Being too self-conscious & Alan Alda

Being too self-conscious & Alan Alda

1 min read

When it comes to creative actions, one of the main obstacles is being too self-conscious about your work DURING the process.

This obstacle of being self-conscious serves an obvious purpose, it's intention is to stop you from putting out bad stuff into the world. This is of course a layered obstacle, it is a realm of elements because we are not talking about perfectionism.

The point with this particular post is to touch on when you are too self-conscious when you are creating your idea. This can also be applied when you are writing it out.

To be clear, it is fine to be self-conscious, and it serves a purpose, but as with all my teaching nothing is useless, and there are no hindrances, however, it is only a matter of training them (yourself) to give them an orderly time and place to give their feedback. Because typically being self-conscious drops in and out unannounced like an annoying neighbor.

What we want to do is to establish borders, and discipline visiting hours.
For example, maybe self-consciousness can be allowed to reflect on your work AFTER you have sprinted out a creative session?

I have found the following example one of the most effective ways to point out the difference between being too self-conscious versus diving into your creative idea.

Actor Alan Alda makes his acting students aware of this phenomenon with a simple exercise. First, he asks them to cross the stage with an empty class. The person will be very self-conscious about their walk and physical demeanor. In the second part of the exercise, the students have to perform the same action, but with a full glass of water.

Actor Glass of Water (taken on its holiday in Austria in 1993)