When it comes to your own creativity, what are the things that block you from getting in the flow? What things stop you from doing the work you were put on this great earth to do?
Procrastination…email, kids, fear…sure.
Here’s another sneaky culprit that may be sliding past you–one that could quite possibly be the biggest killer of your creative muse.
Being a know-it-all.
(Ugh, just typing that makes me feel gross.)
But let’s be kind. Truthfully, we probably have no idea we do this.
In John Bradshaw’s book “Healing the Shame that Binds You” he talks about how we all have healthy shame and that it actually prevents us from being a know-it-all. Healthy shame reminds us that we are human. It keeps us in check.
You know how you blush when you do something embarrassing (like accidentally knocking your full wine glass off the table with your head while impersonating someone tossing their hair back at that really nice restaurant)? That’s your healthy shame kicking in. It shows us our limits and keeps us from having a god complex. The book also talks about how living in that “knowing everything” space keeps us from being open to possibility. And that’s in the way of creativity.
This got me thinking about actors. And, gulp…myself.
When I first started to really study acting in my early twenties I wanted to be good so badly. I had been doing plays since I was little and really thought I knew how to act. I had already been paid to do theatre so I must have known what I was doing. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I even realized you could learn to act. I sort of thought you are either good or you’re not–something you’re born with.
When I started taking acting classes my subconscious goal was to impress everyone. I wanted the teachers to tell me I was good to validate me as a human being. And if I admitted I didn’t know anything, I would be admitting I had no value. I was so afraid of people thinking I was an amatuer, I spent all my energy creating the facade of “professional” instead of actually becoming one.
Luckily these days (while I don’t do it perfectly) I try to remember that coming from curiosity, or what Buddhists call Shoshin, or The Beginner’s Mind, is really where it’s at. I remind myself that there isn’t any room for curiosity when I have all the answers. Because in the end, I know it won’t really get me what I’m after.
Drop a comment below and let me know what your personal biggest enemy to creativity is. Extra points if you can admit to one time you acted like a know-it-all.