Dear geniuses, business owners, visual storytellers, world changers and friends.
Today marks the first day of my weekly blog/email series: dispatches from the Bureau of Tactical Imagination. Or: Tactical Imagination Missives. Still working on the name, which is challenging, because Truth Bombs and Blazing Epistles of Righteousness are already taken. But its basically a love letter. With an invite to a free gathering, and an assignment for you that you can use to boost your creative confidence.
Later this month, I'll be launching a free audio series on creative confidence. What it is, why you need it, and how to get more of it! I want to poke and and goose and examine and understand more deeply how and why we get in our own way – get in the way of the luminary genius inside of us, the visionary imaginer and creator we are aching to be. And find the many good paths forward towards liberation for all of us so we can create stunning, ethical, intelligent, creative, wildly beautiful brands and successful businesses that are a big extension of the best of what we each bring to the world.
The places we already have creative confidence make us the powerhouses we are, and are probably why we became entrepreneurs or artists or innovators in the first place. But the places we lack it are affecting the quality of our offerings, and our businesses' bottom line (for starters).
At the basis of any good business plan and strategy there has to be a leader who is comfortable being a creative genius, a courageous risk-taker and a true innovator. The fiery sun in the center.
Plans crumble around our insecurities and no amount of good strategy can compensate for a leader who doubts herself. This is the challenge, and the opportunity, that most of us face. Its possible to build a good business without blazing creative confidence, but not a breakout, standout, amazing business that really brings the impact, income and life that you want.
The places we falter in our creative confidence can be hard to spot because a general suppression of creative brilliance is normal in our culture. We adore and hold up those among us who bust out and do something truly visionary and break the rules in the name of good and in the name of progress. (Take a moment to think of those icons in your world.) But in seeing those folks as exceptions, or transcendent, we forget that we are all built to be that way.
Especially you. You were built to be that way and no part of that essential functioning in you is broken. Its as essential to you as your blood and bones.
Suppressed maybe. Oppressed, definitely. Layers of conditioning sit on us: from our class backgrounds, our gender, our race or heritage or color, language, physical disabilities and differences, body sizes, religion, the list goes on and on. Many of these layers of conditioning are installed in obvious and damaging ways as we are growing up. Ways that we can remember and speak to. But many of them go down easy and unawarely. By contagion - in a culture that relies on people being divided from each other, and from our own core creative brilliance.
Think about it. Would be buy so many things, get so addicted, would we go to war, would we hate anyone, would be exploit the planet's resources, if we didn't feel divided - from each other, from the earth, from our own selves? If on some level we hadn't given some of our power up? Our power to connect, to create, to never give up, to insist on justice, on our lives and the world being fair, joyful, in balance, safe, sustainable?
We have to bust this down. Because, on a very basic, here and now, hows-it-going-running-your-business level, this crap is in your way.
Its in your way each time you spend an afternoon researching for answers that you suspect are already inside you.
Its in your way when you put off making images or telling a story because it feels somehow tiring to do the “creative part.”
Its in your way when you get seduced by the latest font everyone is using, or the latest way everyone is designing their sites or talking about their services or using buzzwords, and you do the same in hopes to conform to success.
Its in your way when you shoot down a number of ideas you have before giving them some room to breathe and develop.
Its in your way when you leap from inspiration to inspiration and don't commit to full execution.
Its in your way when other people's needs come first, beyond where that's appropriate.
Its in the way when you don't communicate the full value of your work.
Its in the way when you forget to stop and stretch and drink water.
Or when you keep forgetting to focus on the bigger picture. Or when you are afraid of details.
We've all got some version of creative confidence boo-boos, and: it's losing us clients, time, income, happiness. And it dims our light, dampens our vibrancy....and feels normal.
I'm not a big believer in chasing productivity. Because when we are fully creatively confident, we know we can light that fire when its needed, and create what we want to create, and nothing can stop us. We don't need to hold our feet to the fire, fight procrastination, or whatever. When we are creatively confident, we are having fun and we are focused. We may have challenges and conditions in our lives that interfere with creation time. Competing priorities and bona fide crises happen. But when our creative confidence is sound, PRESENCE replaces productivity and when we do make the time and space to work, we know our focus, clarity and motivation is strong and ready to roll.
So how do we get there?
On Thursday September 29 at 2pm EST, I'm inviting anyone who wants to explore this further to join me in a free 2-hour CREATIVE CONFIDENCE JAM to listen, witness and be coached on this issue. Go here to sign up!
AN ASSIGNMENT (takes 2 minutes. Do it now.)
Conjure to mind someone who you hold up as a beacon of clarity, creativity, an impact in this world. Someone whose contribution to the world you value and celebrate totally. It can be someone you know, or someone in the public eye. Someone you look to for hope and inspiration. A mentor. An elder. An extraordinary leader. It can be someone now living, or a brilliant ancestor. Someone from your personal canon of heroes.
Then, close your eyes, and imagine standing before this person, face to face. Standing tall, same height, shoulders back, head raised, eyes clear and delighted and confident. Smile at them. Thank them. Reach out for a hand and feel yourself as a peer, an equal, a friend. Listen for what they have to say to you.
Then make your declaration. It has to be in your words. But it might have to do with promising to never undermine or demean your own creativity and intelligence again.
It might have to do with claiming your mastery and your vision.
It might have to do with being gutsy enough to shed an old identity that keeps you playing small.
It might involve tears, or laughter, or the shakes.
Whats your declaration that you make in the eyes of your favorite peer in the world of luminaries? The one that calls you to accept that you are here to serve at that same level?