Right now I'm going through Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity." In the first chapter, she states that if we could be one-tenth as good at positive self-talk as we are at negative self-talk, we will notice massive changes in our creativity. According to her, affirmations help achieve a sense of safety and hope.
Here's how the exercise works: Pick an affirmation. It can be anything. Write it down 10 times, and see what your internal "censor" yells back at you. She calls these objections "blurts." Write those down too because they hold our creative freedom in their claws. She says we have to get to the root of where these negative core beliefs come from: a parent, friend, teacher, religious leader, etc. Once we bring our internal monsters out, we can begin to work on them. Tackling our blurts helps our creative recovery, Cameron says. Only once we turn our blurts into affirmations can we begin to discover and recover our creative self.
I started by writing this affirmation: "I am a creative and talented photographer" over and over and then wrote "I am a creative and talented writer" over and over too.
Blurts came quick.
"You are a fake. People will know you are an imposter. People will laugh at you. They already are. People are thinking how ridiculous it is that you deserve to be a successful artist. Your creative heroes pity you, if they even know who you are. 'How cute,' they say. They talk about you. 'Who does she think she is?' they say. You don't deserve to be paid well for doing what you love. That's reserved for real artists. Talented artists, not you."
But the exercise is meant to open up those creative wounds, figure out where they came from, and address them. After I wrote down my blurts, I was supposed to turn them into affirmations. So I did, and I added a few from the workbook.
I am genuine. I am talented and creative.
People will think I am talented because it's true — but I don't need them to. I create my art for me and my clients, not them.
If people don't think I am talented, it's not my problem. The good and bad truth is that no one thinks about me as much as I do.
I deserve success.
My creative heroes are cheering me on — but I don't need them to. My friends and family are cheering me on. My clients are cheering me on. I'm cheering me on.
I deserve to be paid well for my art.
My work comes to good.
As I create and listen, I will be led.
My creativity heals myself and others.
I am allowed to nurture my inner artist.
My creativity will flourish if I take care of it.
My creativity always leads me to truth and love.
My creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
I am willing to create.
I am willing to let myself create.
I am willing to be of service through my creativity.
I am willing to experience my creative energy.
I am willing to use my creative talents.