Transform your creative blocks into the fuel that brings your work to life
I could feel the waves of frustration emanating from him when he talked about it. “I have this idea for a program that I’ve been trying to put together for years now,” he told me. “Every now and then, I get a burst of energy and leap into action, but inevitably I stall out for one reason or another. I just can’t seem to follow through with it long enough to bring it into being.” His shoulders slumped. “What’s wrong with me?” he asked. “Not a thing,” I replied. “You’re a creator.”
I have similar conversations with many of my clients on almost a daily basis. This was one of the reasons I created the Visionary Creators Connective. It’s a safe space for creators to connect and support each other on their individual journeys of bringing their work to life. It is important for people to be able to normalize the challenges of the creative journey. I also want those who are stumbling in the process of creating their inspired work to recognize they are not doing something wrong, they are doing something difficult.
If you struggle with creating your inspired work, know you are not doing something wrong, you are doing something difficult.
Your inspired work is the truest expression of who you are. It does not already exist in the world, it is your “job” to create it. To bring your work into the world from just a seed of an idea is a challenge for anyone. The first hurdle you might face is lack of clarity. Before you even get to the outward act of creating, it is necessary to do the deep inner work of getting clear about who you are, why you are here, and what you have to offer. Once that that bridge has been crossed, then it’s time to move into action. When you begin to actualize your ideas, you will likely encounter an even bigger set of obstacles – your own internal fears and stories of limitation.
One of my favourite aspects about inspired work is that it will most certainly illuminate all of the places within ourselves where we have imposed constraints. It will also necessitate us to recognize these internal barriers and move through them, especially if we are dependent upon our work for providing us with an income. There’s nothing like a shortage of money to light a fire under our feet.
Having said that, I am not an encourager of using external motivating factors, such as money, to power our actions. While being motivated may give us a quick spike of energy, perhaps enough to overcome our inertia, it does not provide the sustained energy that the commitment to birthing new work requires. For that, we need to tap into our inspiration.
Inspiration is an internally-sourced experience that occurs when we open to be a channel for life-force energy to flow through our being. Our ability to allow this stream is what fuels our creations. It is our internal blocks that impede its flow and make the way difficult.
Acknowledge your blocks for their service
So long as we deny the existence of our internal blocks, they will continue to hinder our progress. One of the first steps in reducing their effect is to acknowledge them. We must respect them for their reason for being. Perhaps, at one time, they had been offering a cloak of protection that was necessary for your survival. As you reflect upon each block, you may want to ask yourself how that block has been serving you and thank it for its service.
Ask yourself how the block has been serving you and thank it for its service.
When we meet it face-to-face and gaze upon it with compassion, it begins to soften. As it melts away, we might be dismayed to realize that the block has only been masking an even deeper fear. If we have been in resistance to fully feeling the actual fear, we unconsciously formed a barrier so that we didn’t have to experience the torment the fear was causing. However, if we summon the courage to go into those feelings, it’s interesting to notice that it is usually what we imagine is beyond the block that’s what’s so terrifying, not the block itself.
As an example, let’s look at the common creative block of “not wanting to be seen”. A typical story might be that it feels too vulnerable to expose your true self in the world. As a result, you might be choosing to play a smaller game. You don’t do what you know you have to do to have your work be visible in the world. So, yes, “not wanting to be seen” is a block, but what’s the actual fear? What might happen if we remove the block? Each person will have their own version of this story, but it could be something to the effect of: “What if I am truly seen for who I am and I am abandoned for it? I don’t believe I will survive the heartache of being alone in this world.” This is a very compelling argument for not letting ourselves be seen.
In our minds, these fears are very real, but the question is, are they true?
Your truth is your source of energy
Fortunately, we don’t have to burn the blocks to complete ash to connect with our creative energy. If we find ways to lessen our resistance to our fears even just a little, the energy begins to flow again. One of the ways to do this is to reframe our blocks and fears into truer statements.
You might wonder what makes a statement “truer”. I don’t claim to know what’s true for you, but I do know your inner being knows. Beneath the anxiety-addled thoughts of your mind (I’m speaking to us all here) lives a trustworthy part of your being that knows your truth. And you know what that is by how you feel. The more expansive and enlivening your thoughts make you feel, the truer they are for you.
