Feb 1, 2018
3 min

How To Grow Into An Identity

One thing we hear often when people start to feel the urge to leap into creativity is the fear of being wrong. We're afraid of feeling like we made a huge decision to leave our job or change our path, to find that the feeling that inspired us was fleeting.

We hear stories of how creative entrepreneurship has changed people's lives so immensely, it only makes sense that the jump was equally massive. If you're gonna reap the benefits of an "all-in" industry, you probably just have to know right away. We see the lives of the most successful creative entrepreneurs and it can look like every step of the journey was all-in.

All of that is completely false. Creativity, calling and entrepreneurship are things that can be nurtured, studied and tested. When we start thinking that we need to know exactly how we feel about every decision before we even make it, we'll never win.

Becoming Anything, Takes Time

Just like growing a company, becoming a creative (or anything for that matter) is about allowing yourself to live into that identity bit by bit.

An ultra-successful photographer didn't start that way. They started with 1 client, just like you. Even better, they started as someone thinking about whether they could even be a photographer. Regardless of the speed you go or how quickly you come to trust the calling you've felt, the process of becoming what you are is exactly that: a process.

Give yourself space to become something new; to see yourself as something new and see how it feels. That isn't half-assing it. That isn't not believing in yourself. That's not being too safe. That's just going after it the smart way.

Macro Vision, Micro Steps

The macro vision could be becoming an ultra successful creative entreprneur, but that vision can't exist without micro steps. Start looking for opportunities to do the thing you're thinking of little by little. Instead of jumping ahead to how you're possibly gonna quit your full-time job to start working for yourself, carve some time out at night or on the weekends to spend windows living into that opportunity.

Don't expect yourself to understand all the details of the process before you've even stepped into it. Join a group on Facebook. Meet up with people living the passion you're considering. See how you feel around them. See if you pick things up.

Social media isn't just a thing to laugh at memes on. It's a place to be inspired. A place, dare I say it, to study. If you want to be something, devote actual time to learning about it from the very best, instead of scrolling through 100 posts aimlessly.

You may find yourself slowly, maybe even subconsciously adding more time to devote to this window you've created. You may find yourself catching on-to things you didn't before and thinking about it more regularly. All of this adds up to give you more concrete evidence and information to draw from when you have to make bigger decisions. And in the process of living into a new identity, slowly, you will still have done exactly that. You can claim a new part of yourself.

If you spent 2 hours a week designing logos more than you did the week before, you're living into a new identity. If you bought a starter camera and tried out some new techniques you read about in a group over the weekend, you're living into a new identity. When I joined Dubsado, I started part-time. I was afraid of tech startups. Afraid of using my creativity. It took months of living into that identity, for me to know I wanted to take the leap. I wouldn't trade that process for anything.

Don't doubt your process. Just start it.

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