You may be tempted into thinking that in order to succeed in your creative career or business you need to do more. – more training, develop more content for social media posts, buy more equipment or invest in software or systems to help you get organised. You may think these things will help you feel more confident, get more organised, be more productive or feel more ‘ready’.
The truth is, if you privately feel unworthy and you are bothered by your inner critic or the saboteur, no amount of ‘doing more’ will help in the long run.
Momentarily you may feel better within yourself because you can tick things off your ‘to do’ list and tell yourself that you are doing something to advance your dream career but it’s not sustainable.
If there are underlying beliefs and mental structures that are holding you in a stuck position, ‘doing more’ can actually backfire.
When you are unable to fulfil your outcomes or move forward as you desire, a vicious cycle is established where you become more self-critical.
There is a range of remedies or solutions for people who feel unworthy or lacking in confidence. They usually involve methods to eradicate them, fix them or reframe them. What we fail to appreciate is that these very aspects of ourselves are our greatest resources.
In my work with creatives, business owners and coaches, I often hear comments such as, “On one hand I have this burning desire to make a difference in the world via my career or business BUT on the other hand, I am flooded with self-doubt and fear.”
This is more common than not and if the cycle of ‘doing more’ before addressing the deeper issues gets traction, you may find yourself experiencing anxiety, poor sleep, lethargy, low self-esteem or a range of other emotions and symptoms. You certainly will not be advancing your career.
Importantly, this vicious cycle of inner chatter can and does adversely affect your creativity, your level of motivation, your productivity and most importantly your overall sense of wellbeing.
So, how do you bring about the change that you desire?
Firstly, it is important to know that this is an inside job!
If you want to succeed in your career or business, feel empowered, on purpose and happy, you must begin with connecting to your internal world. I refer to this as accessing your creative unconscious. This is the part of you where your truth resides. It is the essence of you. It holds resources that are often unseen until they are invited to take a seat at the table.
Stillness, Silence, Spaciousness
Take Rami, for example, a successful photographer who felt overwhelmed and stressed. He was caught in the ‘doing’ cycle. Through learning the principles of generative change and the practice of centring, he was able to open to his creative unconscious and bring a part of himself (his fearful 4-year-old) into communion with his adult self and use this fearful presence as a resource rather than something to be pushed aside or fixed.
Daily Life Practice
Once he saw this fear in a new light, he was able to loosen his grip, breathe, let go and gain a sense of spaciousness. This simple step allowed him to free himself from the habit of ‘doing’. Through daily practices he was eventually able to let go of expectations that were self-imposed, to create spaciousness in his life for relationships and leisure, rather than always being focussed on his work.
The next part of the coaching process was to consider the important question of what he really wanted to create in his life at this time. (Note the emphasis on the word ‘really’). But the transformation didn’t stop there, he, like most people who are opening to new horizons, began to experience some blocks and obstacles as he thought about the new life he wanted to create for himself and his family. Instead of trying to ‘fix’ things he was able to transform these obstacles into life-giving resources.
The generative change process enabled him to envisage and tap into internal and external resources that would support him in creating this life that he deeply desired. And finally, he was able to set in place meaningful and manageable goals that would support his desires and intentions for his new life.
Rami has now developed daily practices that enable him to stay connected to his source and to remain centred and focussed. His overwhelm has disappeared and he has discovered that he actually has much more time to enjoy his work and his life. He also reported that his relationships are healthier because he is more present and more relaxed. He said he feels joyful for the first time in decades. Now that’s worth being still for!
What I’ve shared here is one of the things I help my clients achieve in my 3 month 1:1 coaching program that frees creatives from obstacles that keep them feeling overwhelmed, unfocused, disconnected and unmotivated with their career or business to be more confident, grounded and enthusiastic about their creativity and their life.
If you’d ready for generative change and you’d like to talk with me about how to transform your blocks and struggles into resources so you can get your creative life on track, bringing your gifts to the world, send me a message. We can chat and make sure it’s a perfect fit and if so, we can get started without delay.
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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