I am an enormous west wing fan. I think I’ve watched all 7 seasons at least 20 times. It was my emotional-support tv show through both the Bush and Trump administrations.
I love the moments when CJ or Leo (the President’s top advisors) or someone else very important tell all the other less important people to clear the room so something major can be discussed.
I’ve never been in the actual West Wing, so I’m not sure if it happens like this in real life, but I love these moments because this is what I believe we need to do for our creative voices.
Despite what much of the advice says—we do not need to ‘get out of our own way,’ ‘find’ our voice, or be a genius—
We need to clear the cultural untruths from the creative room so your creativity can have SPACE to do her thing.
Your Creativity is one of the most powerful forces on earth, and she has everything she needs to bring forth your truest, greatest work.
But Creativity can’t work in a room where her every move is blocked.
Below are 10 of the myths that block our Creativity, and the mighty truths that empower her. These have been assembled after thousands of hours coaching thousands of creators, and, regardless of circumstance, seeing the same things stop us again and again.
These myths stand most powerfully in the way of not only creating what we’re born to create, but doing so without sacrificing ourselves and our well-being in the process.
We’re not blocked from our creative potential because of a personal deficiency or what advice culture refers to as ‘self-sabotage.’
We’re blocked from our creative potential because much of what we were taught to believe about ourselves and our process as creators is wrong.
You. are. not. the. obstacle. The obstacles are lies that are so embedded in the fabric of our culture and the air we breath that we start to believe them as truth, and they prevent even the most evolved among us from, as Liz Gilbert writes, “continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you.”
I invite you to take a few moments with these and consider which ones are speaking to whatever you are working on right now. Sometimes awareness is all we need to have a breakthrough…
The Lie: It has to be perfect
The Truth: It has to be true
The Lie: You need permission
The Truth: You need courage
The Lie: It has to be a war
The Truth: It’s actually a birth
The Lie: You have to do it the way it’s been done
The Truth: You were born to evolve patterns, not repeat them
The Lie: You need the answer
The Truth: You need the question
The Lie: You’re not enough
The Truth: The Patriarchy has no place in your creative process
The Lie: You have to show up at the same time every day
The Truth: You have to show up in a way that works for you
The Lie: You have to go it alone
The Truth: We need each other
The Lie: You can only be one thing
The Truth: Your intersections are the stories you were born to tell
The Lie: You are the problem
The Truth: You are the way
Of course there are all kinds of specific and nuanced problems and challenges that come up in our creative processes, but they are always solvable with curiosity, perseverance, a lot of love, a bit of strategy, and high-quality support.
But no amount of hard work can break through cultural lies designed to keep us small and quiet.
At every frontier in our creative life, we will come up against some version of these blocks and we will have to make the audacious decision to leave the dying culture behind so we can tell a new story about ourselves and our creativity.
This is a kind of baller move that will reverberate throughout your entire life.
(And generations to come).
So I ask you — which one are you ready to leave behind?
Which one you need to clear from your creative room?
Which one is standing in the way of you finishing this year like the creative badass you are?
And then – who would you be without it?
I’m often told that remembering these truths feels scary and simultaneously like coming home. Because these are the truths we’ve always known, but were taught to forget. And that’s why deciding to create a trusting, loving relationship with your creativity is one of the most major decisions you will make in your lifetime.
Trusting yourself and your creativity is a disruptive, future-building act. Sourcing your original voice in a world that is trying to get you to do anything but—this is progress.
It’s time to clear the room. Are you with me?
Image Credit: Artist Hilma af Klimpt