Are you Too Attached to a Specific Creative Picture?

attachment, creative, creative renovation

The way you see your creative self is guided, in part, by a combination of past experiences and future expectations. You know what works and what doesn’t, what was painful and what was best left as an “experiment”. This view influences your perspective on all sorts of things, including the specifications you use to rate creative projects, client interactions or new ideas as potential successes or failures.

This approach is perfectly understandable — until you go back to the first sentence of this blog post where I mentioned creativity is often influenced by past experiences.

If you are trying to shape a current creative picture from old information and judgments, you are actually creating more from the past than the present. Yet, the present is where your true creative essence is most alive.

So now what? A little renovation is in order.

Creative Renovation Starts with Awareness of Behaviors

Yes, the past sometimes influences you to create something new and different. You use it as a springboard to change, to grow. You can also be subconsciously relying on the past to create the standard by which you judge your current creative performance. This approach can be like using a fork to brush your teeth. You might get out the big chunks, but are your teeth really getting clean and clear enough?

To unlock yourself from a specific creative picture starts with being aware of when you are jumping into the past, looking through older, non-objective eyes. If you often feel the burn of self-judgement or fear around whatever you are creating, or trying to match something you’ve already done, it’s a big clue you are attempting to recreate an outdated perspective using the current version of you. This doesn’t work or feel very good.

Another common habit is to focus so much on expectations or the future picture you see in your mind,  you miss the “exit”. An exit could be that weird feeling in your gut you keep ignoring, a connection that could have helped you or a completely new, better opportunity that would be a more fulfilling creative expression of the current you.

Unlock the Current Creative Within

If you’ve been feeling like you are in the hamster wheel lately, going ‘round and ‘round but creating nothing inspiring, it’s time to unplug.

Take a FULL day off. Find a way to be alone, at least for part of it, and just be. Sit. Take deep breaths and BE with yourself. Do something just for you, or something you haven’t done in ages to see if you still want to, like eating your favorite food or watching your favorite movie. Then, do at least one new thing, something you see as an adventure or have always wanted to try.

Honoring yourself with a special, dedicated day gives you a safe way to take a step towards something new while also realizing when you are in “nostalgia mode”. It offers a fresh perspective; a new starting point grounded in the present. Seeing the past and present clearly is one of the most powerful tools in your creative tool belt, and let’s you “reset” the starting line, enabling you to live more in the present. Then, when you look towards the future, you are creating something that starts with the most recent and present version of yourself, unattached to the past or future you think you see.

Photo credit: Felix-l-gato