“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.” Neil Gaiman
‘I don’t think it is good enough’. If there is a mantra to creative work, this would be it. It becomes the soundtrack of your life, stuck on replay, impossible to mute. Each and every person I speak to about creativity confesses that they hear this tune. For some, it becomes the barrier that keeps them from pursuing creative work as their ‘career’, that holds them in idle, creating solely for themselves, fearful to share it with the world. For many of us, it is the driving force behind re-writes, ‘failed’ drafts, piles of material creative in an effort to create something we feel we could share. Maybe.
Other tunes on this soundtrack include –
Someone has already done this, better than I can
I can’t make a living being an artist
My friends will criticize me
Strangers will criticize me!
I do not have enough natural talent
I haven’t perfected my craft yet – I need more time
I’m too young to be taken seriously
I’m too old to pursue something new
It’s irresponsible to pursue creativity
What we are really wondering is ‘am I enough’? And does this piece accurately express my enough-ness? Will people truly understand my truth through this piece of work? And the ultimate achievement – might they possibly recognize their own truth, through my work?
I thought clarity within myself, a sureness of who I am, and a commitment to deep, radical self-care would eradicate self-doubt. I was wrong. I thought positive reinforcement from my peers and success within other avenues of life would create a sense of sureness. I was wrong. I suppose this is similar to expecting security from making money; the more you make, the more you feel you need. You keep running on the hamster wheel, never arriving at the destination where you finally have, and are, enough.
I’ve realized this doubt must become my signpost, a signal to my soul to continue – continue stripping away the layers, removing the masks, and creating from a place of truth. As soon as I feel that familiar discomfort, I know that is the work that must be shared – that I am getting to the place within me that grows deeper through expression. I must make decisions based on my soul, rather than my fear. What emerges is, for me, truth, and I wash myself clean of others impressions.
doubt must become my signpost, a signal to my soul to continue Click To Tweet