Anybody who’s ever wanted to write, create art, or start a business has experienced the Creative Closet. It’s that dark place where you constantly second guess yourself, afraid to share your talents, gifts and message with the world.
If there’s one thing professional writer-hood and helping folks tell their story has taught me, it’s that a big part of the battle to meaningful work and creating an authentic brand is the internal war.
It isn’t strategy or resources, its plan unsexy internal demons:
- Not being clear about what you want in life
- Being afraid to go after what you want in life
- Feeling like you’re not good enough to go after what you want in life
THEN, only after the internal demons are beaten back, do the practicalities kick in:
- Not knowing how to build brand and business
- Not knowing how to tell your story in a way that wins clients
- Not knowing how to put the systems and strategy in place so you don’t become a slave to your business
But trust me, if your internal world isn’t playing nice, the rest don’t matter.
If you’re not clear on what you want, you’ll go in the wrong direction. If you don’t believe you’re worthy of your dreams, you’ll never achieve them. If you’re not willing to confront your fears and do the work, you and your business will never be free.
Cue the soulless 9 to 5.
Cue being 90 years old and looking back with regrets. The shoulda, coulda, wouldas.
Please no. Anything but that.
Don’t waste this life and look back wishing you mobilised your vision and talent.
Now is the time to learn the big lessons. Now is the time to confront your fears. Now is the time to follow your bliss and contribute something meaningful to the world.
If you find yourself stuck (procrastinating on writing blogs or a book, resisting your marketing, pursuing your business idea, etc) here’s 5 steps to get things moving so you can climb out the creative closet:
- Know what you want. To keep yourself motivated and CLEAR but what you should do and why you should bother doing it, you have to get really REALLY connected with what matters to you and what your vision is for yourself. Declare it. Make a vision board. Write post-it notes and paste them all over your walls. Put a whiteboard in front of your desk with black marker exclaiming your vision and goals. Remind yourself daily why it’s important to you. Why do you want to grow your business? Or write a book? Or get more people aware of what you do? All of these things are just “mechanisms” to achieve a bigger dream. What’s your big dream? When you envision where you want to go and why, pushing yourself beyond the growing pains and self-sabbotage becomes that much easier.
Side Note, if you’re not sure of what you want you either need to a) see a coach who can coax it out of you b) play a little more until you figure it out. You either know it and are too shit scared to admit it, or you need to explore your interests until you find it.
- Connect with what you want the world to know. I believe everyone has a life lesson and philosophy that shapes who they are – a lesson they believe the world should know to be a better place. For example, I believe stories have the power to shape and influence the world. I believe our own life stories not only give us the clarity about who we are, but how we present ourselves as a brand. One of my clients who sells eco-products believes that our consumer choices impact the world and that to make change, we have to change our habits and buying behaviour. What’s your underlying belief? What do you want the world and how does that relate to your work or project? When you know your stand, your creativity with flow and your content will be supported by your unwavering internal compass.
- Choose your poison. Creativity means output. To be creative you have to birth something and put out in the world. What’s your medium of choice? Are you a writer, dancer, singer, artist, filmmaker, etc? Are you better with drawing, talking or typing? Identify your strength and use it to put your message out. Everyone is creative. It’s just a matter of knowing your medium and your message. If you’re not strong at writing, maybe you’d rock at a podcast. If you hate video, maybe you like to doodle or create images. All of these are a medium for communication and getting your message out to build your brand and get people connected with what you do. But you have to choose your poison.
- Do the time. You can’t create, build your business or materialise your project less you do the time. Reality is conditional like that. You can’t sit at your desk once a week and hope for the best. You have to be committed. You have to take the good days with the bad and know that sometimes you have to slug it out. Some days you’ll wonder why you started the forsaken project to begin with (cue Point 1 – remember the BIG DREAM and let it spur you forward when things get hairy. Because they will. It’s 100% part of the creative process – DON’T LET IT KILL YOUR MOJO). Dedicate time to your craft every single day. Let it become a habit. Let it infiltrate your dreams and subconscious. Work on it so often that it no longer feels like work. If becomes life. Connect with your vision, your message, and let yourself become a channel for expression. Show up and be the channel.
- Physically step out the closet. AKA click publish. You have to share your work and your message with the world. Get real eye balls on it. Today a website and social media is all you need (for a solid content marketing strategy, watch out for my next post).
A humans we are born to create. We were born to impact the world in a way only we can. The biggest obstacle in fulfilling our birth given right to create and elevate humanity is ourselves. You must overcome your discomfort, your hesitation, your lack of clarity to go on to make the difference you were born to make. I believe in you.
If you find yourself going in circles and need someone to get you rooted and moving forward – give me a ding. It’s my absolute pleasure and calling to help you through the process.