I’ve written before about how time freaks me out, even though I know really there’s no point worrying over it. When I was a teenager I used to constantly fret over the things I wanted to do but I hadn’t done, feeling like time was slipping through my fingers. But it’s such a waste of time to worry about these things, and actually turns out to be counter-productive, even though it’s coming from a desire to be pro-active. It’s just another way of procrastinating.
This fretting was mainly over my creative hobbies, such as photography. I constantly wanted to be creating images and having photo shoots, and when it had been a while since I’d organised one, or wasn’t producing the kind of work I wanted to, I’d get really hung up on this, thinking “I should have done that already, why haven’t I already done that, I’m not good enough.” This attitude was extremely counter-productive, not only because it was a waste of time to worry so much, but also because it seemed to make me even less likely to do the things I wished I already had, as if I thought it was too late. Instead I just regretted not having done them, and felt anxious about the amount of time that had passed.
I think it was probably my lack of confidence that stopped me from doing some of the things I wanted, and so I felt even more frustrated, not just over the things I hadn’t done, but because I wasn’t confident enough to just do them, despite really, really wanting to. I desperately wished I had the confidence to just go out and create thing and make things happen. Lack of confidence is a horrible feeling, it can be so disabling, but I realised that the only way to gain more is to do more, to push yourself, and step out of your comfort zone.
While it’s great to always be striving to do more and to achieve a higher standard with your work, it’s never good to beat yourself up. I was always berating myself over the things I hadn’t done, rather than actually just doing them. So now, whenever similar thoughts pop into my head now, I just reject them. Because otherwise I will go back to fretting, and what’s the point in regretting things I haven’t done? Instead I just do them, or make a plan for when I will. This change of attitude has been liberating and so much more productive. In recent years I now always have multiple projects on the go, and often take on various other things on top of my main work. There are so many things I want to do, so I just try to do them.
If you find yourself feeling irritated because you haven’t yet started working on something you really want to, or for not having completed a project yet, well, there’s really no point feeling bad about it. I know that sometimes it can be hard not to, but you’re not helping yourself, and worrying won’t help or change anything, instead you are quite literally wasting time by worrying over wasted time. Just do those things now, it’s not too late!
I know that the often, the hardest part of many creative pursuits is just starting. But once you do, that’s it: you’ve got over that hurdle, and now you can really get stuck in and enjoy what you’re working on. Don’t forget to focus on the things that you have achieved, and your plans for what you want to do next, rather than becoming hung up on what you haven’t yet done. It doesn’t matter about what you may feel is lost time, as really, there is no rush, and nothing you can do to change it anyway, apart from just doing it now. So just get making those things happen!