For the majority of my life, I was convinced that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. Sure, there was that brief stint with Mary Had a Little Lamb on the piano, but that, along with any other attempts, ended abruptly with the conviction, that creative pursuits had best be left to other people with natural born talent- you know like these kids:
‘Course had mom spelled it out that Mary had a Little Lamb today = Norah Jones tomorrow, I might’ve put a little more muscle into it.
As my dad effortlessly churned out gigantic oil paintings resembling something of love child between Jackson Pollack and David Tarp, I resigned myself to the notion that the “artistic gene” had sadly passed me by. So I embraced my sporty self and as I grew older, I spent the bulk of my free time and paycheck running around the planet looking for fun, excitement, and amusement outside of myself, not to mention spending a good chunk of change on being entertained by others living their creative passions.
And although I have long loved an active, social lifestyle, I have recently learned at the- not so- tender age of 31 that there is nothing that even hovers in the same orbit as having a creative passion.
I uncovered that my belief – that I better leave the fun, creative stuff to others – was a BIG FAT illusion. And what may surprise YOU, is YOU are creative too. We all are.
“At around about the age of five, we are using about 80% of our creative potential. We invent daily – no matter that our inventions have been invented before, the fact is that we are innovating at a remarkable rate. The scary coda to this story is that by the age of twelve, our creative output has declined to about 2% of our potential, and it generally stays there for the rest of our lives.”- creatingminds.org/articles/age.htm
So what’s the deal?
As we grow older and enter school, we learn there are “right” answers. And of course we want to be good girls and boys so our parents and teachers will love and reward us. What is even more damaging, we want to be accepted by the other kids, so we conform to what is “normal.”
Normal = Creative suicide
Getting to the point where I could ignite my creativity required several good long, hard looks at myself in the harsh light of day. I finally came to accept that the real reason I had such apathy about creating was because I had, FEAR OF FAILURE.
Of course, this fear showed up sounding like:
-I’m just not the creative type
-I’ll do it- tomorrow
-I need some training first
-I feel like I might be creative, but it feels blocked
Lemme tell ya, fear of failure isn’t the easiest thing to admit, especially when you’ve grown up being “good” at things. However, fear of judgment is the number one block on our creative selves.
If you, too, have any of the aforementioned excuses floating around in your head, I urge you to consider the advice a very good friend, mentor and wildly creative person – who has showcased his artistic creations around the world – shared with me. www.jamestime.com
It will be your Teflon amour against fear of failure and you can use it for any creative venture. It’s so simple, that you might want to disregard it. Toss it aside with your thoughts of writing that novel, painting that painting, rocking out on the guitar, or joining that theater group. But I promise you, if you take it to heart, your creative passions will take hold of you and you will experience a vitality that you have never known. All you have to do is:
Be the beginner.
The beginner isn’t supposed to know a damn thing, so there is no way you can fail. As children, we were beginners at everything and our creativity soared. When you are the beginner, learning one chord on the guitar, one brush stroke, one sentence of a poem is a triumph! With the passion to create surging through you, your other senses will awaken and you will begin to see yourself and the world through a lens of infinite possibility and beauty!
These days my time is so precious because I can’t find enough hours in the day to paint, write, make music, or rehearse for my theater group. I discovered one of life’s most precious secrets is the unique magic we create for ourselves!
What ways do you move past the fear of creating?