Get a Proselytizer!

Get a Proselytizer!

Day 7 of 30 Days of Imperfection…

The other night I was at a birthday party, when I walked into a room to hear another friend telling the assembled people about this great thing a friend of hers was doing- blogging for 30 days on the topic of Imperfection! At first I thought she might’ve been talking about someone else; several people I know are taking part in this challenge.

But no, she was gushing about me.

What an odd feeling. To witness from a distance as someone you know becomes a proselytizer on your behalf!

Of course, she saw me enter the room and grabbed me by the arm to introduce me to the person she was chatting up.

There was a moment of truth for me. Usually, traditionally, I would have ducked my chin and said something like; “Oh, that wasn’t my idea…” or “I’m just doing it because someone I know invited me to,” or something equally dismissive about myself.

I’m not shy, by any means – ask my friends! But I’ve spent much of my life unable to truly receive a compliment, as though I were somehow an impostor. Like it wasn’t really me who did that cool thing, or worked so hard, or took that risk. If only they knew that I was not really that smart, or not that capable. Either that, or they’re just being *nice*.

But this time, instead, I chose to stand up straight and smile warmly at the person. To thank my friend for reading my posts and say, “I’m glad you like them!” To allow myself to embrace my own achievement. To then pursue a brief conversation with the newcomer about what I do.

Have you ever had that conundrum? Been faced square on with someone praising you upside and down in front of others and feel a moment of denial, like “that can’t be *me* they’re talking about, can it?”

What do you usually do? What do you really *want* to do?

Can you imagine gracefully accepting the compliment, the kudos?

Boy, it can sure feel good to be complimented like that. Get yourself a proselytizer – they’re a real boost!



Day 8 of 30 Days of Imperfection…and I haven’t been writing every day. But, I am also studiously not beating myself up for that!

Tonight, I’ve just gotten home from a busy day, and all I want to do is decompress. Sit in front of the computer, watch videos and pet my dog. But it’s been several days since I last blogged, and I am aware that doing so whether I “feel like it” or not is part of the process of this challenge.

I’ve been feeling blocked. I keep saying things like: “I don’t have time,” or “I’m too tired,” or “I’m too busy to write…”
This afternoon, a client asked me: “What do other Creative people do when they’re blocked? How do they get out of it?”

Well, that depends. It depends a lot on the particular individual, but it also depends on where the block is coming from.

I encourage anyone who’s blocked creatively (and this doesn’t have to be limited to artists!) to look at the root of the block. Sometimes, we’re blocked because we’re actually afraid. Sometimes, we’re blocked because we need to fill up our energy wells – to rest more, to take better care of ourselves. Sometimes we’re blocked because of other emotions: anger, jealousy, grief.

I’m thinking now of the costumer I know who couldn’t bring herself to enter her studio, clean it up and get back to sewing, after the costume she’d worked so hard and lovingly on got lost in transport and never worn.
Only after I coached her on grieving the loss of that beautiful work — where the block was coming from — could she go back into her studio with a renewed spirit of creativity.

Some blocks are more practical: perhaps you need to talk to someone more experienced and get their feedback on your idea. Maybe you need an accountability partner to help you stay focused so that you can push through.

Ask yourself: “What needs to happen in order for me to make this project a priority again?” Let yourself explore all aspects of it, including – and especially – the feelings that come up. If, after you have looked at this creative block from a variety of angles, you still don’t feel inspired to pursue the project, then ask: “What will it take for me to let this one go?”

It’s OK to let go of unfinished projects, but it’s worth taking the time to determine what the true reason is that you don’t want to pursue it.

It takes no small amount of courage to face into our creative blocks. Remember to ask for help! A close friend, a mentor or a coach can provide the support you need to explore what’s really holding you back and help you to take concrete steps to move forward – over, around or through what’s blocking you.

(PS: I don’t feel so blocked now! Thanks!)