Creative Courage: Follow your heart: it's how you feel at the end of the day that matters
Creativity takes courage
I participated in a call about following your passion with SARK, the best selling author of 16 books that inspire and teach creativity with over 4000 listeners present. The call inspires me to talk a little bit about courage, especially when it comes to anything creative, as so many voiced their hesitancy and doubt as to whether to pursue a particular dream, and asked how to know if it was right for them.
Follow your heart: it's how you feel at the end of the day that matters.
Its so easy to second guess ourselves when we are trying to do something totally new and usually beyond our comfort zone. Its natural. Yet once we are used to the creative process, just as with any experience, it becomes more familiar - you begin to notice certain milestones and recognize what happens at various stages of living your dream and exploring your passions.
When you begin your creative process on any level, when you commit to a project – often after the initial excitement, you begin to experience paralyzing fear that can stop you in your tracks, and it makes you question whether this is something you want after all.
It takes courage to commit to your projects, your dreams, to explore your passions, your art - your creative process - don't give up just yet. In fact, the fear that you are experiencing is actually a good sign.
Fear is a tricky topic. I love Plato's insight: Courage is knowing what not to fear.
Let me share what I have found works when it comes to fear. Here are some tools and resources that help so you can use your fear positively as a creative catalyst and keep your focus on fun, and gain confidence in the creative process.
You are on track: Fear is a sign that you are on the right track. The more intense the fear, the more you engaged you actually are, and the more meaningful your dream is to you, and something else to consider: it's usually a sign that your dream is to make a powerful impact on the lives of many others, especially if it is unusually strong or intense. It may not be obvious or evident just yet, your dream may be an idea, or just an inkling of an idea that is to grow into so much more.
Fear is excitement without the breath
Fuel for momentum and success: Fear is the other side of excitement. Once the immediate fear has subsided, it usually gives way or returns to the initial excitement, only it has gained even more energy in the process so now it is an even more powerful catalyst to propel you forward and create the momentum you need to succeed.
Emotional transformation: Fear can strike just before suppressed, unfelt emotions begin to surface which can happen when you finally commit to your dreams and your creative projects. You may not have had the resources, insights and strength before to handle these emotions, so of course once you gain a little more energy and momentum, its now time for these to be felt and released. At this stage, you may experience overwhelm, intense resistance, paralysis, panic and anxiety.
Again: this sudden fear strike doesn't mean that your new creative venture or path is not for you! At this time take extra care of yourself, pamper yourself and allow yourself time to process emotions. Look for additional support from mentors, friends or creative communities.
Most of all, dote on yourself and honor yourself for your creative courage and strength. Be incredibly gentle and realize that you don't have to stay in this territory any longer than it takes to acknowledge what is happening and continue to nurture yourself. Take tiny steps when you feel pressured to be productive. Focus on what inspires you: this is the most powerful source of motivation. Inspiration creates the momentum to sustain your dreams.
Be bold. Live as Goethe suggests: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic. and power in it. begin it now."
You get to decide what happens next. It's your story: write it well.