Have you noticed how much is happening this month, well every month but I personally am very present to whatâ€™s in front of me today. It takes courage to say no to them! This includes my own 21 Day Courageous Creativity program which I decided at the last minute to run live. What was I thinking?
I love the energy and momentum of challenges. But I realized today that I wanted to say YES too way too much. So I started to wonder what I am getting by saying yes to these challenges?
No is a powerful word for courageous creatives.
NO is a powerful word and I love practicing it. So why do I keep saying yes to these online events? I realized a big part of it is that I am longing for community and connection. With little or no access to other humans in real life, these experiences often offer a chance to connect with other people on a similar path to mine.
I also realized that itâ€™s so important to be more intentional with where you (and me) are putting your time and your energy.
It can be so easy to overcommit ourselves when there are so many fun, fulfilling and productive ways to grow as creatives.
3 Ideas for How to Choose What to Focus On
Here are 3 ideas for how to choose where to put your focus, your time, your energy and even your money:
- Get clear on WHY you want to participate: is it to master skills, be in community with others, grow your social media following… no wrong answers but if you are joining just to join you will crash and burn.
- What do you want to get out of the challenge at the end? Do you want more confidence, visibility, mastery of a skill, friends or followers?
- This one has two parts: one about commitment and the other about time. Are you ready to invest your time and energy?
a. how committed are you really? If it just sounds fun but you’re not clear on the why and the what then say no. It’s okay to say no, in fact it’s the most freeing thing you can do for your own creative practice.
b. look at your calendar! How much time do you have each day to dedicate to participating in the challenge? Be really honest. This one was the gamechanger for me personally.
Fun Bonus Tip (because we love to do #allthefunthings) – ask yourself if you can combine the challenges. I’m looking at all the ways I want to share what I’m working on, what I’m really committed to and how I think it will help me as an artist, leader, and business owner… is there alignment among a couple of the challenges and would I benefit from combining them or would I just get distracted and overwhelmed?
Hereâ€™s a specific example as I was looking at all my options. Iâ€™m leading my own 21-day journey which is about creativity and self-love. Iâ€™m going to be creating a collage every day so itâ€™s easy for me to use this same content for the Ultimate Blog Challenge and maybe even jumpstart participation in the #100dayproject.
Do you love learning and community? These challenges offer more of each of those. Itâ€™s so easy to just dive right in without thinking it through. I get it. Iâ€™m offering one so itâ€™s ironic that Iâ€™m saying this.
Iâ€™m not here to get you to sign up for my Courageous Creativity program just to sign up. I want you to join me and play full out. I bet other challenge leaders want that too. That made me sit up and look at what I am doing differently.Â
For Day 1 of Courageous Creativity I chose the prompt Celebrate.
I have committed to doing a collage a day for the next 21 days of the Courageous Creative journey. I love using intuitive collage to uncover what’s beneath the surface of my thoughts. It’s a powerful and effective way of making the unconscious conscious.
As an overachiever, I have a tendency to push through, work harder, do more without pausing to celebrate the progress. I get frustrated if I don’t think progress is happening fast enough!
So today’s collage is about pausing, taking a deep breath in and celebrating what is going right, what is working in my life right now and what I have accomplished today. I’m also celebrating saying no to a variety of fun opportunities that will take me away from what is really most important to me.
This is the goal of the Courageous Creativity program, to bring you back to center so you can focus on what matters most to you.
Right now what matters most to me is my creativity and my relationship to myself. I will be exploring this connection in more depth in the coming days and weeks. This, after all, is an adventure. There is no destination. There is only exploration.
I’m going to stay curious, stay present and seek wonder as I go. I will also look for something to celebrate every single day!
I hope this story helps you too when faced with too many delicious choices for how to spend your precious time!