How to Be Creatively Courageous and Authentic
There are many tips and tricks that help unlock your creativity. This article, however, is meant to help you be courageous and authentic while still remaining creative. Hopefully these suggestions will help you think outside the box, generate ideas, develop a concept that represents your ideas, and provide results that you can be proud of.
“Unused creativity is not benign, it metastasizes.”
– Brené Brown
Chase Jarvis welcomes scholar, public speaker, and author of Rising Strong, Brené Brown to the studio to discuss how failure, heartbreak, or loss can unlock creativity and your biggest successes in life. Dr. Brown talks about her book Rising Strong and also suggests living big; giving yourself the permission to dream big.
“I don’t like the ethic that says, ‘if you try really hard, and you put everything into it, you’re going to get everything that you want.’ …. I’ve seen so many people murder their creativity by insisting they’re not truly creative unless their creativity pays the bills.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert
Author Elizabeth Gilbert discusses her new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. She also started Magic Lessons, a roadmap to the path of creativity, the extra nudge we need when we’re feeling stuck in our creative lives. In one of them, she talks with Brené Brown, who advises everyone to consider;
“You are a born maker. We need what you can bring to us. Because, you’re the only one that can bring it.”
– Brené Brown
I often struggle with feeling under-qualified or unworthy when pursuing a new job or creative venture. It is easy to sucked into a shame spiral, as Dr. Brown explains in the video below. Yesterday was a great example. I had an interview scheduled for the type of job I have wanted for at least four years. Before it was time to start getting ready, the usual often a cycle of confidence vs. self doubt ran through my head. If I’m being completely honest, at the beginning, the more frequent thoughts are pretty negative. Things such as, “you suck,” “you’re not good enough,” “your work isn’t good enough,” “there is someone more qualified than you that would do this job better,” “don’t go, just cancel and go to sleep,” “this is a waste of time,” “they’ll never hire you.”
As a risk taker and creative person, I have fallen flat on my face several times and scurried home with my tail between my legs. But, I always keep trying and let each failure guide me to my next success. Inspiration doesn’t owe me anything, but I owe myself everything I believe I deserve. So, after this internal battle, I always decided to just see what happens. I scooped my balls out of the trash can, grabbed my portfolio, went to the interview, gave it my all, nailed it, and got offered the job a few hours later. I have landed several jobs and developed great projects by just trying.
Long story short: “Be brave. Show up.”
Magic Lessons: Big Strong Magic with Elizabeth Gilbert & Brené Brown
“When did inspiration promise us that it owes us anything? As far as I understand inspiration, it owes you nothing except the transcendence of the experience of working with it. That’s the only contract we have with inspiration.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
Additionally, it may seem like an odd place to find a guide for inspiration, but look to the movie To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. In the film, Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, & John Leguizamo play three drags queens. I have no desire to become a drag queen, but the four steps to becoming a drag queen can easily be applied to help you while exploring your creativity.
May good thoughts be your sword and shield.
Abide by the rules of love.
Larger than life is just the right size.
Try not to focus on the outcome or perception of your work. Always have fun and enjoy the process. Otherwise what’s the point? It’s going to be a ride! You never know where a crazy idea will lead you. As you develop your concept, make sure you know what you want out of the project. If you are unclear with your intent or desired result, you probably are going to be delivering an unclear message. What ever it is you are wanting to express, make sure you have a good understanding of what you really want. Also, it can take time to find the right direction. So, be patient!
“You get from this life what you have the courage to ask for.”
– Oprah Winfrey
Have any suggestions? Share them in the comments below.