The relationship you have with yourself can directly affect your creativity. When faced with the blank canvas or computer screen, you must also face your internal process. How you relate to yourself can influence the degree of creativity. Since creating is often done in isolation, it is how you cope with bouts of self-doubt, anxiety and self-criticism that can make a difference. Do you believe in your ability and talent to succeed? Are you able to connect to your art and make meaning of it? How you deal with these issues can either enhance the flow of creativity or end up in Creative Block.
We all have an inner voice, whether it derives from our parents, teachers or ourselves, it serves as a constant stream of feedback. If this feedback resembles that of a critical and judgmental voice this can block the creative process. It is important not only to recognize the irrational quality of self-defeating thoughts, but also question the validity of them. How you respond to this internal dialogue can shape your productivity. In order to sustain motivation and inspiration it’s essential to develop a nurturing, kind and supportive voice. Part of developing this internal support is allowing yourself to make mistakes or fail. This is a natural part of any creative process.
It takes courage to commit yourself to a creative profession and pursue your artistic passion. Having to face repeated rejection and disappointments can lead to questioning the level of your talent and creativity. It’s common for creative individuals to view their abilities as lacking. They discount their work by attributing it to luck or accident, eventually believing their work has no value. You don’t have to believe entirely in your own talent to succeed, but you must at least have the drive to develop it. Part of sustaining faith in yourself, as an artist, is remembering past accomplishments. It’s also important to frequently revisit the reasons you chose to do this work.
Creative individuals often have their work minimized by friends and family. Instead of receiving support, they endure being repeatedly told to get a real job. It’s no wonder over time many creative individuals lose a sense of self-worth, eventually believing they are undeserving of success. Our society continues to reinforce the idea that self-worth is measured by one’s accomplishments, rarely giving credit to the actual process. Ascribing to this view can restrict how you reach your goals as well as your creativity. How you tolerate and manage the skepticism of others will determine how well you continue to pursue your art. Are you able to let the negative comments bounce off, determined not to let them affect your aspirations? Or are you easily swayed by the doubts and criticism of others, leaving you feeling too discouraged to create?
In the midst of creating, you have to face aspects of who you are. For some, this brings about a flood of anxiety too uncomfortable to tolerate. For that reason many creative individuals resort to avoidance, procrastination or even self-medicating as a way to escape themselves. This diminishes their creativity and ultimately ends up in Creative Block. It is important to know yourself and embrace all parts of who you are in order to survive the challenges that accompany creating. It takes courage to face yourself and especially confront what surfaces during the creative process. For this reason, it is essential to relate to yourself in a kind and compassionate way. By developing a healthy and nurturing relationship with yourself, you tap into a well of self-sustaining creativity. You cultivate ongoing motivation and inspiration not dependent on external resources, instead comes from within.
© Copyright 2010 by Lisa Riley. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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