Creatives & Encouragement: The Lens of Life

Many of my posts lately include the topic of good humans.  Good humans aren’t defined in the dictionary and most definitely aren’t defined by appearances or anything on the outside.  In my world, they are defined by the love, support, kindness and encouragement that they show others. 

Encouragement is probably a new topic in this regard. And I’m not talking about the high school cheerleader – rah, rah, -- type of encouragement. I mean real, honest, encouragement; thoughts, words and actions. The kind that not only allows someone else to grow and make mistakes on their own, but allows them to evolve during the process. 

I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately with my tribe; both my close personal tribe and those that make up my larger, broader tribe. Many of these people are in the literary industry (aka the book world).  They include authors, bloggers, designers, and so many more.  The one thing they all have in common is that they are creative. 

I’ve noticed in the last couple of years that creative types are so flipping amazing!  They don’t live in the same world as most of us.  They allow the experiences of daily life to shape the way they see and experience things.  These observations tend to come out in their art.  Since art is subjective, so is their creative process. 

Something I’ve learned is that when a creative type says, “it must be done this way”, they are actually telling us, “this is how it works for me”.  Many creatives are self-taught.  This doesn’t mean that they haven’t been educated on the process, but a great deal of self-discipline and self-teaching is required to continuously grow and evolve in the creative world. 

The older I get, the more I realize this.  But I have also realized that I’ve grown a bit more sensitive.  And oh, my goodness, I find myself getting butt-hurt by people who don’t think that my idea is a good one.  These people continuously don’t like my ideas and they don’t support me in the idea realm.  I could probably invent a flying car, like in Back to the Future, and it wouldn’t be good enough. 

And I still love these people. I always will. 

Because these amazing, wonderful, creative, loving and loyal people, don’t see the world through the same lens that I do.   

And that is what makes the world go ‘round.

Multiple views of the same ideas and situations.

But these same individuals don’t understand that when I hear, “that sucks” or “that’s not what you want to do”, or “you’re not good at that”, it breaks me just a little bit more.  I imagine I’m not the only one who’s felt broken when the rejection from close friends and family is the first thing they hear.   

Because you see, my success in life and love, is solely based on the hard work, time and energy spent on these relationships.  Even if I’m terrified, I do excel daily on a professional level and the more I hear the negative or less than encouraging words, the more they run through my head whispering that I ‘can’t’ do something.  No one wants to hear from those they love or respect that they aren’t able, or shouldn’t work for their dreams. 

I pray that the negative feedback and sadness on my part is more of a reaction based on each of us seeing the world through different experiences and lenses, and that it’s not jealousy or meanness talking. 

Because I really want to, and need to, believe in the goodness in people. 
It helps me. 
I bet it helps you. 
Believing in the best in others and encouraging both them and ourselves helps all of us to move forward in a more positive light. 

Encouragement is not only words, but actions.  It can be shown through support, listening, or simply sitting with another and providing comfort by just… being. 

Take a moment and think about how often you and a friend (or family member) have had a discussion and you attempted to sway them to do it your way?  Were you doing it to help them gain another perspective of the situation?  Or were you providing them the less than positive feedback because you didn’t want the competition?  Or was it simply because you thought their idea wasn’t worthy? 

No matter the reason, try and think about how you could encourage your friend to follow their dreams and think outside the box.   This can be done in a more positive and encouraging way rather than just shutting down their ideas, dreams and aspirations every time they come to you.  If you don’t try, you may find yourself being the last one to find out about the important things in their life. 

Be fearless. 
Be encouraging