Do you ask yourself why you can’t stay consistent? It’s time to say goodbye to perfectionism and hello to daily commitment.
I’ll never forget a life-changing flight I took from Charlotte to San Diego.
I was sitting next to two men traveling together. One was a 70-year-old golf professional turned artist/author, and the other a young painter. After polite introductions and opening conversation, the older man incessantly asked me: “What is your art? What is your passion?”
I told him I was an actress and singer, but I continued and shared (a bit sheepishly) that I felt I was called to be a visual artist. I hadn’t ever painted much, and I definitely had never expressed this out loud. But the desire was deep.
The young artist, who had been almost silent, leaned over to me and said:
“Paint every day. Don’t paint for anybody. Just paint every day.”
That simple challenge has stuck with me ever since—and I’ve come to realize that consistency is the most important piece of Creative Uncovery. (What is Creative Uncovery? It’s awakening your inner artist.) There is immeasurable power in a daily commitment to your art. An artist in motion will stay in motion, and an artist at rest will stay at rest. If you take time every day for your creative work, motion will beget motion even if you’re not accomplishing anything—yet.
My daughter Mirabelle will sit in her room for a long period of time. The modern mom in me itches to prompt her to “do something,” but if I relax and resist this urge, eventually, I will hear her start to play her ukulele, or I’ll walk in on her sketching. Mirabelle’s doodling inspires me because she’s not doing it for anyone but herself, and she’s patient with herself every day as she devotes time to her art.
Longing for consistency? Start with three simple mental shifts.
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF
Like Mirabelle, ditch perfectionism (easier said than done) and embrace consistent, slow progress. It takes time for a paleontologist to uncover a fossilized dinosaur as she carefully brushes off delicate bones and reassembles the pieces together of an ancient creature. So too may the uncovery of your creativity be delicate and slow. Be gentle with yourself: What matters is the time you are setting aside to uncover, not the product you create.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR OWN COMPANY
When was the last time you went somewhere alone? (The grocery store doesn’t count.) In Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way (a favorite of mine), she prescribes her readers two non-negotiables: You must write every day in your “morning pages” and you must take yourself on an “artist date.” An artist date is an opportunity for you to fill your well by going somewhere alone and getting to know your creative self. It can be as simple as a walk in nature, window shopping at a fancy mall or attending a museum you have never visited. Go outside of your normal repertoire. If you prefer Impressionism, try the Museum of Modern Art.
PRIORITIZE YOUR YEARNINGS
I first learned to prioritize my creative desires as an entrepreneur. The hardest part of the self-employed life is that it’s just you—at least at the beginning. You call all of the shots. No one but you creates deadlines. No one even expects anything from you! It can be paralyzing, or it can be motivating.
Whatever you hope to create—whether it’s a business, a children’s book, or a mural—you have to value yourself and your craft enough to take the time for creativity.
If you feel intimidated by this, you’re not alone. You don’t have to uncover your creative self by yourself! I believe that we shine the brightest when we share with one another. To create place for those of us who want to follow the “more” our hearts are leading us to, I have curated a team a compassionate creatives to help you in this process. How? A Facebook Group! This is a place to connect with a like-minded community, find inspiration and integrate accountability into your creative process.
We’ll coax the creative inside us all through sharing our stories, challenges, and inspiration in an accepting, authentic space. I’d love to see you there! Click here to join us.