Creativity: A Blessing and a Curse

Creativity: A Blessing and a Curse

Creativity: A Blessing and a Curse

Creative Minds are Different

One thing I’ve learned as a life coach and career coach (as well as a creative person) is that creative people have a unique set of opportunities and challenges. What does it feel like to be an artist? What is the difference between a person that looks at a pile of scrap metal and sees an intricate statue, replicating Buddha, and a person that just sees a bunch of junk? What about those of us that hear nothing in the silence of the night, and those that make out faint sounds of instruments until they have composed an entire symphony in their minds?

Neurologically, there are differences in the “creative brain.” Different areas of the brain are accessed when examining the world, based on whether or not you are a more creative personality. All people use these parts of the brain, when necessary, but creative individuals tend to access these parts more often. 

Creatives literally see the world through a different lens… and this creates differences in their work and their lives. Could you imagine Jimi Hendrix doing your taxes? Maybe not, but your tax guy is most likely not pulling off a swallowable rendition of “Hey Joe” or “Foxy Lady” either. Each has their gifts.

Creatives Need to Look Inward, in an External World

However, the creative faction amongst us can sometimes have a difficult task of living in this world, because their thoughts and perspectives need freedom to float around it. 

Creative people often get great satisfaction from tapping into the unexpressed areas of the soul, in efforts to extract subconscious beauty and original creations. But that can often leave them longing for that same type of connection and purpose in a society that emphasizes external focus, conscious thought, and being guarded as opposed to open

While much of today’s art, in any form, is influenced by life and all things within, the ability to artistically express oneself is not something that is derived from this physical place. It’s an internal experience. Many times, the more strongly artists feel connected to their own creative process, they feel more disconnected from the larger world.

The Struggle Between Creativity and “Responsibility”

This is even more so the case in today’s age, where many of us spend the vast majority of our time and energy given to something outside of ourselves. This struggle between having the time and space for creative expression and the demands of day-to-day life is what often weighs on the minds of many creative artists. 

Our passions can so easily be traded for security, and our fears are triggered by the word RESPONSIBILITY. This is especially true for creatives in relationships. How could you possibly put your dreams and passions first, when you have a family to care for? Who is going to pay the bills while you set out searching for inspiration for your next book or album?

Disconnection From Your “Creative Self” Can Be Damaging

Not only can emotions derived from these questions be creatively stifling, but they can also contribute to a myriad of negative emotions, and a general sense of feeling STUCK. 

Some artists wind up abandoning their creative dreams in favor of living the way “they should” according to the dictates of society. Not living as creatively authentic of a life is possible, but it often leads to depression and anxiety.

How To Balance Work and Art

Here are some tips to help you create a healthy balance when you’re a creative person living in a reality-based world.

Honesty: The best way to combat the inner turmoil between your need for creative freedom and the day-to-day realities of life, is by staying honest with oneself when it comes to who you are, and what you want. 

We all have the right to have EVERYTHING we want, as long as we are willing to work for it. Not society, family, nor SELF should keep us from being who we were truly meant to be. Recognizing and embracing your differences, as a creative person, is the first step in creating a balanced life.

Validation: Another crucial part of this honesty is a commitment to NOT SHAMING yourself for desiring something that might not seem commonsensical. This is important, as it will make it easier to continue to listen to your inner dialogue. 

It is hard to sit with your authentic feelings and thoughts, if you are beating yourself up over even having them. Allow yourself to think, and feel your truth, without that defining who you have to be.

Prioritization: Being honest with yourself, and giving yourself permission to be creative, will then allow you to make space for creative expression in your life. Start by asking yourself where and how you can make space for your creative process? Next, consider how can you prioritize that, while also fitting day-to-day responsibilities around your most important work? 

The key here is balance: If you deny and suppress your creativity, it will harm you emotionally (and existentially). And, if you only follow pure creativity there can be other consequences, to both your relationships and your material security.

You deserve the best of both worlds: The fulfillment of creative expression, and also a stable life.

If you are a creative artist struggling with how to balance work and art or are having trouble with creative inspiration, you may find that coaching and/or therapy can be a beneficial way to improve the way you work on art, as well as how you walk through life.

Zachary Gaiter, M.A., LPCC

Zachary Gaiter, M.A., LPCC is a Life Coach and Career Coach with Growing Self Counseling and Coaching.

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Career Growth and Transition Tips 

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. When it comes to talking about career growth and how to use this time productively, there is a lot you can do without making big drastic lifestyle changes. 

This is a great opportunity to take time to explore your options, make decisions, and prepare yourself to take steps towards your ideal future! As an online career counselor, I wanted to give you some activities that you could explore to help you find clarity about career growth and career transitions while also tackling that looming feeling of “Where do I go next?”

Take Your Time: Reflect

Whether you are out of work, working from home, staggering shifts, or continuing work as essential personal, create a space for you to tune in to yourself and reflect on your career beliefs. 

Be intentional while thinking and answering the below questions, taking note of the answers that you come up with or that feel scary to admit. This is a beautiful space to begin wondering about your career growth choices and figuring out what feels like the best next step for you.

Ask yourself:
Am I happy with my current employment situation?
What would I want to change about it?
What’s most important to me when it comes to career options?
What would I like out of my career? 

