HOW TO START SOMETHING NEW
It starts with an inkling… an idea…what if I tried THIS? Maybe you want to try a new medium or you haven’t drawn in a really long time and feel like giving it a go. Maybe you saw an ad for a ceramics class and thought it would be fun. I believe that there is always a reason that we are drawn to try new creative things. Our Inner artist is always looking for new ways to be inspired. Even if you don’t feel like you are creative, there is a voice inside of you that wants to explore.
How do we get passed the starting point, passed the voices in our head telling us that it’s impractical and not worth the time and money? Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way.
Give yourself permission - Since our logical brain is in charge most of the time, when we want to do something “just for fun” that Inner Critic chimes in and tells us that it’s a waist of time or that we won’t be good at it. We don’t give ourselves permission to play or mess up, or explore. Brene Brown has an exercise where she writes herself permission slips to do things like “You have permission to make a mess, you have permission to follow your dreams, you have permission to try something you might not like". What would your permission slips say?
Tell your Inner Critic to take a time out - that voice that speaks so loudly when we begin a project, the voice that tells us we aren’t good enough or that it should look like “this” - that is your Inner Critic speaking. This logical side of our brain can be helpful at times, like when plan your day, or get things done. But when it comes to creativity, this voice can drag us down. When those thoughts come up, try telling them to take a break. Tell it that you are taking time right now to explore, play and have fun, The time for critique can come later, but you are going to spend time with your Inner Artist for a while.
Make it a safe space - It is so important that we treat ourselves kindly when we are taking time to explore a new creative medium. Having a physical space that is full of inspiration is wonderful, but also the space in your mind and body is important. Give yourself room to have fun, make mistakes and explore. Remember, this is your time to ignite that spark of creativity. Treat yourself like a child who just discovered a new toy and is learning how it works. You wouldn’t try to dictate to them what they need to do, you would watch them as they learned from doing and allow them to make as many mistakes as they want.
Limit your medium - Learning something new can be overwhelming. Sometimes if you give yourself too many options, it just adds to overwhelm. Our logical mind begins to kick in again, trying to make decisions which can distract you from your intuition. So if you are learning the drums, try focusing on that and then maybe after you’ve gotten pretty good, you can try another instrument. If you are learning to paint, try acrylics and see how they work, and then try adding other mediums to it.
Reward yourself - realize that you will fail, you will make mistakes. But the real win is that you started it! Reward yourself for being brave and taking a step towards finding your true inner artist. Tell yourself you are proud of what you have accomplished, even though it may not look like anything now. Buy yourself a latte or an ice cream cone and celebrate!
You are not alone, this is a constant struggle and learning curve for creators of all levels - and the more we practice, the easier it will become. I hope this has helped you in your journey…keep creating!
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