Or be a creative person for that matter.
Recently I’ve found my personal work on a decline. I haven’t put forth the time and effort I really want to to create new and cool things. Yes I am busy. Yea I’m also lazy. But a part of me realized its because I’m scared.
A year ago I was submersed in an art community as I attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. It was a crazy unforgettable experience, and with so many like minded people around it was less scary to unveil my work for the world to see. I was able to stand beside it proudly even when it wasn’t as up to par as I knew it could be. Of course I was still scared to be in front of tons of people, having them critique my every line and shape, but I did it anyway.
So what changed?
I left that community. And lost my self confidence in my work. I kept denying this until I made myself face the problem as I haphazardly finished a painting I started a year ago and have been putting off. So I was looking for inspiration to make myself feel better and stumbled upon what really makes up an artist.
It lies somewhere between absolute narcissism and crippling self doubt.
As hilarious as it sounds I realized this Venn diagram nailed it. Completely. Utterly. Nailed it.
As well as the drive to pump out incredible creative works any creator needs to be cripplingly aware of every flaw and completely full of themselves to push themselves further and further.
This sounds silly. How do you not look like an ass while being completely narcissistic but how do you not look like a weenie while being deep in self doubt.
I still have yet to figure this one out, but I’m on a mission to figure out what this means for me.
I feel like this really just heavily hints towards the notion of courage. You know, doing something even when you’re afraid. Where does courage come from? Is it within all of us or is it something that we learn through our environment and our peers? And if I find out where this “courage” you speak of comes from, how can I get me some of that sweet courage for myself?
Shit. I feel like the cowardly lion right about now.
But seriously. How do we as humans attain the courage to do the extraordinary things we do? So I turn to none other than Google and type in ye olde search bar “where does courage come from?”
In all honesty I didn’t think I’d get much of anything good, but then I found a blog by Jamie Matthewman (The Inspired Man – read the post here) and a New York Times opinion article by David Bornstein (read it here) in the first two search results. What luck, huh? Especially since they’re both relevant to my questions and good reads at that too.
Courage according to the article comes from a self perception to be “strongly linked to other through a shared humanity.” That’s the short version relating to moral courage anyway, but still applicable. The blog credited it to choice and how you perceive yourself. These both have in common how you as a person are perceiving yourself. Like how strong do you think you are, physically and emotionally or how much faith you have in yourself, etc.
I found this incredibly interesting. I feel good knowing that a starting block for being a well balanced person in my Venn diagram is re-evaluating how I perceive myself and working on what I see as conflicting with my choices to be courageous. I found this crazy interesting. The idea of breaking this down into smaller steps in order to achieve the greater goal.
Courage is a choice that is governed by the way you perceive yourself, and if there are perceptions of yourself that conflict with a courageous attitude, such as not trusting yourself or not believing in your own strengths, you have to work on those perceptions before you can “leap into the fire” (so to speak).
Of course that seems like almost a convenient answer so I turn to the internet.
I want feedback on what makes people feel confident in their creative works. Tell me what gives you courage. Where does it come from for you?