Creativity and Confidence, Self Love Sunday
I didn’t exactly experience confidence as a kid, but I did discover creativity. I truly believe that creativity proved to be most reliable therapy. I started writing as a young kid. I discovered the journal (diary was never my word for it). I sent my darkest secrets there, my private shame, my most emotional moments. The paper and pen were my tools for expression of all that I thought and all that I needed to release. The intensity of young life recorded for years. I burnt that journal at one point. A close friend was aghast that I would erase memories in flame on impulse, offering to take it and lock it up instead. I didn’t want to remember details.
There were a few major turning points of creativity that propelled my esteem and confidence. In 5th grade I began writing poems and one of the teachers released this poetry, highlighting my talents, in the school library for an entire week. I distinctly remembered copycat attempts by other girls who wanted the same experience. Whenever I passed through that library I swelled with pride.
Another moment was when I wrote more poetry in high school and entered into the literary magazine. A couple of macho guys came up to me and congratulated me on my words. The truth was, I had actually written that poem in junior high but never showed anyone. Another feeling of confidence. I continued to write in junior college for the newspaper and elected to Editor. I had to turn it down as I was offered to move to New York and live on Long Island as a nanny for an amazing family, one of the children also became a Coach. I loved writing and I loved how it made me feel.
I also got into crafting in my twenties and thirties. I made some jewelry as a hobby and all the decor for my wedding. I didn’t know boredom because I could lose myself in something that felt accomplishment in small pieces, hours, and increments of life. Some of the time I spent translated into self-esteem and not for the reasons you think. Having your name as author, writer, poet pr designer sounds cool, but it was really about the fact that I was able to create something for creation’s sake and I didn’t feel afraid when I was doing it.
If you like TED talks, then watch this video about Creativity and Confidence. It highlights the fact that most of us are creative if given the right encouragement and atmosphere. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the attitude of most workplaces. The positive messages I received as a teen, or young adult, were soon to be replaced with messages about following protocol closely and not going outside norms or formal expectations. I became afraid of being creative.
David Kelley echoes this in a Harvard Business Review article, “…we can’t risk our business-world ego in the same way. As a result, we self-edit, killing potentially creative ideas because we’re afraid our bosses or peers will see us fail. We stick to “safe” solutions or suggestions. We hang back, allowing others to take risks. But you can’t be creative if you are constantly censoring yourself. Half the battle is to resist judging yourself. If you can listen to your own intuition and embrace more of your ideas (good and bad), you’re already partway to overcoming this fear.”
I would add to this that many fields believe they are open to creativity but in practice, they are not. In healthcare for instance, where I spent most of my career, Physician Coach (did you know there was such a thing?!), Francine Gaillour, MD, talks about how to handle creative physicians, she terms, Different Drummers, “In medicine, creative physicians have limited outlets for expression and indeed they often present themselves in ways that puzzle mainstream physician colleagues. We sometimes find ourselves feeling awkward in their company and are quick to label them as difficult. Physicians who are different drummers can come across as strangely aloof or annoyingly animated, as clumsy communicators or eloquent grandstanders. They may passionately champion innovative ideas far beyond the status quo, only to find that their personal intensity prevents anyone from actually understanding their message.” Creativity can help anyone’s confidence, event the different drumming physician.
I believe that is why I chose coaching, blogging/writing and energy work later in my life. There is nothing more creative than intuiting what someone needs in the moment, and treating accordingly. Treatment can look like falling asleep on a massage table, going through an astrology chart, using body mechanics to help a client gain insight, creating web content for readers or, scheduling workshops for groups who want spontaneous interaction. Being a Coach who likes to write, teach and engage in unique interactions with others is about the best type of job I can think of. I can use my creativity, while building confidence, and build confidence in others.
It’s important to me to find ways to increase the options for creative outlets for clients, myself and my family. I remember handing my baby, who was just learning to sit up (and almost 8 years old now), a pen and paper. I think I still have her first drawing somewhere. It felt important to me to pass on the love for creativity and self-mastery to my daughter. I was unable to enjoy the presence of my mother throughout some very crucial points in life. With insensitive peers, teasing teens, and family dysfunction, it was difficult to find a place to thrive.
I am grateful for what I was given by others who inadvertently asked me to not be afraid and in turn, find confidence within myself. I think that’s also the bigger message for this post. If you are finding it hard to build confidence somewhere in your life, start doing something creative. There are so many resources out there for almost any type of occupation or activity at home. GET inspired!
It’s never too late to be CREATIVE, read Dorie Clark, from Forbes, How to Stay Creative at Any Age
See some of our creative fun on INSTAGRAM, @mamababyhummingbird