It’s an old story, and not a pretty one: We always hurt the ones we ought to love the most: ourselves. But that doesn’t have to become the story of our lives. We have the power to use our creativity to love ourselves and others better, nurturing the passion projects that feed our souls.
Why is it that we so often use our own creativity to sabotage our dream work? Creative self-sabotage shows up in different ways: those negative and highly detailed voices in our heads, those sabotaging days of helping other people solve problems while our own fester, those excuses that fuel procrastination.
These blocks have passed beyond stories to become habits. The good news is that every tool to help shift bad habits can also help us make new habits to harness our creative passion.
That’s why writing coaching is often as much about life coaching as it is about supporting great manuscripts. The stories that get in the way of writing (or painting, or starting that new business, or finding a new relationship) are the stories that get in the way of living large and free.
Writers and artists are especially vulnerable to self-sabotage using their creative storytelling gifts. Here are a few tips to use your power for good, not for evil:
- Notice the stories you’re telling yourself. If they’re chronically negative, you need to shift the story, step by step. The first step is to interrupt those stories so they lose their power. The easiest way is to make a physical change: stand up, sit down, walk around, do jumping jacks, have a glass of water. This is important.
- When you make a commitment to do your art or write that novel, honor it with compassion. No matter how much you or how little you get done on your passionate project, celebrate the commitment, and keep facing that blank or messy draft until it makes sense. Every step counts: even thinking about it, writing a few words or dabbing at the canvas.
- Get a buddy to keep you going. We all need a partner who meets you at Starbucks over coffee (and actually works at the same table), or answers the phone when we need encouragement. A buddy helps us measure what’s real and not real in our critical stories, and reflects our good qualities back to us so we can replace the old negatives with new positives. You’ll share the wealth, too!
The stories we tell ourselves matter. They make or break us. And they’re the place where we exercise our natural creativity the most, consciously and unconsciously. Make it conscious and it’ll work better for you.
What stories are dominating your life lately? Do they help channel your creativity into your passions? Isn’t it time to launch — or finish — your passion project? Let your creativity guide you into the flow of more joyful days.
If you’re interested in a free 30 minute phone session to find out how Storyweaving can help you move forward, contact me.