Do you invest in your dreams?
Often, when I have time off, I schedule in so many activities, that there is little space to see what emerges, but this time I made very few commitments and was able to spend the week as I wanted. It turns out this meant letting my creative side come out to play.
I have spent many years insisting that I am not creative, indeed my whole family will tell you that we’re not artistic. This family ‘truth’ has always stayed with me, but as the years have passed, I have realised that it is not the whole truth. The whole truth includes details like, I never invested time and energy into learning about art because I believed it ‘wasn’t for me’.
I let my fear of getting it wrong, of not being good at it stop me from following my interests and developing my skills. I devalued my own creative acts, because they didn’t fall into the narrow definition of art I had grown up with and ignored any evidence that suggested there might be more to it.
I denied myself the opportunity to explore that part of myself, and because I didn’t give it what it needed to develop it never did. I became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even as I have begun to change the way I think about myself and creativity in recent years, I still hold back from fully investing in a project so that I have an excuse if it doesn’t turn out right. Of course, they rarely do, because I don’t put in all the time and effort they need.
So while I have had some extra time, I have tried to slow myself down and to take the time to think through the projects I have done, to give myself time to make mistakes and figure out the best way to get the results I want. I have also been gentle with myself and acknowledged that this is a new way of working which will feel tough at times. The results have brought me joy both in the process and the finished project and I’m left wondering why I didn’t allow myself to invest in my creativity in the past.
Often, when I’m working with clients, they will want to make changes in their lives, but will struggle to invest in themselves to support this. It is often far easier to stay with the familiar, even when it’s not right, than risk the unknown that a change may bring. Investment in therapy can be the first step in this process of valuing yourself and your dreams.