Creativity + Worthiness

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." — Dorothy Thompson

At this point, I hope that many of you are deeply involved in your creative endeavors. You’ve already figured out what you’re going to do to express yourself creatively, and you’ve likely already carved out the time in your life for your pursuit. Things are going along great… until you have to make a tough choice. Maybe you have to decline an invitation to help out on a non-profit committee because you simply can’t take on one more thing. Perhaps this causes you to question why you deserve to have this free time in your schedule. Why are you so worthy of having what you want while others repeatedly sacrifice for others, even at their own expense?

The issue of worthiness and whether or not we’re worthy of our desires is something that many grapple with. Maybe it’s already happened to you. Maybe not, but trust me, it will come up at some point, in some form. So, how do you square away the worthiness issue? Honestly, it depends on the individual (you!) and how you process conflict, inner and otherwise. What I’ll tell you, though, is that this is where it’s most critically important to know what you want out of life and why it’s so vital to have a firm grip on what your priorities are and what brings you joy. Otherwise, the fear and doubt of that little voice will continue to pester you.

In reality, fear is what all of this boils down to. Fear of disappointing, fear of appearing selfish, fear of being an outcast. Fear rules so many things for so many people, but it doesn’t have to rule you or your decision making process. It’s important to note here that you cannot eliminate fear from your life. It’s equally as much a part of life as happiness, joy, anger, and sorrow. It’s a natural occurrence, but when honed and used correctly, fear can give you insights into yourself that you may have missed otherwise. The important thing here is that you aren’t making decisions from a place of fear (life or death situations are different—I’m talking about daily decisions on “what to do.”). You can and will benefit from listening to the fear and even hearing it out. But don’t let it be the decision making power in your life. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Let’s circle back to the situation I laid out at the top of the post. That’s actually something that happened to me. I was approached by a friend to serve on a non-profit committee. It made so much sense for me to do it. Yet… Yet, I didn’t want to. I knew that serving on the committee would eat into my creative writing time and my cooking-for-fun time. These are two of my chosen creative outlets, and I’ve come to guard them fiercely. When making this decision, I knew my values and what was important to me: I declined the offer. However, shortly after sending the email, I felt a pang of regret. I started questioning and second-guessing myself. But I caught myself: I reminded myself that what I was doing was staying true to myself and my desires. I remembered that I work hard and that I deserve to spend my free time however I deem appropriate. I am worthy of my creative pursuits and the time I carefully make for them. If this committee would’ve actually been a good match for me, I firmly believe that I would have felt joyful “yes” in my heart at being asked. Since that wasn’t the case, I realized I’d made the right choice and simply let go of the situation.

For you, things may be a less cut and dry. Maybe life is more complicated for you. Regardless, the process is still the same. You only have so many hours in the day. You and you alone must decide how you want to use them. Make your decisions and own them. You are worthy of anything and everything you desire. If your desire is to spend an hour a day painting or crocheting, there’s nothing wrong with that. But you must realize that you’re doing it at the cost of something else. And yes, that’s perfectly fine. Know what you want, make decisions in accordance with that, and live in a joyful space around all of it. Otherwise, you’ll be miserable and constantly second-guessing yourself, and that’s no fun. Claim your power. Own your worthiness. Things will fall into place more easily as an outgrowth.

What about you? Do you struggle with worthiness in life or in your creative practice? Please tell me about it in the comments section of this blog post. I’d love to start a dialogue about this and see what we can do for you.