Did you know that being creative takes courage. Every time you pick up that calligraphy pen, start a new lettering project, you are choosing inspiration over fear. I know this all sounds a bit dramatic, but being creative means fighting against the safety net fear graciously lays out, keeping us 'safe' but uninspired. We've all felt it. We all experience it. How you deal with fear can be the difference between living a wonderfully creative life or allowing your creative dreams to die! It's worth noting too, that having the freedom to be creative is a real privilege and one we shouldn't take lightly. So let me show you how make the most of this creative freedom and enjoy every ounce of it.
Fear shows up in lots of ways. Today I was chatting to my group of calligraphers in something I run called the calligraphy club. It's an informal free group where we chat and share tips about everything calligraphy related. I posted a question about what was stopping them from creating their own modern calligraphy designs? The biggest thing that came up was, you guessed it, fear! Afraid they weren't good enough, what others would think, so many other peoples calligraphy is so much better the list goes on.
Now, if you've been learning calligraphy or any type of creative crafty type thing for a while, then you've probably experienced some sort of fear. It shows up in many ways nerves, comparison, imposter syndrome - it all leads back to fear. the good news is, it's normal. The bad news is, we often give fear far more control that it should have. Killing our creativity, inspiration, joy and potential when it comes to calligraphy.
So how do we stop fear from blocking our inspiration and creating new ideas? And instead allow ourselves to experience the joy, wonder and freedom that comes from living a creative life? I've added below what I shared with my calligraphy club, ways that have helped me push through fear and live the creative life I know I am meant to live. I'm not sharing this to say I am immune from fear, oh no, me and fear go way back. But as time has gone on, i've realised the more I understand my fear and where it comes from, the more power I have over it and can live more creatively. I hope these insights and tips help you too!
Fear is our ways body of protecting us, we need a certain amount of fear to survive. If you are waiting till you feel unafraid before you start something creative… you'll be waiting along time. When it comes to creativity, its not allowing fear to have the final vote and instead learning to be brave. Elizabeth Gilbert in her book "Big Magic" (recommended reading) says this:
"If your goal in life is to become fearless, then I believe you are already on the wrong path, because the only truly fearless people i've ever met were straight-up sociopaths and a few exceptionally reckless three-year-olds - and those aren't good role models for anyone."
Couldn't have said it better myself!
Making a list of the worst that could possibly happen is a great way of understanding the rational behind our fear.A lot of the 'worst case scenarios' when it comes to creativity or calligraphy aren't as bad as we think. I got the members of my calligraphy club to do this and they were surprised at how insignificant the worst case scenario actually was. Try it, you'll be surprised.
Your brain sees creativity as scary and a potential threat. By recognising this we can reassure our brains, that this particular unknown, is ok. It's more than ok, it's actually really exciting! We don't need protecting from creativity. Allowing yourself into this particular unknown is one worth risking !!
You were made for so much more! Listening to fear and allowing it to control us often results in a safe and therefore uncreative life. If you are reading this blog post, you already have a sneaking suspicion you were built for much more than that! Inspiration and creativity helps us come alive. Choose creativity over fear…. i've never regretted it!
In the calligraphy club a lot of my wonderfully talented calligraphers were afraid of even starting to design their own cards because they said someone else had already done it better. If everyone listened to that logic we would never have any new restaurants, hairdressers or coffee shops. Delete those sources of comparison, it kills creativity. Unfollow those insta accounts that cause you to feel disheartened or stop you from being creative or innovative. Switch off from those negative influences and let your unhindered inspiration flow!
The moral of the story is this, fear will always be there, but life is short. You are unique, creative and capable of creating wonderful inspiring things. Lets not let fear get in the way of that ! Experiencing the joy of creativity is one of life's most miraculous and precious gifts. It's there to be enjoyed! Let the power of creativity lead the way, not fear.
Start living your best creative life!