One of the main reasons creative people are not more empowered is that they often cultivate a general sense of unworthiness. As a result, the doubts and questions flow:
- What will people think?
- Why am I pursuing this risky, crazy pipe dream to begin with?
- Who am I to follow in the footsteps of the truly great artists who have come before me?
- Won’t I starve to death or end up begging for money on street corners?
Stop it already. Please!
You sound pathetic when you say these things (even when the voice is only in your head).
Just think if you thought that way every time you brushed your teeth or tied your shoes:
- What if I accidentally choke on the toothbrush?
- What if the toothpaste has been poisoned?
- What if I inadvertently kick myself while putting on my shoes?
- What if I break my finger (or worse, my neck) in a horrific lacing accident?
Doesn’t this sound ridiculous? Of course, it does.
One way artists try to subdue these negative feelings is to gain credibility. They often seek out some form of officially sanctioned approval. Doing so, they think, will appease their family and friends, the nasty voices in their heads, and even the Gods.
So they take classes, pursue degrees, get certified, study with established mentors, or jump through countless academic hoops in order to earn a couple of letters to follow their names.
There’s nothing wrong with these things — as long as they’re done with the intention to hone your skills. But when the underlying motivation is to prop up your self-worth as an artist, the results fall short.
Here’s the bottom line:
You don’t need anyone’s approval to be fully worthy of pursuing your creative desires (on whatever level you choose). The fact that you feel a calling to do it is all the reason you need.
That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed fame or fortune simply because you have an interest in something, but you most definitely are as worthy as anyone to give it a shot.
If you are drawn to a creative endeavor, if have any inkling to pursue something artistic … respect and nurture that impulse. You owe it to yourself to act on it.
Don’t wait for approval. Don’t wait to be accepted. Don’t wait to be chosen or picked.
Give yourself permission. It’s the only green light you need to get started on your path to being an Empowered Artist.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from “The Empowered Artist: A Call to Action for Musicians, Writers, Visual Artists, and Anyone Who Wants to Make a Difference with Their Creativity.”