Female back view looking at the city No one knows better than you, the creative, what it takes to show up and invest yourself in creating a career of purpose and meaning. You are passionate and know you are on a mission to bring value to the world through your craft. You’re determined to turn your vision into reality.

And yet, something is holding you back. You feel lost. It’s like you’re just tiptoeing around your true self, unable to connect to your voice, purpose, and creativity.

Perhaps your feelings take over and, instead of using them toward creating your path, you’re controlled by your emotional experiences. Often, you find yourself daydreaming rather than doing the work.

Maybe you’ve been enjoying a degree of success, but it’s not what you really want. It doesn’t feel emotionally fulfilling because it’s out of alignment with your real you. You’re left feeling emotionally empty and disconnected from what you really are. Maybe you’re feeling restless and hopeless, anxious and depressed.

Yes, it takes a lot to navigate life as a creative person. You have to show up over and over again in your work and in the world. At the same time, you also have to tolerate so many big unknowns. As a professional in the arts, you always have to be prepared for the possibility that your hard work will not translate into the rewards that you deserve.

When you are on a career path that is almost certainly going to involve failures, rejections, and the risk that comes with putting yourself and your work out there, unhealed emotional wounds can show themselves and make you feel out of control, vulnerable, and exposed. Fears, insecurities, doubts, shame, feeling unworthy or not good enough… You probably know these emotions all too well.   

So, how can you navigate your creative career and the challenging feelings that are bound to come up along the way?

To be creative is to have courage. So, have the courage to face yourself, all that you are and all that you feel.

First, you ask yourself: Will my emotional experiences inform and help me? Or, will I get stuck, trapped, or hurt in unresolved feelings? Ballerina artistic pose on the floor

Of course, you want to use your emotions as fuel to create. You want to be mentally capable and resilient in order to show up in both work and in your personal life. To do this, you need to find the courage to face your whole self. This means learning how to recognize, be with, and overcome your emotional blocks, your emotional conflicts, and/or trauma that is holding you back

When you truly face yourself, you take responsibility to heal and grow so you can bring forward the best of who you are. You make the most honest, enduring impact on others when you offer them the authentic, vulnerable, compassionate, and a brave you. The real you.

To face yourself and show yourself is to bring beauty to the world. From this kind of truth, a creative vision that is grounded in humanity, healing, and transformation can emerge.

How do you know if you are on the right track, learning to face yourself so you can show your best self to the world?

Creatives who are doing their inner work it takes to face themselves can say:


Male musician in the studio - back view with hands up I feel a connection to my true self.

I have the courage to express myself.

I can show up and persevere, even when things are tough.

I have discovered talents I didn’t know I have.

I give myself permission to fail, get up, and try again.

I have more emotional and creative clarity.

I know my own voice and  I feel connected to my voice.

I trust in myself and what I want to create.

I am creating from a place of presence, in connection to my goals.

I have moved beyond desperation or comparison and I am doing my own thing.

I feel more ease and more fluidity in my performance.

My fears and insecurities disappear into the background while my passion and imagination leads me.

Despite  feeling discouraged sometimes, I can come back to my journey and continue at my own pace.

How can you face yourself and offer the best of yourself to the world? Female playing piano with her image reflecting in the piano top

Commit to a journey of emotional discovery, healing, and transforming and find the right people to help you. 

We all have back stories that shape us.

The beauty of who you are comes from your past experiences, but so do your emotional blocks. Unresolved internal conflicts, triggers, and reactive responses that keep you stuck in repeating stories of defeat. Every time you react from an unhealed place, you reinforce that “stuck story.”

In psychotherapy words, you get re-traumatized, over and over again. Over time, you can become trapped in disconnection, you cannot access your authentic core – the essence of who you are.

Even worse, emotional blocks tend to get triggered when you most need to show up.They tend to emerge when you really need to step out of your comfort zone and explore something new. And, of course, this kind of healthy risk taking is exactly what is required of you to create a life of meaning and passion.

This is what I’d invite you to remember: the opportunity to heal and to fully face yourself comes in the moments that challenge you.

Imagine yourself stepping out of your fears, doubts, or limiting beliefs into being connected with what you love to do and your genuine talents. Imagine yourself being with people that inspire you and energize you to be creative. Imagine putting your efforts, your time, and energy where it belongs, in developing and honing your gifts and inclinations.

Everyone is different when it comes for healing and transformation – what works for one may not work for another.

The goal is to find a therapist who is attuned to you. That means they will:

  • See your true core essence through the pile of fears, insecurities, hurts, or traumas Male filmmaker walking with his camera
  • Be with you where you are,  neither not slowing nor rushing your process
  • Give you the emotional space for you to see inside yourself and understand your own depths
  • Inspire you to do your work
  • Know how to hold your through the hard but transforming moments of healing
  • Be dedicated to helping you live with emotional freedom

I specialize in working with creatives, performers, and fine artists. In my years in practice, I have found that weaving a psychodynamic approach to therapy with insight into the neuroscience of relationships and EMDR enables us to do solid, lasting work that heals from inside-out.

When you are able to truly face yourself, to see struggles and your stories as well as your beauty and your accomplishments, you’re ready to share your art with the world. When you can step out of your comfort zone, show up in your creative life, and embrace your inner world,  you can heal and grow in ways you may be surprised by. 

Contact me to set up a free 15-20 minute consultation to see if psychotherapy can help you further your career and your personal life.

I am Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Doctor in Clinical Psychology. I help creatives face and shift emotional trauma, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, creative blocks, and addictions – to be and live their own best version. You can read more about Therapy for Creatives and Performers here.

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