How to speak up about your vision, gifts, and desires
This month I picked up Big Magic for the second time. I must admit, the first time I combed through the pages I was let down. I found sentence after sentence of someone who'd fallen too contented with her own creativity. Others raved about the book and I felt I'd been duped.
I gave the book away.
Fast forward four years. I am meandering through our local bookshop (mind you, our local bookshop is a city block and four stories) and I get this ping to pick it up again. My wife looks at me and says, “No, remember how much commentary you had about it the first time?”
“I know. I know. But for some reason, it is calling to me, plus it's $5.” And I bring it home. It sits on my desk for a few days beaming, almost as if it is determined for me to see a different side of it. Finally, one morning with my coffee and journal in hand, I open it and start reading.
I don't hate it. In fact, I love it.
I love every contented, honest, prepared word about the dance we do with our creativity. I love the warning to not put too many requirements on your creativity, like asking it to pay your bills and the raw but poignant share that dedication to what inspires you is a lifelong pursuit. All you might have to show for it is a lifetime of pursuit. But requirements aside, that alone would be a worthy endeavor.
There is liberation in Elizabeth Gilbert's words. Especially this:
“[...]You are not required to save the world with your creativity.
Your art not only doesn't have to be original, in other words; it also doesn't have to be important.
For example: Whenever anybody tells me they want to write a book in order to help other people, I always think, Oh, please don't.
Please don't try to help me.
I mean, it is very kind of you to want to help people, but please don't make it your sole creative motive, because we will feel the weight of your heavy intention, and it will put a strain upon our souls.”
She's not saying don't be helpful with your creativity. I think she's saying, be honest who it's really for.
There's this unfortunate idea that your ideas have to either be awesome, make a splash, create automatic buy-in, or count for something and if your idea doesn't check one of these boxes...then sharer beware.
But sharing your genius must come without it needing to be anything in the world other than a dance with your own magical thinking. What if you took the pressure off? Do you ever feel like there's more to say tucked in there being held hostage by fear?
This is when we tend to add a precursor to our ideas or apologize as a follow-up. I have this big, beautiful and possibly idyllic idea to share...are you ready? I know, it's a bit much, can you handle it?
Who cares if anyone can handle it! Sharing your ideas and dedicating your days to the creation of them is not about anyone but you. Sure, it might inspire someone. OK, maybe it'll even help them. But ultimately you are your first and only customer.
It isn't that no one's opinion counts. However, the opinions we tend to shy our best work away from are probably the ones that really don't count.
I am talking about the critics you don't even know and have never sat across a literal table from. The imaginary ones in your head who you think are spending their days figuring out how to use your creative genius against you. I assure you. They aren't. They really don't care that much.
Because the critics who do count can handle you. They probably even want to handle you and are patiently waiting for you to pour the weight of your brilliance onto them so they can handle you. Then challenge you. Then celebrate you. Then see you and hear you.
Make no mistake, even then it isn't about their praise. It's about your willingness to look foolish, say the wrong thing, write the wrong words, paint the wrong picture, share the wrong speech. Really, there is no right or wrong about it.
It's did you dare to dance with your magic or not?
Ready to dance with your magical, creative, most inspired self?
Before you click that link and book time with me, I want you to answer these questions for yourself:
Why seek a coach now? What was/is the tipping point that brought you to this place?
What do you need to come out of this conversation either knowing or remembering about yourself?
What is the cost of not doing this work now?
Who will be affected by you doing this work? Think of the ripple effect beyond what you can see.
What holds you back? What compels you to move forward?
OK — now...
Book a 90-Minute Problem Solving & Possibility Creating Coaching Experience with me.
If after this session you don't wish to continue coaching that's OK! If you do, then we'll discuss what this looks like.
These sessions are currently booked 1 month in advance, which is why as soon as you put yourself in my calendar we will welcome you to a 10-day coaching course to begin the work now.
To being brave,
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