Creating What You Really Want

Do you find yourself repeating behaviors that sabotage your creative work or your enjoyment of life? Self-sabotage started as a coping mechanism that helped us get through something difficult when we were younger. When the situation we were protecting ourselves from chages, we no longer need that coping mechanism. But it can be difficult to see how to let it go.

Taking a Leap of Faith

Think of the most important moments in your life, those that were inspired, those that brought you to a new level of understanding about what life means to you. Was art part of that? Was it something you read in a book or a piece of music your heard? A film you saw? Each of the creators of those works pushed past the internal and external voices that said, “Don’t bother.”

Find your way, no matter what.

When she worked up the courage to return to the stage, she knew her talent and skill was unquestionable. And if a booker (or audience member, or anyone) ever speaks unkindly again, she’ll know without a doubt that it’s because they had a bad day. And more importantly, she’s knows she’s earned her self-esteem and her place on stage.

Compare and despair? Or just be you.

I’d like to propose that the people you admire were not actually aiming for Success or Getting Things Right or Looking Good so much as being really curious about and exploring themselves and the world around them. They were becoming themselves, and the opportunities that arose came out of a willingness to take the risk of really knowing who they are. And things “all come together” at exactly the moment when you decide you’re ready for it.

The Possibility Tree

Perhaps you’re a violinist, and you know you want to get more work playing the violin. One possibility branch for getting more work would involve networking with other musicians at parties or at the symphony… Another possibility branch would involve building a website, posting examples of your work online, and attracting customers through internet searches. Yet another possibility branch could be learning new pieces of music and auditioning in different cities.

Dressing the Part

How we present ourselves is a manifestation of how we see ourselves, and a wish for how others might see us. I encourage you to experiment with your appearance. Step outside of your comfort zone. If you always wear suits or dresses, try putting on a crazy hat and wearing your clothes backwards to the park. Creativity is about exploring possibility, and it’s fueled by your willingness to be in the unknown.