Is the Vulnerability of Creativity Worth It?
Today’s Blogtember prompt was “Get creative! Sketch, paint, dance, play music, whatever then give us a glimpse.” Even just reading those words sent a little spike of panic through me. Sharing something I’ve made, specifically something labelled “creative,” is scary. Why is this? I write and post in this space on a regular basis, but this felt different.
After having read through some of research professor and author Dr. Brené Brown’s work and learning more about vulnerability, I wanted to take a closer look at the vulnerability of creativity and figure out if it’s worth all the discomfort. And if I can rise to the challenge, there will be some of my creative work at the end.
Why does creativity induce fear?
We are all naturally creative as children and typically without fear in the beginning. Some of us lose this as we get older. In Daring Greatly, Brown wrote, “. . .85 percent of the men and women we interviewed for the shame research could recall a school incident from their childhood that was so shaming that it changed how they thought of themselves as learners.” And it turns out that half of those were situations where they were told they weren’t good at something creative.
Sharing our creativity opens up the opportunity to fail or be judged. This risk can lead to being rejected or ridiculed. Honestly, sometimes this will happen. These negative reactions create shame for us because humans desire to belong. However, it’s important to remember that our creation and our person are not worthless just because someone else doesn’t see it.
Is vulnerability worth the risk?
Brown has said, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” If you want to achieve any type of innovation, creativity, or change in your life, then vulnerability is absolutely worth the risk, and it’s not optional. As I mentioned above, sharing our creativity opens up the opportunity to fail or be judged.
On the flip side, sharing our creativity also opens up the opportunity to succeed, to find meaning and connection. That’s why it’s a risk. To avoid vulnerability for the sake of comfort is to opt out of the most fulfilling and educational experiences life has to offer. If you find that you’re uncomfortable, then you’re doing what you should be doing.
Creativity and art are produced in an endless number of forms from painting to music to problem solving to knitting to performing to photography to baking to inventing and on and on. I have no doubt that you can find at least a couple creative ventures that interest you. I encourage you to be brave by intentionally making time for creativity and engaging in these (without comparison to others). It will bring a source of fulfillment into your life.
Then take it a step further and share your creations with others. If your creativity is not met with the response you had hoped for, remember that you choose the feedback you accept, and you as a person are still worthy. Then, with resiliency, reflect on the experience, brush yourself off, and try again.
After all that, I suppose I had better practice what I preach. Here is a poem I wrote entitled Room to Ruminate.
What creative endeavors do you participate in? How have you shared them?