There Is No Right Way to Do This

The Right Way Fallacy

Don’t look for the right way to be creative. Sometimes, the mistakes are the best parts.

Herbert Lui
6 min readMay 20, 2021


Image: Fighting Orchids, Janus de Winter, 1917/Rijksstudio

Perfectionism is deceptive; it does its work in many disguises. One of these is in seeking permission to do what you want to do, through excessive research and looking for some version of “the right way.”

It’s natural to crave certainty. We want structure to take less risk. We want a “tried and true” method that generally works. And we, as the people in this case, tend to confuse this feeling of certainty with objective likelihood.

Savvy marketers, authors, teachers, and information entrepreneurs notice this craving. Perhaps with the best of intentions (but many times with a profit motive), they attempt to make specific experiences and advice general.

But a lot of times, it just doesn’t work. The main reason is because:

Each individual person has specific personalities, preferences, and strengths. The circumstances are also specific; but they are also complex, in that they change.

But still, with so many “successful” and seemingly credible people claiming their way is best, the implicit — and perhaps charitably, unintended — message gets across:

Try this way. It’s the right way.

This is completely BS in creativity. There is no right way to be yourself. The only wrong way is to wait and not do anything. The right way is any way that gets you to take action. In fact, all this story has done is hold us back. While a specific way may have worked for a specific person, there’s no guarantee it works for the rest of us.

But, still, we buy into the persuasion of the right way fallacy. So we wait, precious weeks, months, years, or even decades for the stars to align, to find permission, to buy a course, or to hope that we feel prepared to be creative and pursue our passions the right way.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

The term “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” (FUD) is commonplace and prominent enough to have its own Wikipedia page. A person using FUD persuades people to do what they suggest by appealing…



Herbert Lui

Covering the psychology of creative work for content creators, professionals, hobbyists, and independents. Author of Creative Doing: