171 lower the bar

keith haring |year of creative habitsToday I attended a talk given by a child psychologist about gifted students and brain development. One of the topics she talked about was low self-esteem. This can occur when there's a big gap between our idealized self and our actual self. You might know that feeling. Your skills are at one level and you'd like them to be at another. When that happens, we get down on ourselves. We get frustrated with our efforts and sometimes give up. It reminded me a lot of the creative process. We have this idea of what we want to create and struggle with the skills to make it happen. It was interesting to think about how everyone has experienced this in some area of their life from writing to drawing to sports. It's typical of us all when we are learning something new. She said that what you have to do to close that gap between your actual self and your idealized one is not only work to improve your skills but also lower the bar. Set smaller goals. Build yourself up a notch and then set another manageable goal. Baby steps, remember. Then build on those small wins. Once you've had a success, you can try to replicate it. Success breeds success. Practice makes perfect better.