For years I believed I wasn’t a creative person. You see the way media portraits creatives and you get the idea how creativity comes only in that one form – a crazily talented person that knew she wanted to be a singer/actor/dancer, etc. from the age of three and have since then more or less worked on polishing that talent. Then here is the rest of us who have instead been polishing society’s idea of what our lives should look like – finish school, find a well-paid job, climb the corporate ladder, in the meantime get married, buy a house you’re going to pay off for decades, stay on that job until retirement and then live the rest of your life feeling happy and satisfied knowing you’ve thrown your best years pouring money into somebody else’s hands.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered I too have been living like that. It hurt my soul knowing I’ve let somebody else tell me what my true value is. Because that’s essentially what they tell us – you are not good enough to live a life that’s different than what we have designed for you. It’s not easy reprogramming your mind from ‘I’m not good enough’ to ‘I can be anything I want to’. For years, my body literally rejected the idea I could create a different life for myself. I kept comparing myself to others and every time I’d create something I love, my mind would take over with ‘but she’s already done it in a much better way’ or ‘you can never create something on the same level she can’. That might be true, but there will always be somebody else who can do it better, who has been creating for much longer than you and therefore has more skill in that particular field. Instead of putting ourselves down, there is another viewpoint we can take on that – if she can create such amazing work after few years of practicing, then if I start today, I too will be able to produce high-quality content in a certain amount of time.
What troubled me for so long was how can I offer valuable content to anyone when there are so many people who have a long time ago mastered those same things and can in return offer more on much deeper levels. I thought I had to wait to become an expert in that particular field and only then I can share my work. But something told me if I do that, over the time I will accumulate an even deeper need to be ‘perfect’ before I can offer a part of me to the world, and the longer I wait, the harder will it be to start. The thing is, can we ever feel fully ready to do something that’s out of our comfort zone? Another thing that pushed me was noticing how sometimes it’s easier to connect with someone who is just one small step ahead of you in creating something or solving one particular issue. I truly think how for every story there is – and every one of us has some sort of story – someone can benefit from hearing it.
I am still struggling with the feeling of not being creative enough and comparing myself to others. But I’ve learned that letting that fear stop me from creating brings me nowhere. Better said, it leaves me stuck in the same place. In the years of being too afraid to create and expose myself to the world, I have indeed created something very valuable – the feeling of regret for wasting time on not being my true self and living by other people’s conditions. I know better now and I’m going to create and share my work no matter how far from perfect it may be. The chances of me cringing to these words in few years are way too high. But what’s even more probable is that these little steps of getting out of my comfort zone and following my creative needs will eventually result in the feeling of fulfillment for knowing I’ve done what my soul was telling me to, and took the role of being the creator of my life.