I consider myself a very imaginative person. I am constantly thinking of new ideas in my head and find myself brainstorming new business ideas and things I can create. Ever since I was a kid, I often jotted down ideas for clothing designs, hair styles, products, and even song lyrics. Being creative has always been apart of who I am. This is all important to consider because as we grow up, that imaginative side to us can seem to dim down and the reality and pressures of life can make you want to be “realistic”. You start dialing back those huge dreams and shape them into what you “think” you can do or what you think you’re good enough for.
Over the weekend I encountered some internal thinking that literally aligned with the recent podcast episode from Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations titled “Unlock Your Creative Genius”. In this episode Oprah interviewed Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, as he shared insights on how to express our deepest ambitions. He believes we all are creative in some way and shared his insights on how to break through those barriers we face to reach our creative goals. This episode was on time and in time for me. In 2018 I launched Curl Calendar. It was the first time I put something out that was a long-term idea that I thought of for well over a year. I felt like I had broken the obstacle of having an idea just stay in my mind. In 2019, I plan to keep going with my entrepreneurial spirit and ambitions. Within one week I had found some really great webinars on Facebook from women sharing their tips and steps to help people turn their hobbies into businesses. A lightbulb went off in my head about something I’m good at that I could offer as a service. I got so excited and the adrenaline of a new ideas was running through my head. I set out to plan my idea fully over the weekend as a business planning workshop for myself.
I started doing research on one element of my idea and tried to put myself in the zone of where I would begin if I was actually starting the project. I started to think maybe I wasn’t experienced enough to do this thing I wanted to do. Maybe there wasn’t a need for what I was trying to provide. Was I going to be good at it? I spent 15 minutes in self-doubt and almost became overwhelmed with the thoughts to the point I just wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon watching Netflix. I looked at the time and it was only 45 MINUTES into my workshop. In less than an hour I had negative thoughts darting into my glow and excitement to embark on a new journey. I recognized what was happening. It was fear, it was all negativity. I talked to myself and told myself to finish what I started and that I couldn’t quit before I even gave myself a chance to see something through. I had spent days exciting to write out my goals and plans for this idea and as soon as I actually started, my internal thoughts of insecurity and doubt wanted to hold me back. I said nope, not today and continued on with my workshop and made so much progress that day.
“What happens first is the dream and resistance is the shadow”. Resistance always takes the form of fear. A shadow trying to pull you away from the dream. You have to make the decision to move forward. ”Steven Pressfield
The feeling was so familiar and now Steven Pressfield had put a name to it, resistance. Everyone experiences it. It always finds itself prevalent in our brains when we are headed in a new direction and about to push ourselves and embark on things like entrepreneurial endeavors, new career opportunities, or even evolve emotionally.
“The more important an activity is to your soul’s evolution, the higher resistance you’ll feel. The more fear you’ll feel”Steven Pressfield
I said well would you look ah there. Every single time there is something new coming up, it never fails to have those feelings, that shadow of resistance that wants me to stay where I am and abort whatever idea, big or small, that I may have. I recognize it now and I am glad that I do because now I can be mindful of it and be strong to not let it defeat my purpose.
One thing that resonated with me in the discussion was that that resistance isn’t really us talking. It’s not our best selves, it’s not representative of our values and motives. So don’t beat yourself up…for beating yourself up. That energy that is doubting yourself, is apart of the process. It happens. It doesn’t mean you’re a negative person and that you don’t want to see your own self succeed. What’s important is that you acknowledge what’s going on in your head and not give those thoughts any more power and energy. It goes back to the notion of being mindful. I started being a lot more mindful which is why I ended up having that conversation out loud saying “Yup, there’s that voice in my head with these thoughts of doubt, fear, and insecurity. There’s no reason to feel like that actually. You are more talented than you think. Now let’s regroup and finish this”.
I think I did a good job. What I learned from the episode only further validates what I was thinking and how I practiced pushing past the resistance. With that being said, in 2019 I am stepping into all of my gifts and talents. When I was 12, there was a poster on the wall in class that said “you’ll never know the outcome until you try” and I decided that that was my motto a while back. I’m reclaiming that motto now at 23, unapologetically. Who am I to even stop myself?