Three Ways to get Clear on your Creative Goals
Lets be honest here creative people, we’re a bit of a mess.
The creative mind is like setting a dozen toddlers loose in a playground. You’ve got Anne swinging from the monkey bars, Chase just jumped off the slide, the triplets just knocked each other out and Alice is picking the legs off a beetle.
The amazing news is there’s a lot going on! The not so amazing news is that all that amazing creative energy isn’t getting channeled into much. In fact, I’m betting a lot of creative people out there are visualizing this playground scenario right now, ha! But the big question is what can we do about the chaos? How can we channel this crazy creative energy into productive work?
For me, the first step is always GET CLEAR.
When you have clarity around your creative work, your goals, your life’s mission, whatever you want to call it; transforming what’s in your head into something tangible becomes a much more enjoyable process.
For example, over the last 4 to 6 weeks, I began a very significant shift in my creative career world. This shift forced me to really get clear on who it is I am, who it is I want to become and what I actually want my life to look like. For me, I always knew I was an artist and that I was meant to create something. Even during a time where I felt like I was just screwing everything up and my artwork was shit and I was a failure. I always had a deep underlying current in my consciousness that said, “You are meant for greatness”, and this little voice is what has kept me going.
So, what shifted?
First and foremost, my desire and determination to get over my shit. You know the shit. The thoughts that keep you up at night; it’s the unpaid bills, thoughts of worthlessness, the fact that I am still holding onto 50lbs of baby weight from when I was pregnant with my son. I could go on and on.
The first thing I had to get over: I am not just a painter.
Boom. Big breakthrough for me, why? For almost my entire painting career I hid behind my artwork for fear that people would see me. Funny, because all I wanted was to be seen and to be able to connect with people. I was always at the mercy of fear; fear of not being liked, fear of looking stupid, fear of connection, fear of criticism, fear of failure.
Getting over the feelings that I had failed as an artist because painting wasn’t the only thing I wanted to build my career around, was fucking hard.
I felt like if I spent less time painting and creating I had given up. But here’s the thing, painting is only ONE small channel where my creative energy flows. Some people pour their heart, soul and time into creating their bodies of work and to them I tip my hat. The hardest thing was to admit to myself that painting wasn’t the only thing I want to do. I want to speak. I want to connect people. I want to be part of change and contribute to a better future for humans. I want to help WAKE PEOPLE UP. I want to help others build their creative careers. THAT to me brings so much joy and purpose I can just feel myself getting pumped up!
So, for those creatives out there struggling, first seek clarity of your vision.
To have clarity you have to develop self-awareness. This means looking at what your deepest desires are, even if they seem ridiculous and so far out of reach it scares you. Human potential is very nearly limitless, if you want it bad enough, you will find a way. So get clear, be honest with yourself and set your goals.
Here are the three things I ask myself on a daily basis based on a really awesome exercise by Vishen Lakhiani (founder of Mindvalley University):
- What experiences do I want to have creating my art and what do I want to experience as a result of being able to sell my work?
- How do I want to use my craft to grow and help others grow?
- What is the contribution I want to make to the world with my artwork?