One thing’s for sure… If any one of us unleashes our creativity, our world will split open. We’ll find unprecedented ways of solving problems and expressing our souls, and our lives will be forever changed.
But perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of creative expression is that it depends on resistance to the opinions and interference of others. For the many of us worried about doing something “wrong,” in the eyes of others, Martha has two sure-fire exercises that will help us develop that resistance muscle and keep it strengthening.
Exercise 1: Get a piece of paper and write down the words “I’m so ashamed that _________________.” Finish the sentence with whatever pops into your mind. Feel the shame. Observe it. Notice that it does not motivate any positive action — only paralysis, fear, and self-hatred.
Now, stand up to your shame and the people who have shamed you. Question them (on paper, not in person). Start by writing phrases like “What makes you think you can shame me for making mistakes? What makes you think you can stop me from moving forward, learning, and growing? What makes you think I should be ashamed of the person I was created to be and the things I am meant to create?” You get the idea… and notice now how you’re moving from a place of shame to a place of empowerment.
Exercise 2: Find a private spot to sit down. Now take your notepad and write: “If I didn’t give a damn what anyone thought, I would _____________.” Finish the sentence any way you want, as long as it’s true.
If the action you’ve listed is ethical, legal, and wise, promise yourself to do it when you’re ready. If not, pat yourself on the back and promise yourself a treat (a mocha Frappuccino instead of ordinary coffee, and a half-hour alone in the park) for being honest. Keep your promises!