"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson
I've been seeing a similar flavor of creative insecurity has been coming up [again] lately in my creative world, both for myself and for others, such as my Soul Coaching writers and some She of the Wild community members. It's the whole, "Who am I to write/dance/paint/publish/think that other people want to take in my creative work?" thang.
Maybe that sounds familiar? I know it's certainly an inner gremlin that rears its cranky little head for me regularly, especially when I'm in a time of growth, and that I need to work past again and again.
And it's okay that similar themes of resistance rise more than once in our creative lives. I think that life operates in a spiral more than along a straight line, and every time a challenge comes up afresh, we are offered new opportunities to growth more, know deeper, and integrate ourSelves more fully. This is not a bad thing! And in fact it's really quite a good thing, even while it's also kind of sort of really a pain in the butt.
If you've been in the creativity game a little while, you've likely run across the above words from Marianne Williamson as well. And maybe they feel a little trite to you right now, or a bit tired. But what if, just maybe, there's truth in them -- for you? For you now?
Because, as she says, this creativity thing isn't in just some of us; it's in all of us, and it's for all of us. Yes, even yours.
But forget about other people. Think about you, five or ten years from now. Hold two scenarios before you in your mind. In one, you've done your "how dare I think I'm all that to try this thing" thing, and you've failed -- you wrote and published a book, say, and it wasn't read all that much, but you're still pretty proud of it regardless. And in the other scenario, you never even tried.
Now ask yourself: which scenario feels better? The one where you gave it your all, and did your gorgeous creative thing, and expressed what was in your soul to express, in spite of all that felt stacked against you? Or the one where you're still wondering what might have been?
Which would you prefer: to live with the knowledge that you did your best and did yourself proud, no matter how the creative endeavor turned out, and to have reaped the benefit of just hours spent in experience and practice of your art, or to live with the regret of holding you creative dream(s) unexpressed?
I can't tell you which is the better option for you. Only you get to decide that.
But for me, I know that hands down I would rather try and risk and fail than sit in relative comfort and safety paired with regret.
Know, too, that your risk doesn't have to be unchecked. You don't have to bankrupt yourself or move halfway around the world or quit your job or get divorced or anything drastic like that. But some calculated risk? That can go a long way in getting you closer to the creative life you want to be living, not to mention helping you heal from the grumblings of your "Who are you to be awesome?" gremlins.
So why not try? Or take a baby step or two toward trying?
And whenever those frustrating gremlins come to call (again . . . ) asking, "Who are you to do this?" ask yourself: who and how do you want to be in this life, and how will working on your creative goals or not working toward your creative goals help you get there?
And then act accordingly.
If you know that you DO want to pursue your creative goals + dreams, but don't quite know how, or simply need some company while you do so, check out my 6 week writing e-course, She Writes Wild. You'll come away with more know-how, more confidence, more community, and LOTS of words written. Find out more HERE.