You, the artist, have a big desire to make meaning through your art. You want to deliver a message, to fight and advocate for some important issue, or spark a cultural transformation. You want to tell stories that matter and have an impact. You feel called to make a difference.
With your art, you speak the things that cannot be expressed through common language. You put language to what is hard for so many others to say. You speak to a truth that society is not willing to talk about or face…
A true artist is actively part of the world that inspires their art. A true artist creates with a purpose. They do not create in a vacuum.
It’s wonderful to be inspired by such a sense of meaning, but it isn’t necessarily easy to follow your calling. Sometimes you may feel like what you have to say has already been said, or that you’re being too idealistic. You may feel you’re too passionate about a cause and lose an important sense of perspective. Or, maybe you wonder, “Who will actually hear my message? Who will pay attention? Will I be heard and seen? Will my work make an impact?”
And, there you go… Suddenly, you’re trapped in your head, overanalyzing and overthinking your ideas. Despite feeling so fueled by your desire, you don’t really pursue your calling. You’re trapped somewhere between your desire to create and your overthinking…
What’s really happening? Why can’t you just purse your desire to make a difference?
When you overthink and overanalyze, you disconnect from your inspiration, drive, and desire to make your art. You get trapped in a creative block. It silences your calling.
Of course, you want to be seen and valued. But your ultimate desire is unique. You to have an impact. You want your art to speak to the right people that believe in your cause. You want your audience to connect with you and together to stand up for that cause.
Your fears and doubts, when triggered, interfere with your ability to fight for what you believe in. Your desire begins to fade…
What if you dare to make this art and no one really cares or pays attention? What if it doesn’t have the impact you dream of? What if it doesn’t make a difference?
Overthinking and overanalyzing are just defense mechanisms that keep you safe from feeling your fears and self-doubts about being unseen, undervalued, and not being able to have an impact.
But your big desire to create art with a meaning, doesn’t go away. It keeps coming back. It’s in your mind and in your heart. It’s your calling and you can’t ignore it! You don’t pursue it and you don’t give up either. You’re stuck.
How can you get unstuck and pursue your calling?
1. First, remember overthinking is not deliberate thinking.
Overthinking has nothing to do with a critical and creative thinking that enables you to come up with an idea that will further your cause. Overthinking is a way of you avoiding feeling your fears and your doubts. To follow your calling, you have to face your fears and doubts. It’s the only way to take on the journey of creating meaning through your art.
2. Understand why you’re avoiding feeling your fears and doubts
It could be that maybe you never had the chance to face fears and doubts. You just don’t know how or what it takes.
If you have never been around people who know how to face fears and insecurities, how would you know how to do that yourself? If you have never been encouraged and challenged to get out of your comfort zone, how would you know how to stretch yourself? If no one ever walked you through a challenge, how would you know how to move through difficulties?
You need to walk the walk in order to learn the walk. It’s in the discomfort zone that you transform limitations into new skills and abilities.
Also, you could be carrying some emotional old trauma related to your fears and doubts that need to be healed. Unhealed emotional pain can control you in ways you may not understand or be aware of. Once you heal old trauma, you can face your fears and doubts.
3. Reconnect with your creative energy by validating your important artistic needs.
Connecting with your artistic needs can also help you move through fears and doubts. Even if it’s hard and you stumble as you face them, you make it through when you stay connected with your artistic needs. Your artistic needs fuel your desire. They’re the sparks that keep your flame alive.
Your artistic needs need to be acknowledged. When these needs are validated, you’re able to create the art that supports the causes you truly believe in.
You have two unique needs as an artist who creates in order to support a cause.
You have a need to self-actualize through your art.
You want to live fully and imbue your life and work with meaning and purpose. This desire to express meaning through your art is what drew you to be an artist. Self-fulfillment is vital for you.
You have a need to speak through your art.
You choose to create art because is the language that enables you to speak about something you’re passionate about. Your art is the medium through which your messages take shape.
Fears or doubts can’t hold you back when you connect to your artistic needs. Your desire prevails.
The world needs courageous creatives to speak to others’ hopes, needs, and dreams. You, the artist, need to find a way to satisfy your own emotional and creative needs, so you can give yourself to causes that you and your audience care about. You and your audience need each other to stand up for your cause.
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 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.