Four Creative Fears that keep creatives playing small
As creative people, many of our fears are tied up with a fear of rejection. Our hearts and souls yearn to express what’s inside of us, yet it feels so vulnerable to do it! We’re afraid people will reject our work and somehow reject us. So being creative means that we are constantly mastering that fear and learning to be more Fearless.
I am a Fearless Living Trainer, Mentor and Master Coach, so being fearless is a huge part of my life. So let’s start there. Let’s start with what it means to be Fearless.
Most people come to Fearless Living™ thinking that they will be able to banish all fear and never be afraid again. And fortunately or unfortunately, that is not how it goes. We are humans. We will always have fear.
So living Fearlessly means that we actually recognize that fear and we move beyond it. We take the risk anyway. And I’m not talking about crazy, nasty risk, like life threatening risk. I’m talking about taking those emotional risks that move you beyond your comfort zone. And because you keep moving beyond your comfort zone, your comfort zone actually grows … you gain more confidence and you do experience less fear. Yet fear will still comes up in our life whenever we stretch ourselves beyond our status quo. We never move totally beyond fear because we’re human.
So that’s what living Fearlessly is. Now what does that look like to someone who’s creative? Creatives have a lot of emotional fear around different types of rejection. So, I identify four main Creative Fears.
The first fear is Roulette Fear. This the fear that if you do your creative work you’re going to lose everything — that if you are a successful creative your partner going to leave you, or perhaps you’ll quit your job and not be able to pay your bills. It’s the fear that you’re really going to spin the wheel lose it all.
The second type of fear that a lot of creatives deal with is called Tomato Fear, and this is fear that you’ll put your creativity out there and look foolish. You’ll look like a failure. You’ll be ridiculed or humiliated. This is like those old Bugs Bunny cartoons or vaudeville shows where you’d see the audience throwing tomatoes at the stage when they didn’t like the performer. That’s Tomato Fear.
The third type of Creative Fear is Dog Pound Fear, and this is the fear that you will lose love … that you’ll do your creative work and people won’t like it. Therefore, they won’t like you. You’ll be rejected. You’ll be that that dog pound puppy that is left behind, abandoned and alone.
And the fourth type of Creative Fear is Fallen Angel Fear. This is the fear that you won’t meet other people’s expectations of you — that they’ll be disappointed in you and you’ll be like the angel that loses its wings. You just won’t be able to reach that potential that you or others believe you have.
So those are the four big Creative Fears: Roulette Fear, Tomato Fear, Dog Pound Fear, and Fallen Angel Fear. And those fears can be so strong.
Private clients come to me for two reasons:
- They aren’t engaging in their creativity at all because of their fears.
- They are doing their creativity but they’re having a challenge moving beyond that fear to get their creativity out in the world.
With either type of client it comes down to these Creative Fears: they’re afraid they’ll lose it all, that they’ll be humiliated and look foolish, that they will be rejected and lose love, or that that they’ll disappoint people and not live up to their potential.
So being a creative is all about living Fearlessly … about recognizing that fear and saying, “Yes, I know I have Dog Pound Fear, and I’m going to express myself anyway. I’m going to get the support that I need to move beyond that fear. I’m going to have my friends help me. I’m going to hire a coach or mentor. I’m going to join a group that’s going to provide me the support that I need to put myself out there and put my creativity in the world.”
I hope this has been useful to you and that you’ve been able to identify which fear is keeping your creativity stuck . And go ahead and leave a comment … What type of fear is showing up for you creatively? (Mine is usually Dog Pound Fear!)