Why Not You? The Simple Steps to getting past those lurking thoughts of "Who am I to do this creative thing?"
So many times during my process of writing the Art Nurture book, I thought to myself, "Who am I to do this? Why will people care what I have to say?"
It seems funny to think, because truthfully, I am on a daily basis seeing evidence that folks want to hear from me about creativity. I've been writing about creativity and the creative process going on 5 years now. I'm filled with gratitude that my inbox is full of requests for more Art Nurture goodness. I talk about it, I research it, and I live it out.
...The moment I really got serious about writing Art Nurture: The Simple Guide to Cultivating Your Creativity, I was flooded with those anxious thoughts that flood any creative before they make a "thing".
You got it, I'm not immune. I feel the same stuff every time I go to make a "thing".
Because making a "thing" is a process. There are many hundreds of teeny tiny steps in that process. Many chances to bauble. Many chances to doubt. Many chances to mess up. Tons of broken places for vulnerability to shine. It's a total mess....and I love it for that, you see, because the creative process is a humbling one.
It brings you face to face with your deepest desires and your deepest fears.
It brings you face to face with the best version of yourself and with the most fearful version of yourself.
It brings you face to face with those thoughts of, "If I do this and I fail, then everyone will know I'm a phony, that I was just faking this the whole time and making it all up."
Yep, you have a decision to make in that moment when you ask, "Who am I to do this or that?" You have a vital decision to make.
It's how you answer that question.
Sometimes we come to it on our own, but sometimes we need a helping hand or an encouraging word to remember the truth.
The truth is, "Why the heck NOT you???" I mean seriously?! Why NOT you?!
This is something I have faced many a time.
If you have read Art Nurture: The Simple Guide to Cultivating Your Creativity, you know that on p. 96 of the paperback version, I quote Marianne Williamson,
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson,
from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles
When we ask, "Who am I to.... ?" Many times we are facing the fear that we are more powerful than we know. And, no, that's not something we can always control. It also doesn't mean we get off the hook for hard work.
When we ask, "Who am I to...?", just remember that playing small does not serve the world. Yep, the world needs your authentic art. The world needs you to live life with the soul of an artist. Go read my post, "The Top 17 Reasons Why the World Needs You to be an Artist"!
Yep, your playing small just plain ole doesn't serve the world or yourself.
When we ask, "Who am I to...?", remember that you were meant to shine.
Remember that shining isn't just for some people. It isn't just for them and not for me.
If you've read Art Nurture, you know that creativity isn't just for them and not for me. Nope, it's in each of us.
When we let our light shine, make our "thing", do our dance, live it out...we are unconsciously giving permission to others for them to do the same. How cool of us?!
When we are free in ourselves and liberated from our own fears of, "Who am I to....?" then we are allowing other people to be liberated from those same fears!
In the creative process, you will most certainly be faced with this question. There is no way around it. But it get's easier once you know the answer to the pop quiz of fear that presents itself when you engage in this process.
"Who am I NOT to do this thing?! My shrinking away from this challenge, this desire, this project just ain't helping anybody. The only choice is to engage fully and to do it."
Not perfection, but presence.
Not frozen fear-sicles, but action steps.
Not shrinking, but shining.
Because of so many beautiful members of the Art Nurture Community writing in and asking me, "How can I make my thing?" I am leading a small group in June called, "From Creative Dreams to Real Life Things" and it is all about creating a plan of inspired action to take those dreams to reality. Check it out here for more details.
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Art Nurture is about being fully alive and living life with the soul of an artist. A life filled with passion, intention, and purpose. Thanks so much for your time and your presence.
I wanna hear from you now!
Let me know if the "Who am I to do this?" fear has come up for you?
What did you do about it?
When do you notice it coming up the most?
Please share in the comments below!
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