The High Bar of Expectations Can Crush Our Creativity

By Leo Babauta
Leo Babauta
Leo Babauta
Leo Babauta is the author of six books and the writer of Zen Habits, a blog with over 2 million subscribers. Visit ZenHabits.net
June 23, 2021 Updated: June 23, 2021

I have clients who really set high standards for themselves: They want to write amazing blog posts, create inspiring music and profound works of art, or start a thriving business that reaches hundreds of thousands of people.

These are beautiful aspirations, and I love what we are aiming for. It’s amazing!

And yet, if you are setting out to create a masterpiece, what does that intent do to you when you’re facing a blank page or canvas? It can bring immense fear of underperforming, of falling short of our hopes and dreams.

These expectations can often crush the creativity we start out with.

So should we have zero goals or expectations, no standards, and no hopes and dreams?

I say let yourself show up and create, from a place of aliveness, a place of play, adventure, creativity, and joy.

We don’t need to burden ourselves with high expectations. See what flows from your heart, imagination, and joyful being.

At some point, we’ll need to bring in our craft, and refine. Edit, toss out, and discern. But not when we’re creating—let that be free, abundant, and open!

Leo Babauta is the author of six books; the writer of Zen Habits, a blog with more than 2 million subscribers; and the creator of several online programs to help you master your habits. Visit ZenHabits.net

Leo Babauta
Leo Babauta
Leo Babauta is the author of six books and the writer of Zen Habits, a blog with over 2 million subscribers. Visit ZenHabits.net