Spring Chick

Spring Means Starting Fresh

Spring is in the air and I’m excited to be able to plant flowers, open the windows, and see color! Oh, that glorious spring color!

I don’t know about you, but I get antsy in the spring! I just can’t wait to go get flowers, potted plants, and spend time outside on the patio. It seems like time (and the weather) just won’t move fast enough! I love the smell of the fresh air wafting through the windows, the sound of mowers in the neighborhood, and the smell of spring!  Luscious!

For whatever reason I feel so creative in the spring. Maybe it’s the change in season, or sunlight, or temperature. Whatever it is, it seems to bring a sense of hope, confidence, and resilience.

And for our creative endeavors, confidence and resilience are keys to success! Spring is the perfect time to set new intentions for our creative projects.

But, if you’re struggling to find your creative mojo again, let’s talk about resilience and how you can find the confidence to begin again.

Like the saying goes, “it’s never too late to start from right where you are!”

Sometimes our harshest critic is ourselves! I’ve talked with so many creatives who have put limits their creative passions. In Creatively-U Academy, we look at these and many more so you can get your creative garden blooming again. Stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about some ways to start fresh! Let’s look at some of the most common limits we place on ourselves and learn how to dig up those weeds for good!

4 of the most common thoughts that might be holding you back – and how you can bust through them to keep moving forward.

1. I’m not enough. This is a stand in for all the “I’m not enough” scenarios, from good to creative to talented to smart! So, I’d like to pose the following question: Compared to what?

Allow me to say that you are exactly who you were meant to be! The talents you have are your birthright and you have everything you need to be you – cuz that’s what you came here to do, yes?

You didn’t come here to be me, or your neighbor, or anyone you see on Instagram who might be doing something you like to look at.

So, ask yourself who you want to be, what you want to do, and then set about doing just that. You are absolutely good enough, smart enough, talented enough, creative enough…to be YOU! No one else on the planet is more qualified than you…to be you!

And therein lies the problem with that limiting belief! We usually get this belief because we’re trying to be someone else instead of honoring who we are.

My dearest creative, YOU are the best person for the job of being YOU! Take it and run with it! Just sayin!

2. I’m not motivated. This is a very common one and one that we go into depth on in Creatively-U. But for the sake of this short article, let me give you a boost of confidence. Motivation is something you can cultivate out of thin air. Yep, you heard me right!

Action isn’t just the effect of being motivated, it’s also the CAUSE of it. (Thank you, Mark Manson!) Taking action CAUSES you to become more motivated. It’s a virtuous circle! You’ve heard of that science thing that says “An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest.”

Well, the part we don’t hear as much is the next part that says, “unless acted upon by another force.” Spoiler alert – that’s you!

The easiest and most profound way to engage your motivation is what I call the “Show up” factor. Go to your creative space and do something! Anything really! Any little thing. Tiny. Miniscule. Just show up. Success at tiny things over time will add up, which will inspire you to do more.

Trust me when I tell you that in 30 days, you will look back and be inspired by what you accomplished. It takes time, repetition, perseverance, and patience.

The key thing to remember is that motivation is not a constant. It will ebb and flow. Lots of things influence it so it’s good to know that you can influence it back! And you will have to, I guarantee it! So be prepared to wrangle that ole motivation into action by using action. Stick with it!

3. I don’t know what I want to do. Or the inverse – I have too many ideas! I can’t choose! As a creative you may fall into one of two camps: No ideas or too many ideas! Or you may spend time with each!

On the one hand, you may feel like it’s all been done before. You look out into the creative world and think that what you have to offer isn’t worthy or different enough. Ahem…have we forgotten about Item #1 above?

Your work is uniquely yours, so use the public forum for inspiration and then interpret from your own perspective.  Yes, you may have a dry spell every now and then, so use this time to refill your own well of creativity. The main point is to keep exploring your own thoughts and ideas until you hit upon one that excites you. Then go for it.

On the other hand, you may have a ton of ideas and be what’s known as a “multi-passionate” creative. That can be a blessing and a curse. If you find you have too many ideas, have a notebook ready to capture those ideas before they disappear. Write any quick notes about your thoughts so you don’t forget that initial inspirational kick you got! I use the trick of indexing my creative journals so I can quickly browse the “table of contents” to find the ideas I’m looking for. Embrace the fact that you never run out of ideas!

In Creatively-U we go into detail about prioritizing and choosing your next project. But for this short article, I recommend culling down to the top three, then incubate for a while to find the one that really lights you up, matches your current mood, or is the most pressing. If all else fails, flip a coin!

4. I don’t have enough time. OK, this is the one that comes up most often. And it’s understandable. We live in a world rife with distractions and limitless options. No matter what’s happening around us we seem to always run out of time.

Circumstances continue to change every day. The media wants our attention. Summer is on its way so there might be camps, vacations, and a myriad of other “summer” get-togethers that we need to attend to.

For those who know me, you’ve heard me say it before: It comes down to “choice.”

Everyone can find 15 minutes. I’m serious. You can find 15 minutes just by managing the time you spend scrolling through your phone or surfing the internet. It often does come down to choice.

With 15 minutes, you can watch a video lesson, draw a quick plan for that still-life, or practice a few scales on the piano. (We’re kinda back to item #2 above. Did you notice that too?)

Every little bit counts. Baby steps forward lead to walking! One stair-step a day leads to the top floor! 15 minutes a day for a month is a total of 7.5 hours! Yowsa!

Give yourself and your creativity 15 minutes. You deserve it and your creativity deserves it! In fact, it needs it! Choose it! You’ll thank me later!

So, no matter what you’re working on right now, limiting beliefs can enter the picture.

I hope my suggestions for how to weed them out are helpful.

Feeding your creativity should be a priority because it’s how you…become you! Keep giving your creativity lots of love and sunshine, a little shade when needed, and experiment with small steps and techniques. That’s what will keep your creative garden growing and keep the weeds at bay.

Join me LIVE on my Facebook page, Virginia Leigh Studio, at 3:00 pm Central every Wednesday to ask questions and talk creativity.

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CREATIVELY-U Academy enrollment opens soon! The Academy is a place for creative women to reignite that spark and learn how to keep it lit! From exactly what lights you up, to motivation, inspiration, time management and goal setting, you’ll learn everything you need to keep your creative practice going. You’ll have your very own Creative Director to keep you focused! Join the waitlist HERE to get advance notice, see what it’s all about, and get first dibs on a front row seat.