If you dream of building a creative work and life practice that works for you, it all has to come from you. If we start listening and believing what everyone else is saying and doing, we lose ourselves in that noise. We can’t focus on what really matters to us and what really does and doesn’t work for us.
You can not outsource the vision you have for your life from an external source. This is not to say they don’t have anything valuable to add but you have to be intentional about the voices you let in when you are figuring out your very own version. They are sharing what matters to them, what worked for them, and how you can replicate that. That’s valuable indeed but not entirely. It is their version. If you want exactly the same things, way to go! But if you want a version that is truer to you, you have to let it come from you.
I know it is far easier said than done. Before starting this journey of finding what works for me, I never knew that I had an inner mentor. I never knew that I could, in fact, turn inwards, be still and listen to what she had to say. I never knew I could trust her. I never knew she was in it with me all this time.
I am a big believer in becoming self-aware. You have to become really clear about what you genuinely want. You can not outsource that vision of yours. After all, if you are on a journey of building a creative work and life practice that works for you, it really has to come from you.
When we outsource that vision, we end up designing a life that we think we should have wanted and not the one which we actually want. If the should do’s are standing in your way and you find it hard to navigate them in your creative work and life, you might find this episode of the podcast helpful. When you listen to what everyone else is saying, you end up feeling confused and overwhelmed. It dilutes your own voice. You have a hard time in differentiating between the voice of your own intuition and the messages you’ve collected from all that research and listening to all those external voices. Listening to all those external voices also leads to the comparison which we all know is unhealthy.
I want to share my own experience of learning that actually what I needed to learn was to believe in myself and trust that all the answers I am seeking outside of me are all actually inside of me, already.
When I first started, this is the mistake I made. I was reading everything I possibly could, binge listening to podcasts, buying every course I came across, and hoping that it would do the trick for me if I just learn how to do all these things from all these different people.
I was wrong. Even though the knowledge sure was useful but none of it was actually helping me in building the kind of life I wanted. It was actually quite the opposite. I wanted to have creative freedom, more time, and genuine connections. It all started to seem a bit pointless. All those strategies and all those lists of things I should be doing if I wanted x, y, and z was making me feel rather overwhelmed and confused. It was confusing mainly because there were all these different versions of what was the right way or what was the wrong way. A lot of conflicting ideas.
I was also of the view that if I could just learn how to do all this, spend countless hours learning before actually stepping in the doing, I will be able to create the kind of life I want after it is all set and figured out. I didn’t think I had permission to design it from the inside out. I have seen my coaching clients make the same mistake. Thinking if we could just make it happen in our work and our businesses then we will make time to sit down and evaluate what kind of life we want to live.
This is what I tell them and I wish I could go back in time and tell myself this:
Darling, it doesn’t work like that.
That is the route to overwhelm and burnout. Why not start with the foundations and align our creative work and life from the very beginning and be very intentional about the voices we let in?
This is how you truly step into your own power.
That life you dream about is, in fact, possible for you, too!
You can make it happen by stepping into your own power and listening to your intuition.
This is what designing an intentional life from the inside out looks like and not the other way around.
This is the journey of uncovering and embracing your wild.
I was approaching it the opposite way. I was spending time researching, learning and believing everything everyone else was telling me to want and believe even though most of it wasn’t actually sitting well with my values but I thought, hey! all of these other people are doing it, saying it is all wonderful and great – I want that too, so I will give it a try. Nope still wasn’t working.
At one point, I even thought I need to want to have a six-figure business. I do. Everyone else is wanting it too. This must be one of those things I am supposed to want.
Nope. It wasn’t me.
Until I realized what was actually going on, I was trying to be everything. I was in that vicious cycle of researching, trying to learn everything I possibly could, following all the advice, and trying each and everything I possibly could. What was going on was that I was outsourcing the answer to the most important decisions of my life from all outside sources. I was outsourcing the vision from my life. I wasn’t sure what I wanted so everything that came in my way, that made me feel like I needed it, I said yes to it. It all started to shift for me when I cultivated habits that supported me in building that connection to my intuition and started investing in my personal development, reading more and engaging more and more with my own self in those conversations, asking deeper questions and actually trying to find their answers on my own instead of signing up to everything I possibly could, downloading every workbook that I could and never actually sitting down to work through them.
It also started to make me feel that I was not authentic or original enough. Everything I wanted to do or talk about was already out there. My research was making me feel like I was not needed. My voice was not needed which is, of course, not the truth. Your story is unique to you and the mere fact that it is your story makes it worthy of being shared.
Until I learned to sit down with myself, have a conversation without judgment, and allow myself the space to name and claim what I actually want.
I don’t want a six-figure business. I don’t want to manipulate people into buying something from me. I don’t like pushing people. I don’t like doing webinars where nothing is actually helpful but it is only a sales pitch. I don’t want to be that person. I am not that person. I don’t need six-figures to be happy. Sure, they would be nice but that is not my main goal and neither is what I am working towards. I am working towards building the kind of creative work and life practice that would work for me. I want it to be slow and simple. I want it to be inspiring and not pushy or salesy. I want to have space to work on my creative projects and be financially stable. I want to connect with other creative humans and support them in their journey as it is what brings me joy.
I became very conscious of the things I paid attention to and I started to filter the content, information, and knowledge I was taking in and also intentionally filtered the people who I was taking it from. I made conscious efforts to unfollow from everyone and everything that didn’t make me feel good about myself. That made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.
I held space for my vision, my dreams, and my hopes. I also started to cultivate habits and rituals that support that connection to my intuition. Journaling, investing in 1:1 coaching, reading, finding the relevant support, connecting with like-minded humans on a deeper level, walks in nature, and simply finding ways to be still enough to listen to what my inner mentor had to say. It resulted in beautiful mindset shifts.
Things also started to shift for me in my creative work and in my business. I became more and more clear on what I actually wanted my life to look like. I wrote down the vision I had and imagined where would I like to see myself down the road in five years? I questioned, what it would look like? what would it feel like to be there?
Simple, slow, creatively fulfilling, and inspiring.
I started taking tiny steps towards making those changes in my daily life. Not only designing my ideal days but actually making efforts to translate them into my present.
I limited my intake of the knowledge and information and I started to find pockets of time to actually sit down, reflect and ask myself deeper questions and then hear those answers from my inner mentor without judgment or belittling myself. I made space for those ideas to come to the surface. I embraced them. I let them guide me and my decisions. I became clear on what I genuinely want and what steps can I take to make sure that I am becoming that person I dream of becoming down that road, slowly and intentionally.
When you listen to external voices it becomes another source of should or shouldn’t do’s. Good or bad. Right or wrong. You have this one beautiful life. How you want to spend it is entirely up to you. You have the power to choose no matter what everyone else says. I don’t want you to live this life and not actually live it.
Let’s not let that vision of a more beautiful and truer life of yours just be a dream.
This is why I call it uncovering and embracing your wild.
If any of this resonates with you, I’d like to invite you to check out my new group program Embrace. It is a mixture of mastermind and group coaching. It is the one offering I wish someone had offered me when I was first starting out. You can read more about it and sign up here.
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Every other Sunday I write and share personal letters with my community. They are an amalgamation of personal stories and insights around building a creative work and life practice that would work for you. I’d love for you to come and join the inner circle.