Self-Compassion And Creativity
Self-Compassion is important for creativity because it answers the greatest question posed by a creative block: What if I am not qualified to produce anything good? People, who struggle with creative productivity, are not without ideas. They just see the ones they have as bad, and to be frank, they may be right. What? It is true. Sometimes, you do not have great ideas, but producing great ideas does not require them to always be near. Instead, they require you to have faith that they will emerge.
How often have you started out with a bad idea, and worked on it for so long that you discover a good idea. This happens to many people, but instead of focusing on the good idea, they focus on the disappointment they feel having wasted so much time with a bad idea. Another very common reason for a creative block is anxiety. Creatives feel nervous that they will not be able to produce something novel and meaningful, and rather than address their anxiety they become engulfed in it. Lastly, creators can get stuck by dwelling over their last finished product. They find equal reason to dwell no matter if it is good or bad. If it is good, they worry they will never live up to their last accomplishment. If it is bad, they worry that they will never be able to create something good again.
Self-Compassion As An Antidote
Self-Compassion is a compelling antidote because it allows you to go to whatever experience you are having. Simply addressing this experience with understanding and kindness frees us up to follow the nearest path for developing the next great idea. If this means following a not-so-great-idea, then we do this. If it means that we have to accept that anxiety is an important part of creation, and that it need not be the focal point, then we do that.
If we worry about following up a good or bad creation, we accept this worry, and the knowledge that the next thing we create need neither be better or worse than our last creation. You have to have some bad ideas to have some good ones, and having good ideas means that you will probably have some bad ideas down the road. With this knowledge, you can begin to let go of how much control you need over the present to influence the future, and with that release, your creative block will be gone.
Self-Compassion For Life
There is no set recipe for developing a great idea, and that is good news for us because a lot of life (including what we experience and what we know) is out of our control. What we can control is our self-compassion, and happily that is all that we need to consistently return to our work, which in itself tends to lead to fantastic gains.
May you be kind to yourself. May you accept your current experience. May you have the courage to try often, and with as much freedom as you can gather. May you prize your own well-being and sense of self above anything that you might create. As you well know, the good life that you create for yourself with understanding and love will be more meaningful and will last longer than anything you make for someone else.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 171. In The Books.