Think about things such as:
When would be a good time to pursue this?
What does it take to achieve this goal?
Where do I see myself in this job?

Write down the pros and cons of transitioning careers. Some things might be both a pro and a con! Go through and give each topic a point value between 1 and 5. With 1 being the lowest importance. 

By attributing a value system to your list, it can help you recognize what’s most important for you right now.

Do Your Research

So you’ve taken the chance to reflect on your beliefs and desires; congratulations! As a career coach and individual therapist, I view taking time to reflect on big life transitions as a huge area of potential. 

It takes a lot of courage to think about change and what might feel uncomfortable. 

Take a moment to write a list of 5 different career options that seem interesting to you. Remember, writing them down does not mean you have to pursue them! 

Take the list you’ve created and search them individually at both of these sites: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/ and https://www.onetonline.org/

These sites are helpful in providing details such as; demand for the job, pay range, qualifications, as well as other related positions. Give yourself permission to go down a rabbit hole and explore things that look interesting to you!

Update Your Professional Information

Think about what resources need to be updated to appeal to your ideal or prospective job. Some jobs use social media more than others, some are more focused on your resume and cover letter

Put yourself in a hiring manager position and think about what they might want to see out of a prospective applicant. Linkedin, Indeed, and even Instagram and Facebook can be media sources your future employer might want to review (depending on the job of course). 

Keep your profiles up to date to reflect YOU! Let your personality shine through. Yes, employers want to see your accomplishments but they also want to see who you are! 

Go through and tailor your profile for the job you want – cutting out redundant content, elaborating on your accomplishments, and creating uniformity throughout your profile.

Your Resume Matters! 6 Useful Resume Tips

Updating and keeping up with your resume is critical to pursuing the job you want. Most jobs are looking for a one page ‘summary’ on your professional experience. Make sure your resume looks clean, consistent, and easy to read. [If you want to work with a professional, view here is information on connecting with an expert resume and interview coach: Resume Writing Services in Denver | Online Resume Consultant]

  1. Keep important information on your resume that applies to your ideal position while omitting information that might not be completely relevant. I like to keep a ‘full length’ resume that I can copy and paste my experience in and out of.
  2. Highlight aspects that might be important to the job. For instance, if the job you are applying for is in education, it might be important to highlight your academic accomplishments. (If you are applying to jobs in several fields, it might be handy to keep a couple of different versions of your resume like, professional, service industry, education, etc. on hand.)
  3. If you are looking to apply to a specific job, look through the job description, and incorporate keywords into your resume. Hiring managers are looking for those keywords and this can help you organize your experience.
  4. Use concise summaries of your experience using bullet points and action words that match the tense. For example, if you are currently working as an office assistant you might use: “Organizes specialized data spreadsheets.” If you are not currently working there, go back through and change ‘organize’ to a past tense verb.
  5. Formatting should be consistent throughout your document including font, text size, punctuation, dates, etc.. Keep an eye on small things such as; are there periods at the end of every sentence? Is the date format consistent throughout (03/2020 vs March 2020)?
  6. Find someone you trust such as a mentor, professor, or career coach to review your resume and give you feedback.

Some positions require a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or you might have the option to submit a CV in place of a resume. 

A CV is an extended version of your resume that expands on your life accomplishments and academic pursuits. Unlike a resume, which typically is only 1 page, a CV can be as long as you would like. 

Keeping an up to date CV allows you to track your accomplishments, awards, certifications, and projects that you’ve worked hard to accomplish. Here’s a good guide to writing a CV:

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/job_search_writing/resumes_and_vitas/writing_the_cv.html

Time To Upskill Yourself

Due to the pandemic, companies know there are a lot of people with more time on their hands. Take time to think about what skills your current or next job is looking for. If you have the time and means, take a course or a training to update or learn a new skill that will contribute to your career growth. 

These could be courses from your local college, classes taught online through your field’s board, or one you found through Google. This can be valuable information when going into an interview or preparing to get a new job. 

Financial security is also important to consider during this time. There are ways to upskill yourself for free. Khan Academy offers free courses on several subjects. Plus, there’s no harm in looking! 

Many public libraries have opened up their online databases and have made it more accessible to read Ebooks. Look at your local library and find a book relating to the subject you’d like to learn more about. 

While reading, take notes. It might seem silly but taking notes can help you retain information. 

Youtube can also be a great resource for free information and techniques. Make sure you are looking for credible information in whichever free course you choose. 

It might seem like the world is in a standstill in terms of employment. Although there might be a freeze currently, this pause creates a great opportunity to reflect and spend time with your thoughts about career growth. 

Our professional life is always changing and developing and sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of that. I want to encourage you to be kind to yourself during this time and give yourself permission to explore those ideas that may have gotten tucked away.

Wishing you success,
Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC, NCC

 

P.S. If you have recently lost your job, you’re not alone. For helpful tips and encouragement read: Coping With Job Loss and article focused on self-care, career-care, and hope. 

Denver Career Coach Online Career Counselor Therapist in Broomfield Online Therapy

Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC, NCC is a career counselor, life coach and therapist who creates a warm environment for you to explore the depths of who you are, so you can grow. She challenges, encourages, and empowers you to embrace transition in order to create future fulfillment.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

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