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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What is holding you back?

CREATIVITY - The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. [Creativity Week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]
-from Google Images

Are you having trouble kicking creativity into high gear? My terrific guest blogger may have the reason...  Elizabeth of Things Bright is back today getting to the heart of what holds us back.


"What is holding you back? What always holds us back? Fear. We are afraid. Sometimes we are afraid and we don't even know it. Our fear is rationalized with things like, "I don't have the time," or "I don't know how to do that, so I’ll learn later." Or, "It's not good enough yet." We are afraid that others will see the 95% great in our art and still point out the 5% flaw. We are afraid that no one else will get it; that no one else will be as excited or as stoked about our creations as we are. We are afraid of what others will say.

The fear that inhibits our creativity is a much bigger question than how to think of more cool stuff for an Etsy store . Or how to market it better. The same fears that seek to take us down in all areas of life are the same fears that affect our creativity. "What if other people don't like it?" "What if I am not good enough?" "What if my creation turns out to not to mean much?" "What if I am the only one who thinks this way?"

One thing I was afraid of was the permanency of the Internet. I have a lot of passions and I love to communicate, so I have a lot to say. But I know I'm human, so I'm sure I'll say something stupid. Or wrong. That will live forever online. Ugh. This fear had kept me from -really- writing on my own blog in any consistent, focused way until recently. But it wasn’t really the permanency of the Internet that I was afraid of....

Accepting that fear is the main thing inhibiting our creativity allows us to take steps to conquer it. Even the basic acknowledgment that fear is what is hindering our creativity strips it of some of it's power. It is no longer that Giant Unnamed Horrible Feeling. It is simply the Fear of Rejection. Recognizing that we are just like every other human being on the planet with a normal fear of rejection strips it of even more power. Named enemies are not as powerful as "Fears Who Shall Not Be Named" (Yes, we watched Harry Potter with the littles recently). And common enemies are not as powerful as the fears that tell us we are the only ones bad or dumb enough to have this problem. 

Really, telling yourself that you are not special is a great way to become more special, more creative. You are not special. Everyone is creative. And everyone is afraid of rejection.. 

Telling myself these truths released me to write and create more. I wasn’t afraid of Google’s memory, I was afraid others would reject me. But the fact that the Fear of Rejection is so ever-present in us, so common, so normal, made it just a regular life challenge. It is something I can get through, rather than some impassable mountain. I can even mock it, saying, “This happens to everyone, everyday, and I refuse to give in to this silliness.” And then I ignore the fear and enter the joy of my creative zone.

What rejection are you afraid of? How can naming it help you release more of your creativity? What is your creative joy that needs to ignore fear?"

All the best,


Thank you so much Elizabeth. As I consider this I feel there are fears I have yet to name... I believe I am on the  verge of a creative break through but the unnamed thing is standing in my way... I will use this week to find it! Thank you.

Elizabeth has a companion post to this over on her blog. do visit her there and comment  here and name the fears you will no longer let rule you!

Next Post: Creativity where you need it most

My 13 bliss virtues are 
joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, 
romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week we are exploring  Creativity. 

Next week is all about Passion


  1. Thank you so much for having me this week. I've really enjoyed it. And your title for tomorrow's topic really intrigues me....

  2. Yes, rejection is definitely the main fear when it comes to blocked creativity. I always wonder if people will honestly enjoy what I (personally) like to create. I actually rather prefer posting and selling creations online - since there is no person-to-person rejection fear. Online, if people don't like something - they will just ignore it. And you won't have to sit and watch as they go by. I know this may sound extreme and a way to "play it safe," but it helps me. LOL I get nervous just posting photos of my creations - still wondering if someone is sitting at their computer going "what on earth?" But people online have been wonderfully supportive, and that actually gives me the courage and will to move forth. This was a great post. Thanks, Elizabeth.

  3. You are welcome. And what you say makes total sense. Keep on creating! :)


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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