Most people don’t and we all lose when that happens
There’s a little voice in the back of your head, telling you that you’re a faker. A faking faker on fake day and people can see right through you.
There’s another voice telling you that the thing you make comes to you so easy, you can’t charge money for it. You could do it in your sleep therefore it has less value.
There’s that persistent son of a bitch in your head assuring you that people won’t notice if you back out, don’t show up or say that you’re too busy to attend the whatever gathering it is.
Some of us have this kind of inner dialogue on at full volume, screaming our inadequacies at us day in and day out. Others have it on mute but every once in a while mute fails.
And so we hesitate to show up. We assume our work, and our very presence doesn’t matter. We reach for external validation at the same time that we know we’re undeserving.
It’s an ugly and terrible dance.
When you’re a creative, it’s even worse because your work is tied into that inner voice. You self sabotage your art, your opportunities and your public persona.
I can see it. Have seen it. Still see it. And it’s a shame.
We are born all worthy of being here. The very act of arriving assures us our worth. There are no wastes of skin (what a horrible description). No mistakes.
And when we’re born, we’re all given gifts. Some show up young, some later, but they are there. The artist. The writer. The speaker. The peacemaker. The scientist. The analyst. And oftentimes those gifts are layered. An artist who writes. The musician who programs software. The singer who discovered a cure for something.
But if you go through your life being terrible to yourself, your gifts by proximity are shit on too. A crude, but important picture.
You are supposed to be here, alive, right now, doing the work that comes naturally to you. And that work isn’t just for you, self indulgent and selfish, but for others too.
When you write, paint, create, being who you are from a place of owning who you are, you inspire others to do the same. Our work isn’t just the obvious, but the ripple effect outward. Me, taking up art so publicly in 2015, inspired countless others to pick up their brushes too. There are at least five books out in the world because my strength of presence and conviction was contagious to the right people in the right moment.
It’s so easy to focus on the poor me, and terrible things happen to me and life sucks and I’m powerless. When you do that, the people who are in the same mindset, or leaning that way, gather around you.
But when you claim your power, your absolute RIGHT to be here alive and your absolute place as a powerful creative, a person worthy of their gifts, you change the world.
There’s a ripple effect that happens when we are the stone tossed into the pond.
Until 2015, I craved my art practice but did very little about it. Living a creative life was for other people, though I’d always intended to be an artist and went to school for it. I was convinced I wasn’t worthy of my gifts and skills.
A near death situation shifted my priorities in the most dramatic way possible and I decided that now was the best time, the only time, I had to change everything. Within a year, my art was available internationally and things just grew from there.
But what happened that I wasn’t expecting was the ripple effect.
My kids, old enough to be thinking about careers and heading into secondary school, suddenly made major shifts. From a quiet state of despair and an anticipated future of unsatisfying cubicle-based, soul destroying jobs, to choosing art and music for their paths.
My fans started contacting me, sharing their work. Not having painted or made any art in years, felt safe enough to try in the same way that I would paint live and face the chances of failing in front of an audience every week. My ability to perform regardless of outcome gave them courage.
When I started writing my book, and then writing about the process of writing, more people contacted me. They thought they were the only ones going through the pain of feeling unworthy! But no, in my authenticity and sharing (oversharing?) they found the courage to continue knowing that they weren’t alone.
This power that I show up in, knowing that I’d have more regrets not doing a thing than doing it and possibly failing, is contagious.
And it’s not unique to me.
When you claim your power, claim your gifts and own the fact that you are supposed to be alive and doing the things that bring you joy, it ripples outward and changes the world completely.
You showing up as you are is so important because so many people don’t and then we all lose. How many books go unwritten? How much art is hidden away, the artist unsure of their own value? How much music is unplayed, unshared, unsung?
It is our very purpose is to be who we are, perfectly imperfect in the moment. Being the light, the candle, the guide for the people who just need the inspiration.
When Roger Bannister ran the very first 4 minute mile in 1954, he changed the world. Prior to that, no one thought it could be done. That it was humanly impossible. The minute he did it, or really shortly after, runner after runner began to break that barrier. Now it’s the de facto standard for male athletes.
This is how we influence each other — proving that a thing can be done by doing it. Making the path. Being the person who gets shit done.
Claim your power. Be a light for the people around you. Do what you were born to do. Humanity’s path depends upon it.