Barton Goldsmith Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Psychotherapist Dr. Barton Goldsmith shares his tips on how to collaborate with others to become your best self.
Believing in yourself completely is a little like unconditional love: It is all too rare.
I don’t mean to depress you, but that’s the reality for most of us earthlings.
That’s why it’s so important to gather those moments of self-belief together to get the inspiration you need. If you don’t trust yourself enough, it’s hard to let others in.
You can’t do everything on your own. And in all aspects of life, it’s pretty tough to create anything larger than yourself if everything you work on has to be all yours. Collaborating with others allows you to add a new dimension to your life and your work. And collaboration means trusting others and yourself to come up with something good.
Here’s an example of how self-belief begins and then can go sideways.
You start with an idea and do what you can to bring it to life. You involve other people, and they bring in new ideas. Then what started off as an expression of your deeper self becomes a group project, and you may fear that your original vision is getting distorted.
As a writer, I have no one else in my head. If that writing becomes a column and that column becomes a book or a television show, then my brain and creativity get populated with many other voices, and my ideas get shifted.
This is not bad; it’s just part of the process. The trick is not to get your ego bent if all your ideas aren’t taken in the form you presented them. This is true collaboration, and the most talented people in the world use it.
For example, George Harrison was in a little band called the Beatles and he was working on a song titled “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” He brought the song to the band, and they didn’t think it was strong enough, so he called his buddy Eric Clapton, who added a couple of his touches to it, and it became a hit. Justin Bieber went through the same thing with “Love Yourself” and sent it to Ed Sheeran for a polish.
It’s great to have talented people working with you, and you can trust that the people whom you’ve chosen are creative and smart enough to help you get the job done or you would not have picked them. Then you can create your artwork, your business or your life in a way that allows you to express yourself while encompassing the best others can offer.
It’s satisfying to remember you inspired this project, a fact that will never change or go away.
Unfortunately, I have seen people overly worry about losing control. But that worry just causes you stress, and things won’t turn out as well. You have to learn to let go a little and see what others can bring. If it’s not exactly what you want, you can always add a few more touches, like Clapton did for Harrison, and make it a hit.
Right now is when we need new ideas. We need them implemented as soon as possible, and that takes a village. Luckily, most of us have a desire to be part of something larger than ourselves.
(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of "The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.")
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