January 16, 2015

Managing Self-Doubt When Our Creativity is Blocked.

typewriter, writing, desk

What do we do when our creativity grinds to a halt?

During times when nothing seems to inspire us, a skill that we’ve always been so proud of can seem like it has disappeared. A passion that we’ve always thought we were defined through feels like it never even existed.

Then what do we do?

External and internal events in my life have flipped everything upside down lately and I’ve been hanging on for dear life, just trying to make it through each day.

When I’ve tried to sit down to write, there’s been nothing. Nothing left of me to give to my articles, nothing at all.

And it’s made me feel like I’m nothing.

Because I’ve defined myself as a writer for so long, I feel like when I can’t write, it means I’m less of the real me. It’s as if I’ve labeled myself so much with being a writer, that when my mind is empty of words it means I am a failure, I am not doing the one thing I always thought I was good at.

I’m also a yoga teacher, and the same thing has happened in that department. My personal yoga practice has gone out the window recently due to the fact it stirred me up way too much. I have already been battling enough with my emotional body, so putting myself into poses that are going to bring about more emotional turmoil has just been too much to handle.

So, as I’ve been teaching my classes, and talking to my students after class about the amazingness that is yoga, I’ve felt like a bit of a phony. I’ve been talking the talk, but not walking the walk—and this feels so wrong to me.

To stop myself falling deeper into this black hole of self-doubt and self-criticism I’m attempting to do the only thing I can think of doing: I’m changing how I view myself and how I talk about myself.

Labeling myself as writer and a yoga teacher and identifying myself with those traits put me in a very uncomfortable position when I all of a sudden couldn’t relate to either of those things.

But here’s what I’ve realized through this: I’ve been selling myself short.

I am so much more than a writer, so much more than a yoga teacher.

I am a lover, I am a sister, I am a daughter and I am a friend.

I am passionate about life, I love to love people, I love to be in my own company.

I love to be creative, I love to listen and I always try to be compassionate and empathetic.

Yes, I write and I teach yoga—but these things don’t define me.

Do you find you have identified yourself through by external things because you are good at them, or because it is your job, or it was how you were raised?

You’re not just a mother, you’re not just a husband, you’re not just a worker, you’re not just a piano player or an artist or anything else.

We need to start looking within ourselves to see that we are so much more. Identifying so closely to such external things is dangerous…what happens if these things disappear?

What happens if we lose our jobs or get a divorce? What if we break our hand and can’t paint or play the piano?

Then what?

We sit down and be with ourselves. 

To see what really is in our hearts, see who we really are.

Then we can let go of identifying ourselves with these things that could disappear at any time and come to see that we are already whole without them.



Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Author: Sarah Moyes

Editor: Renee Picard 

Photo: xlibber/Flickr 

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Sarah Moyes