Creative Confidence - How To Avoid Drowning Before You Remember How To Swim

by Pool Builders on 10-18-2007 in Articles

If you've not created very much for a long period, or if you've only been creating relatively small projects, and long to return to more expansive and ambitious works, there are two main ways of doing this.

Unfortunately, many of us take the difficult option by embarking on a major complex project, get stuck early on, our confidence in creating takes a shattering blow, and we retreat further into a frustrated non-creative state.

But there is a better way.

To illustrate, let me share the story of high school champion swimmer Cathy.

Naturally gifted, at 16 Cathy was the strongest swimmer in her school and had little competition locally. She joined the regional team, then the national team and by the age of 19 was one of the most successful swimmers in her country.

Cathy loved swimming, but through her twenties, life kind of got in the way. Her swimming career had to be supplemented by additional income, she got an office job, and before Cathy really realised it, she woke up one day at 39 years old in a middle management position in a job she didn't really care about.

Cathy decided it was time to rediscover some of the passions of her younger days, and swimming was the big one.

So, despite never having been in water any deeper than her bathtub for some 15 years, Cathy decided to go to the ocean to swim. Maybe you can guess what happened next.

Cathy underestimated the force of the tides, was overwhelmed by the water before she got up to her waist, retreating rapidly back to the safety of the shore. Worse than her struggle to actually swim was her realisation that she wasn't the fit, strong swimmer she used to be.

For the next 6 years, Cathy returned to nothing more adventurous than a bathtub, her pride bruised and her confidence having taken a severe blow.

On her 45th birthday, Cathy decided again that her urge to swim could not be ignored. But she was more terrified than ever at what might happened if she returned to the water. So she took the brave and humble step of enrolling in a swimming class at her local pool.

Within a few weeks, Cathy was gaining confidence in the water again. So much so that one of the teachers asked if she would like to help out with the babies swimming class that followed on from her lesson.

Now, a year later, Cathy teaches mothers, toddlers and children to swim in half a dozen classes a week. She also swims for herself, is in better physical shape than she's been for nearly two decades, and most importantly, loves being in the water again.

How does this relate to you and your creative life? Are you scared to "get back in the water"? Is your confidence in creating so low you barely attempt to create anything?

What are 3 things you could do this weekend to start to take the steps back to creating what you love? We're not talking about throwing yourself in the ocean, just dipping your toes in the shallow end of the pool, splashing around and having a little fun again.

List 3 things you could do this weekend, then pick one, set a time to do it, and take that action! Taking that first step will lead to another and another. Remember the story of Cathy and just imagine where you can be 3, 6 and 12 months from now...

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