Working with creatives I cannot help myself but to admire their courage. To me, the true creatives are brave warriors. True creatives have to create to feel alive. Creating is not an option, it is what they are. They feel creativity in their whole being as a source of energy that has to be expressed. This eternal wish to create becomes their life energy behind their courage; being courageous for the sake of manifesting what is important to them. Courage, just like creativity, is not an option is what they are.
Yes, true creatives are courageous warriors and that is because creativity requires courage, as the French artist Henri Matisse says ‘another word for creativity is courage’. It takes courage to express the things you are passionate about. It takes courage to put your creativity out into the world – to open yourself up to be be valued, loved, and appreciated; at the same time, to be criticised, rejected, and devalued. Yes, it takes courage to push yourself through fears, insecurities, self-doubts, anxieties, and life challenges. It takes courage to take risks and to live in the uncertain zone of possibilities. And, it takes courage to stay true to what you are and create what you believe in.
Courage takes our dreams from wish and fantasy into engaging with our life energy and into transforming these fantasies into reality. Courage is standing up and asserting our human right to live fully and to bloom fully. Courage is living our life out loud in a way that represents us, the very core of who we are. Courage is telling the story of who we are with our whole heart, like Brené Brown says. Courage is choosing and manifesting life over fears.
I deeply believe that we all have our own fountain of courage. However, sometimes, our courage can be hidden by fears, insecurities, self-doubts, past failures, life challenges, anxieties, depression, experiences with rejection, shame, abandonment – just to name a few. As we all have fears, insecurities, and self-doubts; courage is choosing to push through all these challenges, on the other side of these challenges to what is important for us to create and become. Courage connects us to our hopes and dreams, letting those guide our actions.
At the same time, I believe some struggle with courage, because of early experiences around courage. Maybe no one inspired you to take on normal life challenges with courage. Maybe your were shut down when you were excited to take on a new opportunity? Maybe someone made you scared or anxious when you tried somethings new. Maybe you took on others struggles with anxieties, fears, insecurities, and self-doubts.
As children, we take on parts of the adults we love and need the most, without our awareness or consent. Yet, for others, is the old feelings of emotional trauma interfering with their courage. Despite being talented and successful artists insecurities, self-doubts, depression, anxiety, and addiction are taking over.
Now, I would like to invite creatives to take a moment of self-exploration. What comes to your mind about your courage? Do you feel it? Is it present with you? Is it somewhere inside you, but so hidden you barely can feel it? Does is excite you? Does it scare you? Do you allow it to take you where it needs to take you? Do you deny it? Do you ignore it? Do you wonder if you have it? Does it help you be the creative that you want to be?
Yes, creatives need courage to push themselves through challenges over and over again; through fears, anxieties, insecurities, self-doubts, uncertainties, rejection, and criticisms … When they connect to their courage, challenges become opportunities for growth, healing, and accomplishments.
Mihaela Ivan Holtz is the founder of Creative Minds Psychotherapy , a psychotherapy centre for the creatives and performers located in Beverly Hills, California.
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