Sunday, February 12, 2012

Obstacles To Creativity (Part II)

This is part II of a series of posts on this blog on obstacles to creative expression.
Second obstacle:
The need for knowledge, expertise, recognition, acceptance, …

The more we do something, the better we get at it. Soon we can become an expert in whatever it is that we have been practicing or doing regularly. This is how we think we become successful. Most high achieving professionals think that success is a result of being known for doing something that you are an expert in. Steve Jobs in his commencement address at Stanford University in 2005 said: “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

One of my clients who enjoys singing was explaining to me: “Every time I sing, it forces me to get out of my head. I have to be in the moment, I never know what will come out. No matter how much I have rehearsed, that moment with the audience listening, is all that counts. I have to be present and willing to take a chance. It sounds scary, but I love every bit of it.” She takes voice lessons and rehearses regularly and yet she is a beginner every time she sings. She even confessed that she does not care if she does not sound good during a performance, it is not about the end result, there is no end result. She sings because when she sings, she feels connected to something greater than she can explain in words. And I suppose an end result for her is the joy she feels and radiates as she sings.

This same client had to face her own obstacles to get to this place. She had to recognize what it was about singing and how it showed up in her experience of it that made it possible to face and remove her own internal obstacles.

There is no room for knowledge in the creative process. It is all a risk, one that can bring absolute pleasure and joy beyond imagination. In order for that joy to become a part of your life, you have to be willing to let go of knowledge or knowing how to do something. In other words, you have to be willing to be a beginner over and over again.

If you are interested in removing some of your own obstacles and feeling creative again, you may want to work with a spiritual life coach. Contact me for a complimentary 30 minute coaching conversation to determine if I can help you in your creative process.

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