If you’re like me or any other musician, artist or creative soul, you suffer every now and then from a bout of self-doubt and nagging feelings. Am I good enough? Am I a joke? Will people like my art, music, lego castles etc? Will I be respected, admired, appreciated? Will I be seen as a ‘real’ and ‘true’ artist? If most artists are honest we would admit that we face these fears, doubts, questions and other insecurities from time to time. A lot of us deep down want our art to be meaningful and leave an impact on people. We want to know that we are making a difference in the world and are leaving a mark.
The truth is we will at times fail, look stupid, be exposed, laid bare and be vulnerable. That is just part of the territory that comes with being an artist and creative person. Let me tell you that I have been there. Last summer I decided I was going to use crowd funding to help fund a music tour I was taking in July. I without really realizing the work that crowd funding would take put up a campaign. I raised a total of zero dollars on the campaign! I saw others around me using crowd funding and being successful at it! I felt very vulnerable, sheepish and like I totally failed. I felt like what I was doing wasn’t having an impact.
I carried this lie with me for a while even when I went on the tour. Particularly when I came back I had some people reach out to me and tell me that what I did – going on the tour and taking the risk – really encouraged and inspired them. They saw me as brave and courageous for stepping out despite the odds. Also when I look back, I may not have got money from the crowd funding campaign but a few people gave me cash donations and I raised some money at my tour fundraising house concert before I left. It’s these things I don’t realize until after the fact that I was being guided and looked after.
When we take risks and put ourselves out there its not always going to be comfortable. There will be people that don’t agree with what we are doing. We will face resistance. If we don’t get resistance from people then we feel resistance from our own selves. It’s tough work risking, leaping, moving forward and being vulnerable. Often we are our own worst critic. We need to learn to be gentle with ourselves, to be kind and nurturing. Encourage, affirm and build yourself up. Say things like, “I am loved, I am blessed, I have abundance and everything I need.” Saying these affirmations can help put us in a healthy place. We can learn to move forward to look back at what seem like such a foolish failure and laugh at ourselves. We can say “Hey it really wasn’t that bad.” We can own our future and press forward.
I wish you all well on whatever leg of the journey you are on. Happy creating, music, art making or whatever it is that you do best!!