Arts and entertainment careers can be so brutal. In order to make it as a creative or performer, you may have found it necessary to hide behind an emotional armor to protect yourself.
This emotional armor has its value. It feels safer to take on the world behind that armor. You feel like no one and nothing can hurt you, shame you, judge you, or mistreat you.
And yet, this armor doesn’t allow you to truly be a part of the world.
Your armor keeps you from putting yourself out there with all that you are. Truly being a part of the world means you show up fully and freely participate in life with your real you. That’s not something you can do when you’re hiding within a shell.
Your Armor’s Protection Comes At a Price.
At some level, it makes sense to want take on the world feeling protected. You feel safe behind that shield, but it’s actually an illusion of safety.
Real safety is rooted in knowing how to be a part of the real world, with all of its beauty and challenges.
When you really feel safe, you can embrace the good and the bad, and all in-between as you navigate the world. You can take in the greatness and the magic of life. You can face challenges, inspired to turn them into opportunities for growth and success.
Creating and performing actually gives you a way out of this armor.
Your art gives you something you really need. It allows you to come out into the world as the real you. When you step on the stage or when you create your art, your armor vanishes away and you come to life, in all your fullness. You’re unafraid of expressing yourself. You become what you feel, what you believe, what you dream… You embody your life stories that make you shiver with love and passion, or give you chills of fear, or fill you with awe of inspiration. You feel grounded in your own voice as an artist. You feel so real and alive. You own the world from that stage, canvas, or novel…
Your art gives you the opportunity to freely be you. It feels good, it feels rights, and it feels empowering.
But then, when you step back into your real world, it feels too vulnerable to be the real you. You return to your emotional armor.
When you move from being so present and alive on the stage or canvas to being an inhibited version of yourself in the “real world,” you are left feeling lonely, empty, and disconnected. You may feel anxious or depressed as you seek a way to reconnect to yourself. You feel incomplete and unreal when you’re not merged with your art.
Sometimes, you find yourself filled with a longing to come out and be you, not just in your art, but in your whole life.
Away from your art, something is missing…
You want to let go of that armor, but part of you wonders if you’ll still be a successful artist.
Though the armor may have limited your experience, it also supported you and developed your career.
It makes sense that you would hesitate to leave behind something you’ve known for so long and has offered you such support. But what if underneath that emotional armor there’s an artist with strengths and vulnerabilities that could actually deepen and expand not only what you create, but also your overall life experiences?
I invite you to consider what your life might look like if you were truly emotionally free – both when you’re immersed in your art and away form your art.
This is an invitation to live with true emotional freedom. Free of the armor of self-protection, you’re able to live and create with your full self, in touch with all that real energy of joy, passion, sadness, frustrations, doubts, fears, love, and curiosity.
When you find this kind of freedom you can truly experience and celebrate not only your art, but your whole life.
If you have any questions please contact me for a free consultation.
I am Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Doctor in Clinical Psychology. I help creatives and performers with their life struggles, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, creativity, relationships and love, PTSD, and addictions – to become their own best version. You can read more about Therapy for Creatives here.