One of the biggest reasons I hear from people about what’s stopping them from getting started with creative play is fear.Fear of doing it ‘wrong’.Fear of not being ‘perfect’.Fear of not having the ‘right’ equipment.There seems to be this inbuilt pressure we put on ourselves that if we’re going to do something we have to do it well from the off. And what’s the biggest killer of creativity? Pressure!As noted in my post, Tap into your creative self, when I returned to my art after a 10 year break I laid the expectation upon myself to pick up where I’d left off all those years ago. It was totally unreasonable and unrealistic but that was the pressure I placed upon myself.Returning to my creative roots has come about for me after a long period in left-brain mode, building a business and studying for a masters degree. With very little right-brain activity in the last 5 years I’ve suddenly become acutely aware of feelings of disconnect within me….Disconnect from my imagination.Disconnect from playing.Disconnect from ME. The REAL me, the me I was always destined to be.As time has gone on I’ve felt a real longing to start creating again. I realised how much I’ve missed the smell of oil paints, the sound of brushes on canvas, the excitement and anticipation of starting a new piece of art and wondering where it’s going to go.Those feelings and experiences lift my soul. They get me excited and I feel my inner muse bursting into action – committing scenes and sensory information to memory to come back to when I’m in my studio.With that, however, comes fear and unintended pressure.What if I can’t honour those memories?What if I can’t capture the essence of what I saw, what I felt, what I heard?What if…. what if…. what if….And sometimes I can push through the fear, get my materials out and start making marks. Tentatively at first, then as I get more comfortable I relax…. and that’s when the fun starts!Sometimes though the fear wins and that idea, that inspiration I had, gets consigned to the sketch book and will probably sit there unrealised forever.As I’m sure many of you have experienced in this world of fast-paced lives, deadlines and commitments, we are prone to tend to everyone else’s needs first and relegate ours to the ‘if I have time’ basket.My question to you is this:What if… you CHOSE to set aside an hour a week to tend YOUR needs? Your CREATIVE needs?How would that feel?Does the thought of that provoke the automatic response of “oh, I’d love to but I don’t have time for that”?Is that REALLY the case or is that a self-conditioned response to FEAR?We owe it to ourselves to honour our creativity. It’s not an indulgence, it’s not a luxury. It’s a part of who we are and it deserves the time to be nurtured.Go on, be bold….. start right now with blocking out some time to reflect on this. Ask yourself WHY aren’t you creating and see what comes up. Once you can identify the block you can start to work out a way to clear it.If you like what I do, please support me! © Natalie Day 2017

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