The other day, I watched my younger son in swim class. There he was, swimming as hard as he could to get from the wall to the island, struggling to stay up, sinking, coming up for a breath, turning to the teacher for a breather, then throwing his arms forward, kicking and kicking until he finally reached the island.
I was so proud of him and his little body, swimming so hard and with all his might.
Maybe you are like my son.
There you are, working with all your might to do your creative work (in the face of your internal resistance, your fears, your perfectionism, all the things you have to do for your kids, your job, your family…).
Sometimes flailing, sometimes coming up for air, working with all your might to get where you want to go.
But, you don’t need to do it on your own.
Would you throw your child into the water and expect her to swim?
(Maybe your grandparents learned the “old school” way, but isn’t it nicer and more helpful to teach our kids how to swim–and give them support and guidance as they do it??)
The same is true of your creative work.
Why make yourself go it alone? Why make it hard for yourself?
I’ve heard clients tell me, “I want to work with you again, but I’m embarrassed. I feel like I should be able to do this on my own.”
I want to offer a loving reframe: There is no SHOULD. There’s only what leads to a worse life or a better life.
I’ve been working with coaches and mentors myself since 1997. Often I work with three or four at a time. I do this because I want to live the best life I can. I invest in support to help myself do that.
I could go it alone, but that would be a waste of my precious time and life energy.
If it’s hard for you to do your creative work, that’s because there a bunch of stuff in your way. Fears. The constant sandstorm of your “to do list.” Staying up late so you’re too tired to do your creative work in the morning before you’ve got to get the kids to school. All of it.
You COULD spend another five or ten (or twenty!) years pushing against all that.
Or, you could get a coach–and spend those years doing your creative work.
You could enjoy your work. Have a successful creative career. Give your creativity to the world as a gift.
Will you choose your creativity?
Will you choose yourself?
Will you choose a better life?