Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Creativity And Guilt - 5 Common Guilt Trips Of The Creative Soul And How To Overcome Them

There are any number of reasons why we feel we can't unleash our creativity and start to realise some of the huge potential we have to be more creative.

Many of them, once we dig a little deeper, stem back to some form of guilt or other.

Guilt is one of the most powerful human emotions.

Feelings of guilt held over time this can be incredibly destructive.

And even if it doesn't stop us in our tracks completely, and we do manage to continue creating whilst carrying this guilt, it makes us feel absolutely terrible.

As a result we never get to enjoy the creative process anywhere near as fully as we could do.

So here are 5 of the most common "guilt trips" of the creative soul, and a way to overcome each of them:

Guilt Trip No. 1: "It's selfish creating just for me. Focusing time and energy just on me is so self-indulgent."

How to overcome it: The fact is, if you're more creative you're more happy, more alive, more fulfilled. This good feeling and positive energy inevitably spills over into the rest of your life.

So you're more relaxed, more easy going, more fun to be around. Surely this can only be a great benefit for everyone?

Guilt Trip No. 2: "I have all this wonderful creative equipment and materials, I should make use of it, I feel guilty it's just sitting there."

How to overcome it: By having the equipment and materials there it's a constant reminder and pressure on you. Make the decision to either sell or give it away, or put it away out of sight and commit to regularly taking out and using just a small amount at a time.

This way the visible pressure is greatly reduced and you won't get overwhelmed by trying to create with every piece of equipment and material in one single "ultimate creative project to end all projects."

Guilt Trip No. 3: "When I'm creating I feel there are other priorities, other chores I should be getting on with."

How to overcome it: Accept that there will always be other chores, something else that needs doing. It's just not possible to finish them all. It IS possible though to have a creative life and still do the other everyday tasks we all need to live.

Set aside a small amount of time each day that's just for you to create. If it helps, use it as a reward for getting other stuff done. But don't wait until after you've done everything else and you're completely exhausted!

Guilt Trip No. 4: "When I do create I often make mistakes and mess up. I feel guilty that I'm ruining materials and equipment someone else could put to better use."

How to overcome it: Making mistakes is one of the best parts of creating. It's often in these "mistakes" that we unlock new and stimulating paths to creating that we never would have found if we'd stuck to a rigid, safe formula.

If you really can't get beyond making a start on an expensive canvas for example, for fear of ruining it, then start on something smaller and less expensive. Build your creative confidence – and your willingness to make "mistakes" - in small steady steps.

Guilt Trip No. 5: "I find it easy to create, and that makes me feel guilty. There are other people more deserving than me that have to work so much harder than I do to get similar results."

How to overcome it: We all have our gifts and talents, the secret is discovering what they are. If you've found you can create beautiful things, that's wonderful. Focus on how you can nurture your talents. The better you become, the more others will appreciate your work.

Another way of giving back to others directly is by starting a creative class, or helping out at an existing class. Those beginners new to creating can benefit from your experience and support.

These are just 5 of the most common guilt trips of the creative soul.

Which do you most relate to and why?

Which are you going to steps to overcome, starting today, so you can begin to truly unleash your creativity?

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