Let me tell you a story. See if you resonate with any or all of it.
You are a creative human, introverted or not. You have dreams of expressing your creativity in ways that feel right for you. You long to create amazing things, you cannot not create, sometimes you doubt the wonderful things you are capable of making and bringing into this world, you dream big and courageously, you have the urge to bring meaning to your life through your art but doubt yourself and your abilities or you don’t quite see what it would look like – you living their truth out loud, taking up space and claiming your energies to build a wholehearted creative life that would work for you.
You recognize yourself as a creative human who’d love to create but is afraid of acknowledging it even to your own self. There are stories. Oh so many of them that you picked along the way. Maybe your parents told you art is not a real career. Maybe your teacher said you aren’t good or meant for art or creativity… and so many more.
And now, you believe them all.
What if I fail, what if my art is stupid, what if I’ll end up embarrassing myself, what if I didn’t get it quite right or worst failed, what if I started trying but already am feeling too overwhelmed with millions of ways they could be moving further in.
You are courageous, insightful, full of talent and wonders but lost contact with your inner creative somewhere along the way and worst of all started ignoring the call to listen inward to what you know to be true. You learned to apply your critical thinking skills to your own dreams for creative pursuits and started playing the skeptic instead of being an ally to yourself.
A spark of an idea comes and you feel that nudge inside you again to give it a go, pick up that paintbrush, sit down and write the plot of that novel that’s been forming in the back of your head for a while or to take that photograph you’ve been dreaming about and see what your work is capable of but then reality sets in. You leave it at that. Sometimes even put it in a box and keep it somewhere safe. Safe enough that you forget where you’ve placed it and you keep on going with your days avoiding the urge to open that box.
And still, there is a desire in you to break free of those expectations, burdens of someone else’s opinions, and stories that you’ve been carrying around and try and find out…
What it could look like if I started living my truth out loud?
What it would look like if I started creating anyway and figuring out ways to show up while feeling oh so afraid?
You intuitively know this is something where your heart belongs and this is what you want to be doing, creating and sharing.
But now, you are done feeling sorry for yourself.
You are ready to connect or reconnect to that creative part of you. You are at a point in your life where it feels like a do or die moment. You are not sure if you can ignore that creative side of yours any further or you have already begun taking small steps towards your aspirations and in making them happen and realizing how hard it is. It has started to feel lonely and scary but no one else in the real world seems to care about those creative projects of yours. (I get it!)
You want to show up in whatever capacity you can, allow it to grow and see where it might lead you. You long for creative fulfillment and confidence. You want to stop sacrificing your dreams for everyone else.
You want to believe that it could be something real, something that could bring you immense joy and content. It is hard, isn’t it?
To believe in yourself, to claim some space for yourself, to say what you really want and to live your truth out loud.
You find yourself wondering if it is lack of determination or that you are not the creative type or you are waiting for inspiration to come to you or maybe you are not skilled enough yet or you don’t know enough yet or you don’t have enough time to be creative and mess around and make things. You are waiting for a perfect day and time in life to begin and get it right from the beginning.
You keep taking courses, find mentor and coaches but don’t see it happening for yourself just yet.
Can I point out a little something that is hard to hear? That perfect day and time may never come. I know it because I have lived it myself. I have been there myself. I made myself believe that I didn’t know enough yet even after being a practicing designer for more than 11 years. I graduated in 2008 and I haven’t stopped designing/ creating ever since in one form or another. I was still convinced I didn’t know enough yet.
Cherry on top: I fell for the marketing tactics that played off my need to feel an expert, knowledgeable enough and confident enough to take the next steps and actually claim some space for myself. You know exactly what I mean, right?
Here’s the thing: You are entirely capable of achieving anything you set your mind to. If you are waiting to feel ready, you might be waiting forever. You just need to give yourself permission to feel ready and begin despite feeling that fear.
You are enough as you are.
Truth is no e-course or coaching program can do that for you. It requires you to take the responsibility, understand the underlying mindset beliefs, stories and obstacles and figure out ways to be in the world which are true to you. No outside source can validate your inherent worth.
You don’t need a course or any coaching to make you feel whole again.
You can most certainly benefit from them in learning and keep growing but you don’t need them. What you need is to trust that you are enough as you as, capable of figuring it out as you go and the most important voice you need to listen is yours very own. You are worthy of living a creative life on our own terms, in our own time and in our own unique, messy and human way. You can’t just see it now and that’s okay too! Sometimes when we are too deep in it is hard to zoom out and see the bigger picture again.
If you are buying courses or investing in coaching for the wrong reasons and don’t see things happening for you yet then maybe consider asking yourself, what is it really that is standing in my way? See if you are not giving yourself permission to feel ready. If that’s the case, by all means, write one for yourself or save this one to remind you.
That being said, this is not to deny the power of being seen, heard and deeply understood or the impact of having support and accountability in your life.
Figure out ways in which you can hold yourself accountable alone or with the help of someone else be a coach or a self-learning e-course or a community. There are no one-size-fits-all formulas. You might work best alone. You might work best with the help of a strongly supportive and passionate community. You might work best in a 1:1 coaching space.
You are the best judge of what works for you the best. Don’t fall prey to the cookie-cutter methodologies if you are looking forward to building a creative life that would work for you. The most important piece of that puzzle is you.