Any great speaker, writer, creator, businesswoman, or entrepreneur becomes great because they embrace their own vulnerability. These people look shame directly in the eye and say “I’m speaking about you whether you like it or not.” They are shameless in their pursuit of sharing their message. They are open, honest, and direct – without “trying” to be. They want the world to know that it can be different.
In order to be great, you must be vulnerable.
And in order to be vulnerable, you must first give yourself the most grace.
Shame by definition is a painful feeling of humiliation. The biggest fear of any speaker is the fear of being shamed – humiliated in front of their audience. It’s one of the biggest reasons more people don’t become speakers.
Being vulnerable means being open to what shame says about us. It means that there’s a chance we’ll get hurt for sharing our soft parts. Also it means that we are opening our hearts up to being crushed by the one person in our audience who isn’t ready to hear what we have to say. It means we have to not be worried about being the best, but being exactly who we are and sharing what’s meant to be shared from our mouths.
Grace by definition is courteous goodwill. I like to think of grace as offering the space to be imperfect without judgment.
Creating something new doesn’t allow space for judgment. Whenever judgment is present, creativity has chains hanging from it. Whenever vulnerability is present, it sucks the life out of shame and judgment. Grace is the path toward vulnerability.
No matter what you’re creating, here are 5 ways to give yourself a little grace in your creative space:
How To Embrace Vulnerability
1. Breathe for vulnerability.
Take a moment to clear the energy of the space you’re creating in. It will allow the creativity to flow. You can do this at any point during the creation process, from start to sharing it with others. It’s a simple exercise, but one we often forget before we dive into our creative energy. Take a deep breath in and remember to breathe it all back out.
2. Move Your Body.
Our bodies are incredible creations that are meant to be moved. Moving them and getting the energy flowing through them allows us to be our most creative. Turn on some music and dance. Go for a long walk with the dog without technology. Take a yoga class. The creativity will flow through you if you’re willing to move. Feel the movements of your body and notice what feels real or forced. Move your body in ways that feel natural and bigger than natural.
3. Schedule It.
I know, I know – creativity can’t be scheduled. But most of us say that we don’t have time to be creative, so let’s hack the system. If you’re a morning person, set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and start creativity before the day gets started. Or, if you’re a night owl, turn off the TV 30 minutes earlier than usual and get some creative energy in before you go to bed. If you have a scheduled lunch break, set that time as your creative time by making lunch at the same time as you make your breakfast so you can use every minute to create.
4. Go Back To Your Why.
You’re creating for a reason. Make sure you have that “why” defined and written somewhere. Maybe put it on your laptop or your desk or even your mirror and go back to the reason you are doing this.
5. It’s Not About You.
Your work is not for you – and reminding yourself of this should take all the pressure off. For example, if you are writing a talk that will get people to like you, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re writing a talk, or creating a product, and giving it so that your audience can walk away with new tools, a new perspective, and new decisions, then keep going! Your stories are not for you. Your words are not for you. This is not about you. So, give yourself a whole ton of grace and do the dang thing.
Yes, these apply to all sorts of creative spaces – like me writing a book. The book I’ve been writing for 4 years. I wrote this post for myself just as much as I wrote it for you. So, know that I’m standing in here with you – here in my shameless, grace-filled, vulnerablility mantras speaking truth to drown out the lies that aren’t allowed here anymore. To giving you what you need because it’s not about me. To sucking the life out of shame and judgment through grace.
This article was originally published on MelanieSpring.com and has been modified for Sass.