Do Something as I just can’t clear my mind of all the negative thoughts

by | Jul 3, 2018 | 0 comments

Let me start from the outset here I am not talking about mental health, least not mental health from an illness perspective but about having that feeling that you are paralysed by fear.  The negative thoughts surrounding the idea of doing something, in fact anything is so great you end up doing nothing. As was once remarked you never know what results you might get from doing something but you know exactly the result you will get from doing nothing, yes correct, nothing or to quote another “it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all..”

So lets do something, even something small because small things lead to bigger things, oh how this post is so full of cliches, I’m sorry but they are only there to highlight a point.  Do something.

Everyone of us has 5 minutes when we are not doing anything or not doing the things we were meant to do at least once per day.  I say once per day but really I mean multiple times per day. So rather than ‘waste’ them and sometimes standing there day-dreaming is not waiting time, why not day dream about there you want to be in 5 years time or if 5 years is too long how about 1 years time? What do you need to do to get there – loosing the fear to anything would be a great start.

Make a note of what you need to do to get there, break this down into small manageable steps and write them down on a spreadsheet or in a note book in the order that you need to complete them. Add dates as to when they need to be completed and also some notes about the  task you need to complete. Notes such as do I need to complete another task first, how am I going to contact X so that I can get to talk to Y.  Any resources that you might need in order to complete the task, such as articles, books, online videos etc – you get the idea and then one final set of columns that have the approximate cost to complete the task and the available budget you have available for the task in hand.  Write down all your costs associated with the task as this will get you into the good practice of really delving into the costs and revenues of each project that you complete, pitch for, apply for.  It will give you an idea of how sustainable or how profitable the project is – are you even going to break even on it.


Now take a diary or a piece of paper, put tomorrows date on it and put the first task at the top of the page. Did i say that I had a fear of doing anything? Seems that in the last 5 minutes I’ve started to scope out a project that I need to complete. OK so I only sat and thought about it as the real action starts tomorrow but immediately I can see that it has focused the mind and a number of those negative thoughts have somehow, strangely disappeared and for the first time in a long time the future seems bright, or to add another cliche, the futures so bright I’ve got to wear shades!!!

Its really amazing what you can do when you focus.  The mind starts working overtime, like a working dog, it needs something to do and the less you give it to do in a positive way the more it produces subconscious thoughts in a negative way.  It is only asking you to think but in a non-rational, non-linear manner.  A manner that can be so destructive. to us and our ability to move forward.  Now not for one second am I saying that this will change every negative thought into a positive one as some times the negative or questioning thought can be great for moving an idea forward, if you don’t believe me then take a look at Edward de Bono’s 6 Hats where 2 of the hats are the negative and questioning hats, but more on ideation and creative thinking another time. In the meantime bask in the glory of having scoped out a project and setting yourself up to start the first task.

Ian Oliver

Ian Oliver

Head of Artistic & Creative Entrepreneurship


Building change for Sustainable Creative Careers

Ian has over 15 years’ senior management and entrepreneurial experience in the Arts, creative and technology Sectors and 4 years’ experience working with Local Government, Local Enterprise Offices, Local Arts Offices, Arts Organisations and Venues, Universities, Businesses and Community Groups throughout Ireland, auditing and engaging the artistic and creative community within specific geographic regions.

Currently Ian is working on advising and designing sustainable projects that utilise art and creativity as the main driver to effect sustainable economic and social change.  He also teaches and mentors artistic and creative entrepreneurship training to adult learners and undergraduate students.

Ian’s experience includes developing and implementing business / career / marketing strategies, marketing, business development, digital media, digital content creation, communications, project management, developing business, marketing and digital media strategies and implementation, project development, management and budgeting, resource management, team development and cohesion, training and training distribution methods for clients, staff and stakeholders.

Ian regularly gives papers on Artistic & Creative Entrepreneurship including:

  • What is Creative Entrepreneurship, Trans National Creative Exchange, Solent University Southampton, October 2015;
  • The Role of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, Developing Talent and Opportunities, Slovak Government as part of their EU Presidency, Bratislava, September 2016;
  • Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts, 20th Anniversary Conference, University of Pécs, Hungary, November 2016;
  • Developing a Creative Model Canvas, 3E Conference, Cork, May 2017.

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