Many of us get stuck with the idea that we need to figure out ‘how to be creative’ - like it’s beyond our reach or next to impossible to find. What we don’t realise is the ability to live a creative life is already inside of us, like hidden jewels just waiting to be uncovered.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book ‘BIG MAGIC - Creative Living Beyond Fear’ challenges many misconceptions that have been formed around creativity and our ‘playing small’ mentality.
With that being said, we’ve taken some big tips out of this inspiring yet humorous read which will have you living creatively with excitement and overcoming fear.
1. We were born creative! Nurture your inner child and do what feels good.Think about what you most enjoyed doing as a child and why you stopped. Was it out of fear? Did your parents say you couldn’t do it? Or did you have an experience where your creativity wasn’t good enough or criticised?When did creative shame stop you from doing what you truly enjoyed? Would you tell that child now they can’t do what they truly love? Children are naturally driven to follow their curiosity and search for answers - it’s now time to reclaim that curiosity and innate gift to follow your heart. Everything from writing and drawing to playing games, ice-skating and baking - reconnect with the very thing that brought you joy in your youth.
2. Explore fear and rejection
Creativity is a magical concoction of love and fear.It’s crazy the amount of people in the world who don’t pursue something they really want to do simply out of fear. Especially caring what others think, the worry of letting people down, embarrassing themselves or the fear of failing. To get better at something you simply have to be willing to get back up when you fall and do it without shame. More importantly if that ‘something’ scares you, it’s more than likely a big sign of how much it means to you and that you should be doing it! It’s going to crack you open, teach you to be more resilient and strengthen that warrior heart of yours. The same applies for rejection - it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough or worthy enough. It just means you might have to do something differently or tweak things a little. So when things don’t work out don’t dwell in ‘what if’, but instead ask WHY - then fix it. Embracing this practise will allow your creativity to extend itself beyond fear into the vast limitless universe.
3. You don’t have to be a certain ‘type’
Creativity is not something you get from a certificate, degree or award.It’s not about pursuing a professional life that is devoted to the arts. It’s not limited to a specific job, degree or textbook.
“It’s about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear” - Elizabeth Gilbert
Let life itself teach you something - may the stories of others you meet inspire you, may your experiences transform you, may your courage to experiment expand your mind and may analysis through self-reflection guide you further in life than anything else. Not everyone has one central burning passion for their entire life and there’s no direct line of purpose. Even if something we follow out of curiosity isn’t what we end up pursuing - we can always take something away from it and it can lead us to the next exciting thing Follow the clues and trust your path.
4. Consider the consequences instead of fear
Mark Manson says that everything involves some sort of sacrifice or unpleasantries. To really be devoted to your creativity you must also be at peace with the not so fun things.So unless you’re willing to do the difficult things too, you’re going to find it a lot harder to go forth on this path and do what you love. We must accept the consequences that come with what we want and then make space to invite it all in. To publish a book you must be ready to face criticism. To paint a landscape from a photo you must be willing to attempt it more than once. To make a herb garden you must be willing to get your hands dirty and maintain it everyday. If you can be at peace with all aspects of your creative pursuit, then you are really going to thrive.
5. Remove the word ‘expectation’ from your vocabulary and stop waiting for permissionYou’re not doing this to please other people or satisfy their needs. You’re pleasing yourself and in the process it just might please them too.How many ideas have you left behind or tucked away because you were waiting for someone to tell you to go for it or you were worried about what others will think? Or maybe you use excuses like ‘I’m too busy with a family’ or ‘I don’t have time’.
“Creativity is inside all of us, it should be expressed, and it is not selfish or crazy or foolish to do so — it is, in fact, the best way to live a satisfying life” - Elizabeth Gilbert
Does being creative make you feel good? Good - then just do it!
To creating magic together...