The Myth of Inspiration (for creatives and entrepreneurs)
“I just don’t feel inspired today, Mom.”
My kid was standing, shoulders slumped, pencil and sketch pad on the table.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “You don’t have to feel inspired right now. All an artist needs to do is sit down and start moving the pencil so inspiration has somewhere to show up.”
My 12-year old son was facing what all of us creative and driven types face at some point: the myth of inspiration.
I see it in my clients all the time: coaches, podcasters, consultants, writers, and healers.
I see it in myself, which is how I can spot it so quickly in other people!
This false myth needs to be scrubbed from our belief systems.
It’s a myth that we need to wait for a great idea to land, fully formed, in our brains, and only then can we sit down and create something “good.”
And I’m about to show you how to scrub that myth from our minds, why it’s important to do so, and how it will benefit your satisfaction and success.
I hear this myth expressed from my clients who are:
- Branding or marketing experts
- People who are growing an Instagram or Facebook following, or
- People who are starting a book or podcast
The myth keeps us from sitting down and fumbling through our thoughts.
The myth stops us from getting our butts in the chair to write.
The myth is what keeps us from getting better through practice.
The truth is, great writers and creators, successful coaches, and outstanding entrepreneurs don’t wait for inspiration to strike: they get down to the work, knowing that inspiration comes when we have our tools, get into our space, welcome the Muse, and embody the Creatrix.
It’s like putting on your hiking boots: you’re not out hiking yet, but you’re ready to start.
If I waited to feel inspired I might never:
- Go to my 7am pilates class
- Cook a fresh mid-week dinner
- Speak in front of a room of potential clients (I still get hella nervous public speaking)
- Record a podcast
- Finish writing a book…
What’s important, and what every creator you admire knows, is that it’s the tiny personal habits that lead to professional success…and life satisfaction.
Growing these habits of creativity can greatly improve anyone’s life. (Especially your business and career!) And the practice of ramping up your creativity isn’t just for artists.
Creativity, and creative thinking, is for everyone.
But waiting for inspiration?
That’s a rookie belief.
Studies on creativity, inventors, and entrepreneurs show that those who produce the “master works” also tend to produce the most work, including a lot of failures. Some quotes from people who know:
- Thomas Edison said about his long road to inventing the light bulb: “I haven’t failed — I’ve just found 10,000 that won’t work.”
- “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
- “Discipline is not a dirty word. There is far more freedom and opportunity for creativity and success in enjoying discipline. Years ago someone I very much respect told me the reason they were successful is that they embraced doing what other people resent or are reluctant to do.” – Janice Bryant Howroyd
Now, don’t get me wrong:
This truth about inspiration is not the same as not listening to your intuition!
You might be thinking, “but Alex, how is this different from trusting my intuition when it tells me to wait?”
Very good question!
Here’s another question for you to ask yourself, so tune in, get quiet, and ask yourself:
Is my intuition telling me to stop and rest and wait?
Or am I resisting showing up to the daily work of experimentation and practice?
Only you can answer this question. Doing the work, consistently, even when it isn’t “good,” is what helps us trust and hone our intuition.
As you show up to the page, or desk, or microphone, keep listening to your intuition and let it guide you. It will lead you to inspiration and great ideas.
So showing up to your work, consistently, is really about trusting yourself, the value of your ideas, and believing in your divine connection to your Inner Creatrix.
Here are some ways you can realign with your internal motivation and show up for your passions:
MAKE TIME, TAKE
SPACE: be present, look at the world around you, read books, look at art, listen to music, walk in nature, make art. Get out of your device. Our job as creatives is to observe, play with reality, take in the world, and imagine a new one. We are the creators of the new world and new solutions. By being present your ideas and inspirations will come.
These all work for me, and I hope they help you, too.
The priceless value of committing to your creativity, and not waiting for inspiration to strike, is that you’ll create new, exciting combinations:
- Your work and skills get better.
- You’ll surprise yourself and rekindle your passion for the work.
- Your resilience will grow, and you’ll get into a productive flow more often.
In late December I’ll be opening applications for the Creatrix 2020 mentorship program. Want to be in the first group to apply? Go here to get on the early bird list: