Today is the winter solstice–the shortest day and longest night of the year. In honor of the energy of darkness (and the sacred return of light), I want to look at the dark side of our feelings about our creative work.
However your creative work went this year, there’s a chance you were disappointed about something. Maybe your work didn’t get the response you wanted, or sell as well as you hoped. Maybe you were unhappy with how a creative project turned out, or maybe you didn’t get as much done as you hoped.
Whenever there’s disappointment, it’s easy to blame yourself. The critical voice in your head says things like, “You’re not good enough,” “You’re lazy,” “You should have known better,” and “You’ll never get there.” And then you either feel like crap and fall into a cycle of self-blame, or you defend yourself, saying why you are good enough or why you will succeed.
The truth is, both these approaches can keep you stuck. It’s obvious how descending into self-blame can take you out–destroying any good feelings, killing motivation, and making it almost impossible to do your creative work.
BUT, defending yourself against those voices can actually perpetuate negativity as well. Here’s why: if you’re in a defensive crouch, you are actually pushing away a part of yourself–the part of you that didn’t do well enough, didn’t get there, and doesn’t feel good. All that does is use up your energy (while the shoved-down crappy feelings continue deep down).
What you need is FORGIVENESS. Instead of pushing it away, truly accept that you didn’t do as well as you hoped. Accept whatever part of you you’re angry at. Give yourself compassion, and known that you did what you could under the circumstances.
Maybe you made the wrong choices–and maybe you even knew it at the time. Maybe the next time you need more information, more guidance, more support, more energy, more of something you didn’t have. And going forward, you can do something about that.
But first comes forgiveness. To successfully move forward, you must end the cycle of self-blame and self-defense, and simply give yourself love. And this will allow you to create with peace and joy.
Solstice blessings to you. May you move through the dark and into the light, bringing your soul’s work into the world with joy.
P.S. If part of what you want for the new year is to take a big leap in your creative career, get in touch.
I’ve put together a program designed to help you do your TRUE creative work. You’ll break through the obstacles holding you back, get your truest creative work out into the world, and take a dramatic leap in your career.
What kind of leaps are we talking about? Going from the hidden talent who makes other people shine–to seeing your own work live, in film festivals and on TV. Getting an agent. Getting a book published. Appearing regularly in The New Yorker.
TRUE CREATIVE SUCCESS is a high-level program for ambitious creative people who are committed to big, exciting results. If that’s you, email me and let’s talk!