It’s Who You Are Being That Matters
By Clare Louise
WINTER 2020 | GALLERIE MAGAZINE | 10 THE NEED TO SUCCEED AND CREATE OUR BEST WORK PREVENTS US FROM PLAYING WITH CREATIVITY, AND, AT ITS EXTREME, CAN STOP US FROM DOING ANYTHING WITH IT AT ALL, WOUNDING OUR CREATIVE SELF. AS WE OVERTHINK - WE STAND IN OUR OWN WAY, PREVENTING OUR OWN FLIGHT.
I’ve been overthinking for as long as I can remember, it’s an annoying trait of mine that I’ve had to learn to love about myself so I could recognise it, manage it, and grow through it. Most times these days I catch myself doing it early on, and then there are the times when I don’t. So I’ve also had to learn what I do when I don’t, by checking in with my feelings so I can recognise my own patterns. This discovery is something I’ve placed such high value on as a creative … because creativity does not live in the thinking state - it flows from who we are being. Overthinking, I have learned, is the killer of creativity. This need to succeed and create our best work is a shadow trait of the inner creator, which often sees us over-creating in a bid to find perfectionism. Take writing this article, for example, so far I’ve participated in the dance of creative avoidance - prioritising everything else (including the dishes, the laundry, an early lunch and endless cups of teas) I’ve also encountered my saboteur who, given the time and space, will take every opportunity to tell me I’m not good enough, and trust me, she didn’t let me down this morning. As I sat and started this article from the perspective of not being good enough, I piled up some books ready to research, preparing myself to write the article I thought you would want to read, that shows my expertise by focussing on the logic and doing actions - that for some reason, I seem to think you are expecting. One thing I know for sure is that creativity, when it flows - isn’t difficult, and here I was finding this difficult, forcing it, overthinking it, feeling the pressure of perfectionism, frustrated and uninspired to create. So I connected to those feelings, put down the fear that is often disguised as control and let go of the critical and logical mind. Then I stopped listening to my unhealthy ego, who is striving for perfectionism and chose instead to connect to the other part of me, the whisper I’ve been ignoring all morning, who is asking me to show up as I am and create authentically from this space.
And breathe, this, this feels so much easier, it’s flowing, in fact, right now I feel like I could write forever. You see, we are more than who or what we think we are at any given moment. Overthinking is simply a set of limitations that we have put on our Self, a constraint that keeps us playing small keeps us safe and squeezes the life out of our creative flow. It makes us need to be a certain way and we begin trying too hard, striving, trying to meet expectations and people-pleasing, and ughhh this is sooo exhausting, uninspiring and utterly unnatural. So what was behind the need, the striving and the trying? Once I put down the fear and the perfectionism, I created space within myself to connect to what else I was feeling - like my truth, my inner inspiration and the seven words that I had intuitively written down this morning before I had even started to consciously think about putting together this article, were brought back to my attention. It’s who you are being that matters. That’s right. It’s who you are being that matters. You see creativity really doesn’t care about perfectionism, it just wants to flow freely through you. It doesn’t matter to creativity if you’re not technically correct, it doesn’t matter if you are different to everyone else, it has no expectations … in fact, it LOVES your difference … your authenticity. When you start creating from your heart, from your truth, from who you are being, from what you are feeling, from your perfectly imperfect version of the world, this is when you begin to connect to your authentic creative voice. Creativity THRIVES in connection - and the deeper you connect to your Self - your truth, the deeper you connect to the world around you in a meaningful way that matters, and when we create from this space … we flow, and our voice can resonate on a deeper level and be heard by those who are ready to hear and feel it. But, but what if people don’t like it …? I hear you, it’s a battle I’ve had to fight too. There is a part of our brain that is constantly looking for something that tells us we are correct, that this is safe, it’s conditioned to seek out information that provides us with this safety and compares what it knows to what it is being presented with. It compares what we are ’doing’ to what it knows is already working, so we can find that centre point of certainty. When we start creating from this space our logical brain sets the tone and limitations of creativity, and, rather than flow with creativity from a place of who we are being, we get caught up in the doing actions - stifling our innate flow.
We’ve been conditioned into focussing on the demands of logic, our unhealthy ego needs answers - it wants to make sense of everything before we’ve even started - it wants to know the outcome, the end result, it’s looking for a sure fast way to get to where we want to go in the safest and most certain way possible … it wants perfectionism, and that’s a way we can not possibly function when in a creative flow. We are creative beings, our creative potential is found in our compassionate acceptance of who we are and where we are in a way that our logical mind can not comprehend. Compassion sees the beauty in everything, the perfection in the imperfection, the beauty in you, your vision, your voice, exactly as you are - for who you are, for no other reason than it knows. It knows that you are exactly as you are meant to be in any given moment and is asking you to create from this space. Out of the corner of my eye I see the time, I realise that I’ve only been writing for 20 minutes, I’ve not overthought, I’ve flowed from my truth, it feels right and I smile to myself as I think about the original article that after 90 minutes I was still trying to make work and get started on. So next time you get caught up in the doing state when creating, shift your perspective to who you are being at your most compassionate, creative and courageous self and ask your Self this … If I loved, believed and trusted in my Self 100% what would I create? P.S … if you are interested in some facts, the geek in me wants to share this with you: In 1968 a study of 1,600 five-year-old children was carried out by George Land, a systems scientist, who founded a research institute to study the enhancement of creative performance. The children were tested using the same process that NASA uses for its selection process of innovative engineers and scientists. At five, 98% of the children registered genius levels of creativity.
Retesting the same children at 10 and 15 this level of creative genius dropped alarmingly to 30% by the age of 10, and just 12% at age 15. This same test has been used on over 280,000 adults and placed their creative genius level at 2%. The conclusion of this study shows that non-creative behaviour is in fact learned behaviour. That as we grow into adulthood we become separated from a part of who we are as a fully functioning human being. It’s time to reconnect and create from the space of all of who you are. It’s who you are being that matters. Be You. You are enough.
Clare Louise Creative Leadership Coach Creating deeper connections to ourselves and the world around us through authentic creativity WINTER 2020 | GALLERIE MAGAZINE | 13