The blank page and fear of judgment often have a close relationship—but you can flip the script.
Perfectionism is not as much the desire for excellence,Dan Miller
as it is the fear of failure couched in procrastination.
Confronting the Fear of Judgment
A couple of months ago, I sat down to write a piece on how to transform hustle culture for Authority Magazine. I had already mapped out large content chunks in my head, knew the direction I would take the writing, and felt excited to dig into one of my favorite topics.
I fired up my laptop and began looking over the interview questions posed by the magazine.
Like a strange summer storm that comes out of nowhere on a sunny day, the curtain came down on my thinking. An anxiety blast burned the center of my stomach. I stared at the screen and tried to jumpstart the dead battery between my ears.
After a few minutes, my defiant brain simply said, “Nope.”
I sighed, closed my laptop, and put on my sneakers. I set out on a walk along Nice’s port to sort out the root of the trouble. I found a bench and took out my journal. I wrote in a torrent of whining punctuated by bursts of frustration and had no trouble finding the words to capture my petulant mood.
On the way back home, I realized my fear of judgment was the culprit. I stood in the middle of the Sentier du Bord de Mer (seaside path) and nearly shouted at the waves, “THAT OLD CHESTNUT?!”
The oldie from the jukebox of Clipboard Susie’s brain was spinning and on full blast because my subconscious had decided that the anticipated visibility of the magazine piece was due cause to press pause.
Journaling Out of Perfectionism
I raced back to the villa, got out my palette, and put down about six blobs of paint. Without designing or composing, I dug my brush into the blobs and mixed a “mother color” from each. I found a blank journal page and started coating the surface. Shapes. Swirls. Sharp lines and smears.
Bold moves and marks. I closed my eyes and painted blind. I used a palette knife to scratch through layers and dabbed paint with my fingers. I relaxed and played.
After ten minutes or so, I surveyed what I had on the page. Some of it I liked, some not so much. A few interesting color combinations caught my eye, and I made a mental note. What I really liked was how I felt.
Triumphant. Confident. Connected.
I returned to the magazine piece and found the rhythm and flow of my ideas as they met the land of language.
Kant said that the hand is the window to the mind. I know this to be true as it is by moving our hands that we access our creativity backchannels. Not only is it fun and freeing to play around with an art page in a journal, but it is also positively deadly to Perfectionism and Procrastination, it walks through the Fear of Judgment.
Most of us believe the cultural lie that creativity/making something is only for a select few and that in any case, it has no relevance to our lives and businesses. Know this: Tapping into our innate creativity is the skeleton key that unlocks everything within us.
“How Do I Get Over My Fear of Judgment?”: Implementing The Buoyant MatrixTM
It is so vital, so powerful, that I created an easy way to develop a journaling practice that we all can fold right into our busy lives. It is a whole-brain journaling system (called The Buoyant Matrix™) that liberates ideation from our soulful, creative center. No art experience or “talent” is required!
The Buoyant MatrixTM is for you if:
- You’re a writer, visionary leader, speaker, and/or entrepreneur looking for an easier way to surface your Big Ideas and creative mojo in a state of calm confidence.
- You are craving an analog system for capturing, indexing, and mining your research, notes, and thoughts that surfaces throughlines with ease.
- You’re in a time of transition and desire better access to your intuition for guiding your way.
- You crave more synchronicity, courage, and creativity in all aspects of your business and life.
- You want the benefit of a whole-brain journaling system that will spark your ability to access the best of both your intuitive imagination and intellect.
It is an incredibly fun and powerful way to surface what you most want to say, teach, and convey to those you most want to reach, impact, and transform.