Creating and performing is not an option, it’s what you are. To feel alive, you must create and perform.
Your creative energy comes from the core of who you are. This deep desire to express your creativity drives you forward. Even if, at times, it feels as if you’ve exhausted that inner source, it’s still there. And, it keeps coming back. It never goes away. You feel it. You know it’s there. You can’t deny it. You can’t lock your creative passion in a box and forget about it.
Sometimes, however, despite the fact that you know you are an artist at heart, you deny that creative drive.
Maybe you feel it’s too scary. There are already too many artists out there, you think. Or perhaps you feel you can’t really be successful as an artist. The competition is fearless. Maybe you should go for a more practical life. You can’t be an artist and have a family. Or maybe you’re telling yourself, “I’m not unique enough,” or, “I’m not talented enough,” or, “I’m just another impostor.”
And yet, beyond all these doubts, you are a True Artist, and so, when you deny your internal creative drive, it comes back to get your attention.
Sadly your creative self doesn’t come back with that new song idea, a desire to rehearse, or brilliant strokes on a canvas. Instead, when your creativity tries to speak to you from that locked box inside your heart, it often looks more like emptiness, boredom, loneliness, agitation, and feeling stuck.
Repressed creativity doesn’t speak to you directly, but in so many ways it says, “I’m here. You can’t lock me away. I’m always here and I need to be free and express your deepest desires, fears, pain, hopes, and dreams.”
It’s almost like the ghost of your creative repression is asking you to see it, feel it, and connect with it so you let it be alive again, to take you to all the places that it needs to take you.
Unfortunately, when you ignore that creative voice long enough, the road back to your creative essence often takes you on a dark detour that might include depression, anxiety, and addictions.
When your creative energy can’t be expressed, your creative potential is not fulfilled. You live in the shadow of what you could manifest, what you could be, or what you could be acknowledged for.
Many things can stand between you and your creative energy
Fears, doubts, and insecurities can create a wall between you and your creative drive. Or maybe something is keeping you from feeling stimulated in the right way and you’re not open to inspiration. Unhealed guilt and shame can interfere. Sometimes you can lose touch with your emotional creative space and you simply do not feel authentic when you create. Perhaps you are having a creative identity crisis. Stress can get in the way too. Even love conflicts can stand between you and your creative energy.
So, what’s behind the fears, the doubts, the shame, the guilt, or insecurities that keep you away from expressing your creative desires?
First, it’s important to keep in mind that all of these fears, doubts, insecurities, guilt, or shame you may be experiencing are just normal part of the life as an artist. These emotional challenges in themselves are not really what keeps your creative energy stuck.
What keeps your creative energy trapped are the defensive mechanisms, the unhealthy tactics that you build over the years to protect yourself from difficult feelings.
These defensive strategies are creating walls between you and your creative drive. You turn to them when you are faced with fear, doubt, confusion or other difficult feelings. Instead of meeting your challenges and working to overcome them, you stumble and get stuck in these unproductive tactics.
Such defensive strategies emerge through your actions: avoiding, distracting yourself with useless activities, minimizing your abilities, ignoring your hopes and dreams, isolating, procrastinating, not showing up, or addictions.
But, there is a way out!
What can you do now to start connecting to your creative desire?
You can start looking at and peeling back these unhealthy strategies that keep you away from connecting with your creative desire. While this is not easy, it really is possible and highly rewarding. You don’t have to make major changes. Just start small! Anything you do differently can move you toward a different path.
Next time you find yourself avoiding, isolating, procrastinating, giving in to guilt or shame… JUST STOP.
Give yourself a chance to do something a little different. Maybe go out and take a walk in the morning air. Look at the moon and see how it feels. Practice your creative skill, even on days when you think you are far from being brilliant. Connect with a fellow artist. Go out to see a show!
Every time you stop giving in to what traps you and you replace it with something a little different, you make small but important shifts. Such tiny actions can bring some joy, a little curiosity, a spark of inspiration, a dash of motivation, or a taste of empowerment. All of these little shifts come together eventually and the walls that stand between you and your creativity start melting away…
That’s just the way it is, a True Artist must be connected their creative desire.
If you find yourself unable to start making some small shifts on your own, you might need help from a trained professional. I specialize in helping creatives and performers, often with getting them back in touch with their creative emotional space and their creative expression. Please contact me to set up a free initial consultation.
I am Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Doctor in Clinical Psychology. I help creatives and performers with emotional trauma, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, creative blocks, relationships, and addictions – to be and live their own best version. You can read more about Therapy for Creatives and Performers here.