Updated: Nov 12, 2021
It's not too late to comfort and encourage the artist within us through understanding what we were missing as children and what we can do now to meet our creative needs.
Do you think that if you're not very good at painting, writing, creating music, singing or performing, that it's not something you should do? As adults we seem to think that we can only do something if we're really good at it or we're going to master it. What if you just did the things you loved doing as a child because it's fun and feels good. As children we are not so hard on ourselves. We sing, we paint and we write freely. We don't wonder if people are going to like it or if we look silly. Children can teach us so much about being free. It's time to reconnect to the artist within us.
You may have explored this as a child then pushed it away when you realised people were watching, judging and in some cases giving you negative criticism. Or just maybe it was not seen as an important thing to nurture in you so you grew up with the belief that what you were doing was not valued. Therefore, you did something else that was valued more where you received positive reinforcement. When we have pushed away from our creative side for many years, we have to consciously reconnect to the artists within, through being curious and asking questions.
So at what age do we start to feel judged from the adults in our lives projecting their discomfort and insecurities about what we're doing? Studies show that children know from a very young age when they're being judged as they are very attuned to their parents reaction to what they're doing.
“We’ve shown that by the age of 24 months, children are not only aware that other people may be evaluating them, but that they will alter their behaviour to seek a positive response,” says first author Sara Valencia Botto, a PhD candidate at Emory University.
If we grow up in a family and culture that does not express themselves creatively and therefore this is not nurtured within us, we may grow up with a belief that we don’t have a creative bone in our body, so why bother trying.
Reconnect with the artist within you is a form of meeting your needs that were not met as a child. There comes a time as adults where everything we do is serious and we forget to do the things that light us up.
If you relate to this, here are 10 phrases you can complete to reconnect to the artist within.
1. As a kid I missed the chance to
2. As a kid. I lacked
3. As a kid I loved to
4. As a kid I dreamed of being a
5. As a kid I wanted a
6. As a kid I needed more
7. As an adult I am taking a greater interest in
8. As an adult my self-care is
9. As an adult I feel good when I
10. Possibly my creativity is
Book reference page 125 – The Artists Way, By Elizabeth Gilbert
The creative activities we push away when we’re transitioning from children to adults are sometimes the very thing we need to keep us energised and happy.
So why do we give it up?
We grow up in a society and parents that believe you need to grow up and find a real job. The problem with that is who is dictating what a real job is? What are their beliefs and experience in life? Do they value creativity? Do they value happiness, purpose, and fulfillment in life?
We do not receive positive reinforcement for being our creative selves.
Our parents project their own beliefs onto us and we receive positive reinforcement from them when we're doing what they believe we should do, the way we should act and what they think is best for us to do as adults. They try to shape us the way they want us to be and forget that we have wants and needs too and those wants and needs look different to there own.
We either rebel against society or we become submissive and do what's best for others
This is not sustainable and we can no longer follow the masses when it comes to living our authentic life. We need to dig deep and identify what feels right for us, then do it regardless of what others think.
You may be thinking, but I feel guilt or shame for spending time on myself. Here is where pushing against social norms can feel wrong. Because we’re not following the masses, we feel like we’re not normal. We may have grown up with parents who sacrificed their happiness to make their kids happy. The irony in this, is that if your parents are not happy, it filters through the family and shows up in unhealthy ways. So spending time on yourself feels wrong because of the messaging we receive from society or the people around us.
So how do you know that it's right for you?
If the activity gives you energy and you are inspired or idolize the people doing it, this is a sign that you have pushed it away within yourself and it's time to take action towards it. You have limiting beliefs that are holding you back and those limiting beliefs cause you to feel bad about doing the activity. In order to start living creatively, it's crucial you work through your limiting beliefs and take action at the same time.
What did you love doing as a kid and how can you do something similar to that or the same activity now?
DO MORE THINGS THAT ENERGISE YOU AND MAKE YOU SMILE