When I present to groups (companies/organizations/ schools) I have members do a stream of consciousness technique to discover their inner dialogue and the barriers they have constructed that keep them from being creative. When members share their stories of the words they have written on their paper during this exercise 3 key issues surface and form the “box” that keeps us from entering a creative state of being: Lack of creative confidence, conditioning and fear.
Today I want to focus on a lack of creative confidence. Just this week I did a presentation in Columbus, Ohio and a lady in the crowd was sharing her inner dialogue and she said, “I don’t feel like I am creative”. This is a major theme I hear is that creativity lies outside of me, they can see other people as creative but not themselves.
If we want to identify the walls we put up that keep us from being creative it’s easy to see this is a major wall. If her inner dialogue is telling her she is not creative the chances of her being artistic are very limited. Any type of confidence is fleeting and comes and goes depending on the circumstances, results and performance. A “toxic” inner dialogue destroys one’s creative confidence and keeps one from entering a creative state of being. Her ability to take risks, chances, experiment and explore will forever be stifled due to her inner voice telling her she is not creative.
So it all begins with awareness, AWARENESS is key.
I have spent a great deal of my life in the arts and as actors we are always trying to self-analyze and reflect on our emotional and psychological state so we can become aware of our walls and barriers. Actors need to have a free instrument so they can be spontaneous, emotional and experience and express the feelings of the characters they are playing. Once actors gain awareness of their walls they can start to change and make new decisions, choices and re-program their inner dialogue. It’s a process and takes time and energy but the results are so dramatic and profound and can surely change the direction of not only one’s ability to be creative but will affect all other aspects of a person’s life.
Think of self-awareness in very simple terms. If you never went to a doctor you would never know exactly what problems or issues you have in regards to your health. Some may argue this is a good thing and ignorance is bliss. Nothing is absolute and in some cases this is true, however, in the majority of cases I believe knowledge is power.
Think back to the woman who spoke up at the conference this week, her “disease” (inner-dialogue) has gone untreated for the majority of her life I would assume. Who knows when this idea that she is not creative was planted in her, but she is living out a life with that disease. Self-awareness brings the diagnosis to light and then the individual can form a plan and change one’s inner dialogue.
It comes down to this… WITHOUT AWARENESS ONE HAS NO HOPE OR CHANCE OF CHANGE! The woman who spoke up this week at the presentation is now aware of her stifling dialogue and with this awareness she can decide the direction she wants to go in.