Last week I wrote about vulnerability and the difficulty of being seen. Here are five of my favorite tips to help you on your journey toward Creating A Creative Life.
Start small. Baby steps are like the cornerstone of any change program, but it’s worth repeating. As a teenager, that meant writing down my pizza order on a piece of paper before calling the pizza guy because I was afraid to talk on the phone. Today, it’s writing a blog post or sending out a newsletter.Small steps lead to giant leaps.
Surround yourself with supportive people. Remember those folks who told you to come out of your shell? I’m not talking about them. Despite their well-meaning intentions, those clueless bastards probably won’t see your progress as clearly as your more sensitive friends. If you haven’t found your tribe, the ones who really get you and appreciate all you have to offer, don’t worry. Even one trusted pal can make a big difference by encouraging you and celebrating your victories along the way.
Soothe your nerves. Stepping out there can trigger a very unpleasant fight or flight response for some of us. It’s important to know a few techniques to calm the ol’ amygdala for just those occasions. Whether it’s deep breathing or meditation, acupressure or affirmations, there are tons of things you can do to get back to center. Experiment and see what works best for you.
Practice self-care. While you’re busy soothing your nerves, why not take a little time to do something nice for yourself? It can be pricey like a massage or simple like a warm cup of tea. (Personally, I would lean toward the massage.) Maybe it’s saying no next time the class mom asks for someone to bring homemade scones to the bake sale. Maybe it’s saying yes when your cousin invites you to go salsa dancing. Being seen and being heard includes listening to that inner voice that tells you what you really need.
Keep trying. Sometimes we are going to dare greatly and fall flat on our faces. That’s when steps 2-4 can keep you from going off the deep end. Then, start back at number one and take another tiny little step. I like what St. Francis said, “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Creating a creative life is a process, but with the right support, anyone can do it. Together, we can be brave. We can be seen. We can do the impossible.