Creative Opinions, Which Ones Are You Taking to Heart And Why?

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There will always be people who want to share their creative opinions about what we do. Their words can come across as a harmless, simple suggestions meant to inspire or motivate us, or they may cut wide and deep, venturing into preachy territory.

 

These two ends of the creative opinions spectrum can start out with good intent, but don’t necessarily foster our creative spirit. However, while you are unable to stop people from sharing their thoughts, what they say is not nearly as important as how we take it to heart – and why.

 

From an early age we create freely, mixing mediums, inspiration, imagination, and more. We see everything as a part of our creative world. Then, one day, someone shares their opinion of our creations. Despite the specific words used, we may “hear” that what we created was good or bad, beautiful or ugly, worth it, or waste of time.

 

When we first experience the feeling of being hurt by what someone thinks of our creative self-expression, it can be like we suddenly don’t trust ourselves. We might even think our creative beliefs are wrong. And when that feeling gets buried deep within us, over time, it eventually turns into a core belief, albeit a false one.

 

The way we feel about our own abilities is also heavily influenced by family patterns and conditioning. If we heard our parents picking on their own creative abilities, or listened to them comment on how creative self-expression is a waste of time as an adult because it’s risky and does not guarantee prosperity, it can have a huge impact on what we hear “beneath the words” for the rest of our lives. 

 

This is where limiting thought patterns and fear can start to build up in our heart, keeping us from hearing our true creative voice beyond the “noise” of other’s creative opinions.

 

View How You Are Feeling With Open Curiosity To Get To Your Truth

 

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I want to share a quick story with you about one of my first big freelance writing clients. She was a famous published author with many books under her belt. I was coordinating with a local designer to create a marketing brochure for the author’s extensive skills and coaching work.

 

I worked with her large library of content, writing new things and consolidating others to craft a full portrait of her skills and capabilities. At one point there was a turn of phrase that she and I went back and forth about many times. I can’t remember why it stuck in her craw, but seeing as she was a published author (and I was not), I had to make a choice.

 

Was I going to stand by my creative suggestions? Or go with the whole “client is always” right mantra?

 

I thought about it for a while before I made my case. I gently explained why I believed in the power of the phrasing in this particular section, and ultimately left it up to her to decide what she wanted to do.

 

A few days later she gave me a call. The client revealed that she had written her own version and showed it to people along side my version, and it turned out that people liked mine better. Not only was this unexpected, but I was floored she was willing to tell me about the experience.

 

Now, if I had listened to her creative opinion and not stood by my own ideas, we both would have lost out. Not because the few lines of content were a big deal in a whole brochure, but because I would have started out my freelance career believing that other people’s creative opinions were more important than my own inner guidance. The client also would have lost out on the experience of being open minded about her own work.

 

Do A “Gut-Check” When Listening To Creative Opinions

 

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In some cases you want external creative opinions to learn and improve your craft. The most important thing to remember when asking for outside input is to know what you are looking for before you ask.

 

  • Do you honestly want feedback and if so, what kind?
  • Are you looking for reassurance that an idea has value before you will believe in it yourself?
  • Are you willing to listen openly and absolutely release any insight that doesn’t resonate with the good of the project, setting aside what the ego is telling you?
  • How do you think outside creative opinions will help you or the work improve?

 

If a comment sticks in your heart and mind as a knock or criticism, take time to sit with why the heart is sensitive to it. Are there certain words or tones that set off a known, or unknown trigger? Is the ego feeling a bit bruised? Does an opinion sound similar to an old teacher, parent, or friend who put you down? Take it one step deeper to explore why it still matters now.

 

In the case where creative opinions are unsolicited, it’s even more important to go within and feel whatever feelings come up.

 

  • Are the person’s words true?
  • Do you agree?
  • Did they happen to mention one of your biggest fears about a creative venture, and now you feel vulnerable or scared?

 

One of the biggest obstacles to creating something new from a space of pure inner guidance is to believe in ourselves, that what we create has value, and to always remember we alone determine that value. At the end of the day, a creative opinion is nothing more than that – an opinion. Only we can take our feelings about creative opinions and turn them into a tool to keep ourselves down or let ourselves soar. What do you choose?

 

For more reading on similar topics, check out my other posts, Creative Confidence, Rejection, and How They Inspire Each Other and Acknowledge and Honor Emotions to Take Self Care to a New Level.  Want a little more creative support to build clarity and self-confidence, connect with me for creativity coaching or an intuitive reading. Looking for a few little nuggets of inspiration on the go? Check out my podcast, Flirting With Enlightenment. 

 

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