We’ve all been there right? Perhaps you’re there right now. Regardless of how long I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing, or how ‘woke’ I get to myself and the creative process, I STILL SABOTAGE! But thankfully there are degrees of it.
How does creative self sabotage show up for you? For me:
I become more reclusive than normal and whilst I do love my own company, I absolutely require social intimacy. If I cut myself off from the latter… something is up;
I doubt and distract myself. Being solo, I don’t have a team to help break me out of it so a considerable amount of time can go by until I realise I’ve had to crawl myself out of a pity-pit I dug for myself; Possibly with the help of some unwelcome criticism or hate from another, I’ve been triggered and diverted without realising until perhaps a month or so later when I realise just how unhappy and uninspired I’m feeling. (Which is why a plan is so helpful as a solo-creative, which I talk about here);
Lastly, I find really strong justification for not exploring growth opportunities. Dammit. This is honestly the worst. I’ll tell myself: “you’re not being responsible… you’re a single parent… cub needs you to be more present…” when in fact evidence shows that the more creatively satisfied I am the more loving and nurturing I’m able to be. But the reasoning to not create or develop and instead stay stuck in doubt and stagnation is another self sabotage that the creative self drowns in.
Most interestingly, a really viable path that can produce a host of benefits can also be part of creative sabotage. My work with independent creatives has me nurturing their creativity - which I find so satisfying - but actually if weighed too heavily in that corner means I’m not nurturing my own creativity. A balance is necessary - sure, but more than that, I’m not embodying the creative as well as the strategist in me.
Embodying means living it. Whilst we can create to-do lists, Miss Yankey recently told me about to-be lists. Being your true potential rather thank ticking off to-do’s is far more impactful in ensuring you don’t sabotage or at least not sabotage for a great length of time.
Having sabotaged myself creatively in the past for the best part of a decade, I’m grateful now when I can catch myself after a week or so. Whilst a lost month is horrendous, it’s more easily recoverable than years of your life not being who you are meant to be. Find a way to just BE and the to-do’s will follow.
Do share your stories with me. Here or on IG.