I should do what they said.

For example, when I started my first interior design business, I believed that I had to do 100% of the work on my own, because I “shouldn’t” spend any money.  Imagine that, starting a business with a budget of zero.

Not only could I not spend money, but I also had to be perfect.  The perfect creative designer, the perfect analytical business developer, the perfect marketer, salesperson, project manager.   I needed to “pay my dues” by taking on as many clients as I possibly could…even if they paid diddly (which they did).

No pressure.

Everything I saw, or thought I saw, online and offline, showed me these people who were doing all of those things perfectly.  And no matter how impossible it was, I HAD TO be like that if I wanted to be successful.

Obviously that wasn’t sustainable.  It was a lesson I learned slowly and painfully until I finally understood that what you see in the world is not reality, and you can’t let what others are doing or telling you to do dictate your own decisions.

Only you have the clearest understanding of your desire and intention.  So while it’s good to be open-minded and seek help when you need it, it’s important that you do it from a place of inner stability.

Place the highest merit on your own feelings and opinions, and let the outside world add dimension to it rather than draw the lines for you.

Now I’d like to hear from you:  Do you feel like getting feedback (or looking at what others do) helps you make a better decision, or does it stifle your own inner-answer?  Share your thoughts in the comments!