Alicia2People will tell you things that are not helpful, for the sake of being helpful.

Especially if you’re an artist, entrepreneur, activist, or person inspiring change…

Sometimes they may even say it in the form of a question, so your answer appears to be your own, but your conclusion might actually be their opinion. Their concern. Their fear. Their block. Their own inner critic.

They might not even have to say anything to plant a seed of criticism. It could be a look or an action or even a place they disappear from your life. This critical voice can even come like a Trojan Horse, right from the inside of YOUR own head! Boy, do they “make sense”! Boy are they “helpful”! Boy, might they be uncomfortable with something… Questions like,

  • “Are you any good at it?” (This was the opening question from a guy I chatted with on Hinge recently when I said I do comedy and help people be funnier.)
  • “What are the chances of you actually making it (completing it/getting funded/winning)?”
  • “Is it even worth spending the (time/money/effort/political capital) on this?”
  • “Why aren’t you in (LA/New York/Berlin/Paris/DC) where everyone else is doing that?”

You may start to wonder yourself! You may wake up at 3 am and worry over them. These are some good frickin’ questions! Doubting is a subtle art. But take a moment to ask YOURSELF some questions… from whom are these questions coming? Is this someone I find inspiring? Are they taking the kinds of risks I take? Do I want to be like them?

They’ll say very reasonable things, “This is just to make sure you know what’s what about your art or your life. Just to make sure you’re grounded in reality.” But we know that “reality” as it is just breeds more of the same “reality” in the future. If you truly want to create, you must be… creative! You can discover, unfurl, and invent new ways of being, new ways of moving, new ways of thinking, even.

This doesn’t mean we ignore our current thoughts and feelings and contexts (or, say, spend the last dollar we have on an artistic project that won’t produce income); it just means we can choose to open to explore our own inner doorways in a way that’s not prescribed by TV, or the internet, or our family, or even our friends or artistic colleagues.

These questions can in fact be just the reminder you need to re-engage in your creative process and re-commit to turn that creative curiosity into an actual practice or that hobby into an actual profession. To wade in.

The truth is, you are infinite. You are real. You are opening. Even if it’s almost imperceptible. Notice how you are growing. Notice how you are changing. Notice how you are becoming. And then let that awareness flow out of you, and create from that place.

It’s never too late to learn to create.


Alicia Dattner

Comedian and Creatrix Alicia Dattner is an internationally-acclaimed, award-winning performer who loves to help others use the power of humor to transform their lives and write a new unfolding story for the world.


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