The more expansive and enlivening your thoughts feel, the truer they are for you.
The key to accessing our creative energy is allowing ourselves to feel. We have to let ourselves feel the “reality” of our fears, both physically and emotionally, while at the same time staying open to what’s more true. This is difficult, especially at this time in our society when our nervous systems are already overtaxed and our reflex is to shut down when confronted with distress. As the energies on this planet continue to amplify, it’s helpful for each of us to have inspiration practices so that we can stay grounded and receptive in our bodies.
As we gradually release the stranglehold our fears have over us, we access more and more energy with which we can actively create. When we allow that life-force energy to surge unimpeded through our being, which is the definition of being inspired, it becomes the fuel that lights our creative fires and keeps us going on the long road of bringing our work to life.
Common creative blocks, fears, and fuel for your fire
Every creator will have their own unique versions of these stories. I encourage you to delve within to reveal yours. The following statements are generalized to encapsulate some of the shared themes:
Block: I doubt my value and I question my ability to bring my work into the world.
Fear: What if I bring my work into the world and it doesn’t matter? What if I don’t matter?
Fuel: I know I have a valuable contribution to make and I am committed to doing this. My work matters to me. I matter to me!
NOT WANTING TO BE SEEN
Block: I don’t feel safe opening my heart and exposing my true being to the world.
Fear: What if I am seen as my true self and I am abandoned for being who I am. I won’t survive the pain of being alone.
Fuel: When I allow myself to be vulnerable, it feels a little scary, and it also feels enlivening. No matter how I am seen by others, I vow that I will never abandon myself.
Block: Whatever it is I am creating will never be great, so I won’t even bother trying.
Fear: What if I’m not a great creator?
Fuel: I allow myself to fall in love with my own creations whatever stage they are at and I nurture their growth and evolution. The same goes for myself.
Block: I can’t put my work into the world until I’ve perfected every little detail.
Fear: What if I stand out from behind my shield of perfectionism and I am rejected by others?
Fuel: I don’t need to be perfect, I just need to be authentic. I accept my own imperfections. As I share my imperfections with the world, it will help me refine all the little details of my work.
FEAR OF FAILURE
Block: If I make a mistake, it could end in disaster.
Fear: What if I’m the mistake? What if my entire existence is a failure?
Fuel: There are no mistakes. Especially me. With every “failure” comes new clarity. I recognize every misstep as a necessary part of the evolutionary creative process so that I may realize my desired success.
ATTACHMENT TO CERTAINTY
Block: I need assurance there is no risk and my actions will result in my preferred outcome.
Fear: What if I become lost in the void of the unknown?
Fuel: I embrace the creative process as an exciting adventure into the unknown.
Block: I’ll get to creating when I have some “free time”.
Fear: What if there’s not enough time to do all that which I want to do with my life?
Fuel: I choose to make my creative process a priority in my life.
Block: I just don’t feel like doing it.
Fear: What if I can’t do it?
Fuel: I recognize that I have bumped up against the edge of my comfort zone and if I stick with the task for just a little bit, I will gain confidence and build the momentum to keep going.
Block: I get so daunted by all that I have to do, I shut down to cope with the stress.
Fear: What if I waste my life focusing on the wrong things?
Fuel: I establish a working rhythm that works for me and I do the best I am able, moment-to-moment, to relax into the unfolding of my journey.
To burn through these blocks is about far more than achieving financial recompense for our work. When we embrace our fears and release our resistance, we open ourselves to experiencing the pure joy of being a vessel for life’s creations. We become imbued with the fiery essence of source itself. To direct that energy into the act of bringing our work to life provides satisfaction and fulfillment like few other endeavours. So long as we are willing to be a little charred by the blaze of transformation, we will have access to boundless energy with which to create the work that sets the whole world alight.
Stoke your Creative Fire
If you feel as though your creative fire is waning, you are invited to join this inspiration-sparking event where you are going to transform your blocks into the fuel that will help you regain your inner light and get back to the very important “job” of bringing your work to life.
If you’re interested in gaining the momentum to move your work forward, join me for this free one-hour online workshop.