The Emotional Journey of Creating Anything Great [Infographic]

Are you working on something now and feeling the pain of the creation process? Today’s infographic is about the emotional journey most people go through when trying to create something great:

The Emotional Journey of Creating Anything Great [Infographic]

(Click image for larger version)

Here are the different stages of this journey:

  1. “This is the best idea ever!!” — When you just come up with a new goal
  2. “This will be fun” — Getting started…
  3. “This is harder than I thought” — Taking the first few steps
  4. “This is going to be a lot of work” — Getting into the thick of things…
  5. “This sucks I have no idea what I’m doing” — When you realize that this is harder than you thought
  6. “#%@}!!!!!!!!!!!” — When you’ve invested way too much time and energy into this, but things aren’t turning out the way you want
  7. “Ok but it still sucks” — When you see some results, but there’s still much to be done
  8. “Quick, let’s call it a day and say we learned something” — When you feel like giving up
  9. “Hmm…”
  10. “Hey!”
  11. “Wow” — #9 to #11: The Creation Process™
  12. “This is one of the things I am most proud of” — Reaching the finishing line!

Having completed several book projects before, I can relate to this.

The contrast between Stages #1 and #5 is normal as many people severely underestimate the work needed for a goal. It’s only when we start working on it that we realize it’s not as easy as it seems.

Stage #6 is what I call development hell. This is when you are deep in the goal and experiencing all the difficulties and challenges. You have to really push through to get past this stage. This is also when you decide if you really want this enough to continue.

There are mentions of “Belief/Persistence” and “Family+Humour,” which are important factors to get you through this journey. Having the belief and persistence to tackle the obstacles. Having the support of loved ones and being able to laugh when the going gets tough.

As you can see, most people start off optimistic about their goals, but experience self-doubt or even think about giving up when they face one hurdle after another. I have gone through this before, especially in book writing.

If you’re working on a goal (such as an app, a book, or a business) and facing a roadblock, know that you’re not alone. Here are my tips to push through:

  1. Understand that the effort to create anything great is often 100-1000X of what people think. The difficulty you’re facing is not specific to you but something everyone faces. The people who can get past the dark swamp are those who reach the other end.
  2. Create a plan to address the obstacles. What’s blocking you now? How can you address it? Can you get help? Can you join a peer group or consult someone?
  3. Break your goal down into milestones. Then, break each milestone into little steps. Focus on just one step at a time.
  4. Get support. Is there anyone you can consult or connect with? If not, can you get emotional support, say from family and friends?
  5. Take a few steps back. Things can seem disastrous when we are working on a goal, but that’s because we’re looking too closely and lacking a big picture. Go back to the drawing board. Ask yourself, Why am I working on this? Why is this important to me?
  6. Don’t forget self-care. This goes out of the window when we’re working on a goal, but you need to rest and care for yourself to get anywhere far.

If something doesn’t seem to be working, review and change your approach. Be okay to change your goal if it’s not working for you; there’s nothing wrong with that.

Hang in there, we’re all in this together! Hug smiley


Note: I didn’t create this infographic and couldn’t find the source, so if you know the original creator, let me know.