Keys To Creativity: Vulnerability

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Fear is one of the main impediments to enjoying life fully, creating, and being who we are. At some point something shifted for us as a society and gradually we started trading genuineness, openness, and honesty for fear and closeness.

We’ve been collectively buying into the myth that being open and vulnerable, as a general rule with few exceptions, is something negative and equated these terms to being weak.

To avoid feeling weak we resort to stuffing down our feelings, repressing and suppressing our emotions to a point of numbness and an inability to recognize our own feelings and figure out how to deal with them.

Creativity demands vulnerability because after all, emotion is the fuel that feeds it. Creativity is subjective and personal because it uses our feelings and the memory of the experiences that left a deep impression on our psyche.

There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about what vulnerability really is and the role it plays in our lives. Vulnerability has been confused with wearing emotions on the sleeve or in some cases, allowing others indiscriminately to know about our deepest emotions. Putting all of your emotions on the table for all to see is not what being vulnerable is.

In the context of the creative process, being vulnerable is reached in solitude, away from the eyes of others. Creating from a place of vulnerability allows you to explore your emotions while at the same time allowing others (your audience) to relate to your experience without offering them the “keys to your soul”.

Vulnerability can be a hard to reach place because we’ve been trained to bury it and stay away from it. It feels uncomfortable because this is where all our demons hide: the things that marked us, terrible things we’ve felt and parts of us that we learn are unwanted based on what the ones around us accept, view as good, moral, or decent. We see vulnerability as the Pandora Box from which we must protect ourselves and the problem is not that we want to protect ourselves, but that in the desperation of doing so we forget and lose the way to what makes us who we are.

Creating from a place of vulnerability and raw emotions gives your creative endeavor the main ingredient of connecting with yourself and the ones exposed to your work. Vulnerability is strength and courage, particularly in the creative process, because that’s where we store the hard lessons of life, our failures and mistakes from which we can learn to improve; it is the most fragile part of ourselves and yet it holds the answers to the difficulties we keep running into over and over again for which we think there is no solution.

Greg FrancisComment