This is part III of a series of posts on this blog on obstacles to creative expression.
• Expectations and Fears
The “what ifs” can be a huge obstacle on the path to exploring and expressing your creativity. What if you are not well received? What if you are no good? What if everyone laughs at, or pities you? The underlying fear to all these “what ifs” is the fear of failure.
Failure is the one end of success. If you are afraid of failure, you must be hoping for success. This is an expectation. Expectations are to be avoided when seeking the creative path. There is no such thing as success or failure in the traditional way of understanding those terms. Success is creative expression. In other words, if you were courageous enough to try it, then you have succeeded. It does not matter how your art or expression is received. The moment you start worrying about the end product and other people’s reaction to it, you have talked yourself out of doing it.
A healthy dose of humility that may show up in the form of anxiety before a performance or showing is normal. After all, it is scary being out there for all to see. This is the time to remember the joy that your creative expression brought to you during the process. That has always been the goal. If you remember that, you can cruise through the anxiety more easily.
When you remember the fun, excitement, and exhilaration you experienced when you were creating whatever it is you created, you are more likely to do it again and again. Also, when you are doing it without expectation to be accepted or validated, then you can change directions, take a break or try something else. It is quite liberating to create for the sake of creating and not for any accolades.
Another well concealed fear, is the fear of success. Most people are afraid of their greatness! In that case, the “what ifs” are: What if I have to quit my day job? What if I become famous? What if I lose my friends? What if I change? Yes, the greatest of them all, is the fear of change. Every time you express yourself creatively, you are pushing the limits. You are exploring your creativity and having a blast at the same time. This goes against, the expression: “no pain, no gain”. You start hesitating a bit, because it starts to question many of your belief systems.
Could you have fun creating something, be good at it, and perhaps even get paid for it? That is scary for many. If you are somewhere on this path and are having doubts, fears or hesitations, you may want to consider working with a spiritual life coach. Spiritual life coaching is about accepting and honoring your creativity so you can keep on creating without any guilt or expectation. Contact me for a complimentary 30 minute coaching conversation to determine if this is something you’d like to pursue.