Are you ignoring your inner child when you start a creative project? As much fun as we have writing, sketching, or dancing, we can often get very stubborn about how the entire process is supposed to work. But why is that?
As cliche as it is to discuss your inner child, let's talk about the childlike Resistance we have to new endeavors. What project right now are you dragging your feet on? What new thing are you staring that just isn't going the way it's supposed to?
Take a look at your life and recognize the areas where you are acting like a child. If a child was misbehaving, would you give him or her the same lecture you would an adult? Of course not. (Unless you are really mean.) However, we tend to berate ourselves for not finishing our creative projects when the very energy we need to create comes from a childlike place within us.
Children are more playful and joyous. They look at life with fresh eyes. As we get older, we amass a huge mental database about the world and how it should be. We also have constant pressure to be responsible adults; paying our bills, doing the laundry, or even cleaning up after our own kids. But when it comes time to take our creative dreams seriously, we need to tap into that childlike wonder. We need to look at our creativity with fresh new childlike eyes.
Unfortunately, we have the habit of putting all the adult pressures upon ourselves when we create. We burden our inner child with heavy questions and negative thoughts.
- Will this make money?
- Am I wasting my time?
- What do I do when I'm finished on this project?
- This is taking too long.
- Maybe my mother was right, I should just focus on paying the bills.
- There's no way I could get anywhere with this.
Children create for the sheer joy of it. And there once was a time that you created with reckless abandon. But as you got older, the pressure to support yourself came tumbling in. Given that most of us were taught to make money and then pursue our dreams, it's very hard to just jump into a creative project without thinking these heavy adult thoughts.
So, next time you find yourself being stubborn about a creative project, getting frustrating or blocked while writing, or hating yourself for messing up a dance step, remember to be nice to your inner child. Hold that child's hand and support him or her until you get it right. Be gentle with yourself and your resistance may just melt away.