111 Day Artistic Spirit Pledge: Spiritual Growth Through Creative Expression
Day 93: Valuing My Own Opinions
Raise your hand if you are a “People Pleaser”! *waving mine towards the sky*
I don’t know when it started or why, but I have this annoying tendency to seek other people’s approval – sometimes valuing their opinion more than my own. I surround myself with intelligent, open-minded, and creative individuals; my FANDS (family & friends) are always there for support and advice.
I seek their counsel regarding spiritual and emotional situations and value their input. However, I’ve noticed a dangerous trend; there are times in which I start to believe that my original idea was not as valid or that flaws exist in my opinion. Then, I scold myself for even thinking that way. “You’re stronger than this,” I say. “You know and understand your strengths, interests, and abilities better than anyone.” All very rational and motivational words of encouragement, yet I end up exhausted from the emotional struggle.
Does that mean my opinion was flawed if it could be so easily swayed? Is my self-confidence severely low in that I permit others to define my actions? Am I so concerned with what the general public will think that I second guess my instincts? I suspect that I am not the only one on this globe who contemplates such questions, but why discuss this now and during a time when I am pursuing a new career? Because bringing it to the surface means that I must address it as a hurdle to my success – both personally and professionally. Besides, admitting your flaws instead of hiding them can inspire change in you and respect among others.
I am an artist, a proclamation I will proudly declare to anyone. My affinity for and deep passion in the creative arts motivates me every single day. I’ll burst out in song at a moment’s notice or take to social media to comment about my favorite TV shows. I go to the stage door after a Broadway show to meet the show’s cast and say, “You did a great job!” I write dialogue with ease and enjoy creating fictional characters that are flawed yet in search of growth. I know, without a doubt, that these artistic skills and entertainment knowledge are calling me to share them with others. I just haven’t figured out a way to earn a living from them, as of yet.
I need a “day job”, as I’m frequently told. I need to be able to earn money so that I can then focus on the career that I actually want to pursue. Seems kind of warped to me, but then again, my current state of underemployment isn’t working (pun intended) out very well for me. I enjoy my part-time job and the occasional income I obtain as a freelance writer, but neither pays my bills. As I struggle with this day job versus preferred career dilemma, I’ve realized just how much I’ve absorbed others’ opinions on this subject instead of clearly and passionately stating my own. *I value the support and perspective of my FANDS, but I must give more value to my own insights.*
It hasn’t been an easy eight months, that’s for certain, primarily because I pulled the reins back on my own life. I stopped trusting my instincts and believing in my artistic abilities. As such, I watched my confidence fade and my dreams float out of reach. Not anymore!
I am strong. I am brave. I am kind. I am passionate. I am open-minded. I am spiritual. I am a friend. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am an aunt. I am a writer. I am a singer. I am a jewelry designer. I am an actor. I am a TV viewer. I am a theatre-goer.
I am an Artistic Spirit and that’s a title worthy of an office nameplate!
**I am an Artistic Spirit! For most of my life I’ve used the creative arts as a source of spiritual exploration and healing, even though I didn’t always do so consciously. Sometimes I was the instrument creating the art and other times I was on the receiving end. The connection between art and spirituality is so significant in my life that it’s infused into everything I do. I love music, theatre, television drama series (daytime and primetime), and creative writing and find fulfillment in artistic expression of various sorts: singing, acting, and jewelry design. Throughout the next 18 days, I’ll delve into how all of the above strengthens my spirit and has saved my life on more than one occasion.**