Archives for Self-esteem
What fears can interfere with our creative thinking and creatively expressing ourselves? “The artist begins with a vision — a creative operation requiring effort. Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse
How does self esteem impact our lives and creativity? How do traits like egocentrism and narcissism relate to self esteem? In his post here on PsychCentral, Steve Bressert, Ph.D. explains that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is "characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others.
What gets in the way of our writing? There is no simple answer, of course, but here are some perspectives from accomplished authors on what to be aware of and what to do that may help write more and write better. Stephen King relates an early experience that affected his writing and acceptance of himself as a writer – the kind of experience probably most of us have had to some degree: criticism from his high school teacher. He writes:
“I don’t know what ‘normal’ means, anyway.” How does being unusual or eccentric in our viewpoints, thinking, personal style and other choices help us be more creative and innovative? Karl Lagerfeld, the prominent fashion designer, photographer, publisher, and artistic director of Chanel, has very eclectic and unusual tastes in clothing – so I would consider him one example of an eccentric creator.
Do you have a wide range of passionate interests, even "too many"? Maybe you have never "settled down" into a well-defined career. Maybe you think you have ADHD - and maybe you do, but you may really be what Barbara Sher refers to as a Scanner. In her video below, she notes it may not be the best term, and there are others such as “Polymath,” “Renaissance Soul,” or pejorative ones like “Dilettante.”
Do you express yourself creatively - or in other ways - as fully and authentically as you want? If you're like most of us, the answer is No. For one thing, our inner dialogue can be less than helpful or encouraging. Author Pearl Cleage points out some of the ways our inner critic may dampen our creative voice: "I think one of the things that writers and creative artists generally have to deal with is the censors that we have in our heads, the voices that we have that say you better not tell that and don't tell that, and people will think you're not a good girl, and your grandmother's going to be mad at you and all of those things." [via brainyquote.com]
Even people with exceptional creative talents and accomplishments can feel insecure. Meryl Streep, for example, has said, “I have varying degrees of confidence and self-loathing…You can have a perfectly horrible day where you doubt your talent… Or that you’re boring and they’re going to find out that you don’t know what you’re doing.” Over the years of reading biographies and doing interviews with many highly talented and creative people, it has often struck me how many of them talk about being self-critical, and feel insecure at times.
How does a healthy self-concept impact our creative work? Don't we need a big ego, fame and money for creative expression? One sense of this word "ego" is a distorted self-regard, what psychologist Carl Jung referred to as "inflated consciousness... hypnotized by itself."
Being a misfit or outsider can be distressing or downright painful, especially as a teen, but many artists say it is part of their experience that helps them be more creative. Writer Anne Rice talks about being "a bad student, I daydreamed in class, wrote stories in my notebooks. I learned the basics, but most of my active intellectual life was outside of school. It was acutely painful because [my sister and I] felt different, like misfits. Our individuality was almost irrepressible, but I wanted to fit in."
"In the creative process every human being is confronted with doubts and contradictions and flaws..." Acclaimed for his films including "Amores Perros," "Babel" and "21 Grams," Alejandro González Iñárritu has earned a number of award nominations for directing and co-writing "Birdman." In a theatre, we can enjoy the results of sometimes hundreds of talented people collaborating on making a movie, but there may be many years of often messy and emotionally challenging creative process that goes into getting a film actually produced and released. Iñárritu has made a number of interesting comments about that process.