For the creative, there will be days when you cannot create. You reach a block where nothing is coming out…Your inspiration is absent and, even though you have many ideas and thoughts, it is hard to express what you are thinking.
I think this block has to do with how we judge our own work. We ponder how it will be perceived and how others will judge us. For me, I ask questions like, “am I contradicting myself?”, “am I even making a difference?”, “am I lifting up or tearing down?”.
How is it that you can lose motivation to do anything in a blink of an eye? One thing that I have learned in being trained as an instructor is that students learn best when they practice and receive feedback. With a growth mindset, everyone can achieve anything that they set their mind to with enough practice, failure, feedback, and improvement. Yet, if this is true in a classroom environment or a specific job position, this is not always true in life generally – especially the part about receiving feedback.
Rarely do we receive critique on our work to help us grow and improve unless you very specifically ask for this feedback. Even when we receive critique – sometimes unsolicited – many times our egos stand in our path of growth because 1) we don’t like the feedback we receive regardless of whether it is true or not, especially if it is negative, 2) we constantly believe that we should be doing better now and here, so we don’t accept the little that we can offer now and here, 3) we don’t give ourselves the right to improve, as if we don’t believe that we can improve, grow, and learn. Then, the reality is that most of us are going about our lives without having a clear set of goals or makers against which we measure our growth, so even the feedback we receive can be aimless – because where are we trying to get? If there is no rubric, there is no reason or sense in saying that one way is better than the other…And, without constructive feedback against a meaningful set of goals and aims, growing can be a difficult task.
So, we might feel a certain sense of paralysis, where we know that something needs to change about our practice of a certain aspect in our lives, but we don’t know how.
We can try to follow the example of others who have overcome similar bumps in life and learn from their experiences. This can be very helpful, especially if you can extrapolate from the experiences of others something that fits into your life. I don’t think it is useful to follow someone else’s footsteps without considering your own life and your own limitations. For instance, as a female Orthodox Christian with a PhD in science, I can try to see if there is another woman out there who shares these same basic aspects of life with me and try to learn from her, as an example, how she shaped her career. I have, in fact, met this woman within the last year and I was simply fascinated by her existence! This was great, but it comes as no surprise that there were only certain aspects that I could learn from her life and the rest I still had to figure out on my own. I needed to consider the differences between us: she is married, I am single; she is thin, I am currently not thin so there are limitations there; she has children, I do not; etc…Our personalities are different, the way we understand God and The Church are different, and so much more. Thus, it maybe useful to follow in someone else’s footsteps to learn and grow, but that is not always sufficient.
If motivation cannot always be found innately in our hearts and minds, constructive feedback is rare, and following in another person’s footsteps is not always sufficient, then how can we continue to be motivated to create, to grow, and to learn?
I cannot provide you with an answer amidst these reflections of mine – but the one thing I know is that, for me, God is the ultimate motivator.
Knowing that God loves me with all my faults, weaknesses, and set-backs, I am motivated to go back to life. Having spent the weekend mostly sleeping in bed, which is not something that I am proud to be sharing here, the ONLY ONE who brought me back to life was God. I listened to a sermon, shed tears, and re-connected with my existence as His child.
The hope that we can receive from how much God loves us is truly indescribable. How can you not be motivated to get back to life, to your purpose, and your goals after you are reminded that God loves you regardless of how angry you are at yourself for whatever things that you have done? How…?
I think that it is very difficult to experience light and choose to continue living in darkness. We do it often, but if we keep our eyes open, the light will always win us over!
To all my readers, I hope that you continue to be inspired and inspire others on your way!