A Creative Perspective in a Post Pandemic World
For creatives, the journey through the professional world is a unique odyssey filled with unpredictable twists and turns. Whether you’re a painter, writer, or musician, your path often involves hurdles and setbacks that can test your resilience. The pandemic presented creatives with a whole new set of challenges as work dried up and isolation became the norm.
In this blog, we’ll explore some unconventional strategies for cultivating and maintaining a positive mindset when facing professional challenges, while also acknowledging the natural emotions that arise.
Acknowledge Real Emotions
Let’s be honest – professional challenges can be infuriating, demoralising, and sometimes utterly disheartening.
In the wake of a global pandemic that disrupted the world like never before, the creative industries faced challenges of an unprecedented magnitude. The shutdowns and restrictions left artists, writers, musicians, and creators of all kinds grappling with uncertainty and instability. Now, as the world slowly reopens, creatives find themselves in a unique position, rebuilding their careers and reinventing their art but this can be an emotionally challenging time.
Feelings of frustration, anger, and demotivation have been prevalent, and it’s important to recognise that these emotions are entirely valid. We’ve all been through a collective trauma, and it’s okay to acknowledge the emotional toll it has taken.
In my work as a coach working with creatives I have witnessed first hand the struggle and the anguish my clients have experienced and I have marvelled at their determination and their resilience. But the journey back to ‘normality’ is not easy. Many find themselves still experiencing a Covid hangover as they try to muster up confidence and enthusiasm to go after their creative dreams.
Generally advice about how to manage challenges focuses on developing a robust mindset and taking care of ourselves from a health and well-being perspective. This is great advice but sometimes this approach falls on deaf ears as we mindlessly scroll past numerous social media posts.
I wish to offer a couple of additional approaches.
Embrace Vulnerability – Creativity often thrives in the realm of vulnerability. The experiences of isolation and uncertainty during the pandemic have deepened our well of emotions. Harness these feelings and use them to create art that resonates on a profound level. In other words, let go in a creative way, without restrictions or expectations and see where it takes you.
Explore Art as Healing – The healing power of art cannot be overstated. Engaging in artistic activities like painting, sculpture, or journaling can provide an outlet for pent-up emotions and serve as a form of self-therapy. It can also lead to surprising breakthroughs in your creative work.
When my marriage ended some years back I painted my way through a range of emotions. It was such a healing experience and one that enabled me to heal and to reach a place of peace.
Practice Radical Acceptance – The pandemic has underscored the unpredictability of life. Embrace the philosophy of radical acceptance, which involves acknowledging that some things are beyond your control. Focus on what you can change and learn from, rather than dwelling on setbacks.
Stop Beating Yourself Up – Creatives have a tendency to be hard on themselves. They are often managing the self critic or big emotions that hold them back from doing their best work. It helps if you can raise your awareness when you begin to criticise yourself or beat yourself up for what you did or didn’t do. Stop it! It’s a form of abuse and it must stop!
Embrace the Power of Rest – The creative world often glorifies the hustle, but rest is equally important. The pandemic emphasised the importance of self-care and mental well-being. Prioritise rest, and you’ll find that a well-rested mind is better equipped to tackle challenges.
In conclusion, navigating the creative professional world isn’t a linear path. It’s filled with ups and downs, and it’s entirely normal to experience a range of emotions in response to challenges. Rather than dismissing these emotions, embrace them and use them as fuel for your creative fire. Through unconventional approaches like vulnerability, art therapy, and radical acceptance, you can not only weather professional storms but also emerge from them with a more profound sense of positivity and creative resilience. Remember, it’s the journey, complete with all its emotions and challenges, that shapes your artistic soul.
Monica O’Brien is a professionally trained and accredited Coach and founder of Creative Edge Coaching www.creativeedgecoaching.com.au. She blogs on issues about creativity and small business development for conscious artists and business entrepreneurs.
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