Are you haunted by unfinished creative projects or dreams? Make a list of the major ones. Are you still interested in pursuing one or more of them? Note which projects/pathways, if any, are still compelling to you. Creativity is about magnetism and commitment.
If you are not going to move ahead with any of these projects, you need to release them to make space for your new attractions. Are there lessons to be learned from letting go of these abandoned dreams? Rudy acknowledged that he hadn’t really been ready until now to write his screenplay. His vision just recently crystallized into the story we wants to tell. Melissa, on the other hand, has always wanted to become an environmental lawyer. Now at age fifty, she fears she is too old. This is a creative choice point for her. She can either live the rest of her life with the sorrow of not having become a lawyer or she can go to law school. Or alternately, she could leverage her skills by becoming a lobbyist, a political activist, or a paralegal. Melissa is now taking one course at a law school to help her to make the right choice.
One of the greatest blocks to creativity is fear. Fear keeps you from exploring your goals in depth and strategizing successful action steps to achieve them. Fear of failure keeps you from enjoying an experimental mindset where roadblocks and re-routing are expected and, even welcomed as new information. Focusing on the fear of being wrong or criticized clips your creative wings. Almost everyone can remember trying something new and being chided. Therefore we learned to play it safe, cease taking risks, and stop the flow of creative solutions.
Exercise #One: What Frightens You Most About Expressing Your Creativity?
What is your fear about–specifically? What creative traumas from the past still hold power over you? What do you fear from your internal critic or people from your past who criticized your ideas and actions? Write this all down so you can see it and begin resolution. Don’t let fear keep you from being your true self. Identify and leverage solutions that will help your fear to stay out of the way.
Write down all the things, people, places, activities, or thoughts that diminish your creative energy. Subtract from your life what clogs the clarity of your creative channel. Your creativity is a valuable asset; you can’t afford to have it compromised by clutter, other people’s needs, or busyness. Even if you only find the time to write in your creative journal or sit quietly for fifteen minutes a day, you are connecting with your original voice. Preserve the messages and insights. What life choices support your ingenious energy? Honor your individual cravings and notions. Diligently restructure your lifestyle and commit to a current creative project that nurtures you. Embrace the dreams of today and enjoy your new creative power.