Struggling with your creative project?
If you’re wanting to do something that’s creative, to write a book, start a project, advocate for a cause, design a program, make art or put something out into the world. Anything that’s at all creative, but there’s this part of you that is really resisting. It’s afraid, doubting, and throwing up all sorts of roadblocks. Every time you try to work on the project, you just freeze. Here’s my thoughts.
It’s hard to be creative when you’re afraid, because creativity is, at its essence, a vulnerable act. You’re putting something into the world that doesn’t yet exist, and that is vulnerable. You’re risking putting a lot of work, time, thought, effort and a lot of yourself into something that could be criticized, ridiculed or even defamed.
Maybe you had plenty of that when you were young. Maybe you were different from other kids, from your family or from the perceived standards of your society’s norms, and you got a lot of flack for that. So now you’re contemplating doing something that is intentionally risking bringing all of those bad feelings back.
Of course it’s going to be hard. Of course there’s going to be a part of you that is intensely resisting feeling like that again. It’s hard to be vulnerable when you’re afraid. It’s wired into our brains, into our nervous systems, to not do risky things when we’re vulnerable.
Find your safety
So in order to do something that’s creative, first you have to find safety. Do your creative work in a place where you are physically safe and remind yourself frequently that you are physically safe, at least right now. You need to do the inner work of comforting that part of you that has had experiences in which bringing something new, different and creative hasn’t always gone well.
You may not be able to promise that fearful part of you that everything is going to be fine, that everyone’s going to approve of what you put into the world, or everyone’s going to love you for it. Especially it’s a countercultural thing or something that you’re doing is challenging the status quo. However, you can reassure that part of you that you’ve been criticized before and you’ve survived. You’ve gotten through ridicule before, you know how to do that and you know how to do that again.
Wondering what else that fearful part of you needs to hear? What would be reassuring to that part of you? How would they feel safe enough to start getting curious about your project, and maybe even get on board with helping? Maybe they’ve got some interesting ideas? Maybe those interesting ideas come specifically from that place of pain, from the place of being countercultural, of being different?
Just some thoughts. Wondering if any of this is resonating for you? If you’d like to share in the comments, I’d love to hear that! If you want to keep it to yourself, that is great too! Anyway, I hope that you have a neurowonderful day.