When I made the decision to switch my focus from copywriting to coaching, I was mildly terrified. Coaching people to help bring their creative ideas to life meant that I had to be doing the same—no excuses. And yet…. I still found ways to rationalize avoiding my own projects (specifically my book).
I prioritized writing projects that weren’t meaningful to me.
I overbooked so I had nothing left to give myself.
I played online Scrabble until I thought my eyeballs might bleed.
And then I meditated.
That last one saved me. When I finally got quiet, I recognized that I was being run by my fear. I’d been scared that I had nothing valuable to say or that I what was doing had been done before. Mostly, I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough. And while sitting with that, this sassy voice inside me said, “Who would you be without all of this angst?” I had to laugh, because that’s what I was really doing—angsting—and it was getting in my way.
This was a really good question.
For me, the answer is this: Without all the angst, I’d be able to create more freely. The energy spent avoiding can be used more productively. However it’s unrealistic to think that the angst won’t return.
So this answer is also this: When the angst is there, I can choose to create too.
The need to be creative is innate—it’s an essential part of us that needs nourishment regardless of our state.
Since becoming aware of this, I’m more able to choose freedom and let fear come and go. Which means sometimes I’m writing fearlessly, and sometimes with the acknowledgment of fear’s presence. But my commitment is to write no matter what. In being dogged, some of the darkness tends to recede.
Maybe you can relate to this struggle? If so, consider getting quiet for a few minutes and ask:
How can you make peace with your angst? In your creative endeavors, your relationship, and this one wild and precious life?
And see what comes up.
Laurie Shiers is an LA -based writer, coach and experience junky on a quest to find meaning in the mayhem.