How to Be Creatively Fearless

What stops creativity? When we turn our doubts into facts.

To be creatively fearless is to understand where you've been, how you've gotten to today, and why you want to go forward. 

But even more critical is to redefine the barriers holding you back. 

Defining who we are and how that impacts creativity is a messy, complicated, and thrilling process. Fearlessness is to love the “why” of creating the messages we are trying to translate, and we must do that before we pick up the tools and begin. 

We must love the way first, not the outcome, which takes courage and fearlessness.

A lot of people assume the opposite of fearlessness is confidence. 

Confidence is a lot to me, like the emotion of “motivation” or “happiness,” it is quickly impacted by our surroundings and shifts often, almost fleeting. It’s essential but shouldn’t be the foundation for your creative endeavors. 

And while I think creativity is also this fleeting emotion, it doesn’t mean we can’t have a system to ensure success.

And, of course, we also have the goal to have fun and get excited because fearlessness to me is to get joyful and encouraged by the entire creative process, failure included. 

And ultimately, to get passionate about the entire you - including your faults, triggers, and sufferings. Because at the root of it all, you are growing, evolving, and working towards a stronger you and a more colorful, crafted, imaginative life. Regardless of whether you consider yourself creative or not.

When we know something, acknowledge it, and understand it, that is like putting down bedrock, a firm foundation so that you can take risks and endure failure (because failure is inevitable). 

Nobody starts fearless, and nobody is absent of fear at any point; it is part of our nature as human beings with flaws, concerns, and anxieties. 

So you’re thinking, wait, if that’s true, why is our goal today to become creatively fearless? I want to start - with how we define fearlessness and, in turn, ourselves.

The definition of “fearless” is a lack of fear. Not the absence of fear. 

And this is where we get hard on ourselves. We think that to be bold, we need to have an absence of something that weakness, fear, and doubt can’t come into play. 

But here’s the thing… 

Fearless people know how to re-direct and use weak points, stressors, and doubts and rechannel them as a tool and not as a reason to quit. 

We also assume that we’re failing in creative goals when we encounter evidence of our doubts in the form of a failed attempt. You miss-cook a meal, throw out a drawing, and don’t have the best presentation - but the act of failure is not the failure itself but how we respond to it. 

Your failure is not evidence that you are not creative, need to be better skill-wise, or will not be successful.

So, what stops creativity? 

When we think failure is a sign to quit, and when we think those two things define our worthiness to be translators, to learn a skill, or express ourselves. 

It is when we disvalue all the life experiences we’ve already had and those emotions and don't place enough value on ourselves. We stop being creative when we put too much expectation on the outcome, which defines success, not you as a creative human.

Creativity is the act of translating information. That’s why I think the creative experience is for everyone. Creativity is not just for the artist but for someone processing life, which is all of us. 

It is not just drawing or photography; it is embedded into how we socialize, what we wear, what we cook and eat, and the media we want to consume. Even how we celebrate or process sadness has fragments of creativity  - which is why I think it’s so crucial for us all to explore and create a process that works for us.

We often stop in our creativity because we are so fixated on the final product, the outcome. We don’t love the passion behind the message we’re going after, the intention, the why, the entire process. 

I want you to fall in love with the message you're trying to tell, so much so that that becomes more important than the fear holding you back.

Creativity meets us where we are; sometimes, that place is brutal. I suffer from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), with panic attacks that can be debilitating at times. I’m a suicide survivor, and I know how sometimes our circumstances can make it feel like we’re having doors closed. Or it makes it feel like we have no ideas, no energy, or that we’re without skills.

So, ask yourself, what’s driving you today? Is it your fear or passion? What outcome do you want? What story are you trying to tell?

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