Hello, friend. More times than I can count, I’ve heard people say – I can’t do art and almost 100% of the time, it’s because they are intimidated by it. I speak from my own experience when I tell you that just the thought of creating something can trigger big fear and resistance. It’s perfectly normal and it makes complete sense.
Why is that? Because it’s way more complicated than just the physical actions needed to slap some paint on paper or write a song. The act of creating based on what is in your own mind and heart is incredibly personal. If I could tell you that being a creative is always easy and fun, I would but I’m committed to honesty and so I want to tell you how it really is.
Bringing something new into the world that didn’t exist before, is inherently a teeny tiny bit risky, especially in a culture in which appearance matters and it sometimes seems that critical judgement and finger pointing is the order of the day. But I want to tell you that the result of being creative is 100% worth it. And guess what? For me, the risks associated with being creative hardly ever come to fruition. Let’s talk about those risks a little. What are they?
• That someone won’t like your work
• That someone will say something critical or mean about you or your work
• That YOU won’t like what you made
These things alone aren’t necessarily bad, they just ARE – it only starts to feel bad when your emotions get involved. It's the possibility of one of these things occurring makes us feel something negative and uncomfortable. Worried, anxious, fearful, embarrassed. These are all just feelings and take my word for it, they will pass. QUICKLY! This is how emotions are meant to work – they are signals to your internal landscape but they aren’t meant to stay forever. Creative work will help you process them and allow them to move along.
Did you notice that I said the possibility of these things occurring? This means that in many cases, we're investing a lot of strong emotion is a scenario that hasn't even happened. It's a story we're telling to ourselves and we can choose to give those stories less attention and weight.
You’ll find that pushing past the barrier is easier than you think and that it gets easier each time you do it. Plus, you don’t have to share your creative work unless you want to. It can just be between you and your own self if that feels best. The whole point of doing the kind of creative work that I teach is the PROCESS of it. The reaching and diving deep. When you learn to do that, you’ll also, by default, be practicing and strengthening some the critical skills of managing your fear along with risk (real or perceived), and becoming more comfortable with who you are inside. This is the super sweet hidden gem. This is the jackpot of a prize. This alone is worth any risk, real or imagined.
You don’t need to be intimidated by creative work because there are no rules unless you create them yourself. The process or the finished product don’t need to look or be any certain way. You don’t need to share your work unless you want to. Fancy supplies are not required. You can do it for 5 minutes at a time or spend an entire afternoon. YOU MAKE THE RULES and success is only defined by your criteria. If you find yourself a little intimidated, you’ve likely assimilated someone else’s expectations. I encourage you now, today, to drop those. Write them down if you need to then crumple up that sheet of paper. Then re-write the rules and make them easy and simple. Or maybe have no rules at all!
I’m heading into the studio, which might just be under a shady tree in the backyard today. I hope you find a peaceful place to explore today. Let’s commit together that we won’t let the expectations of the world push us around this week. xoxoxoxox
Who am I?
I’m a systems engineer and creative coach living in ABQ, NM. I believe that we can intentionally design our lives to align with our deepest dreams and desires.