If you want to be more creative or confident, this is for you. If you would like more self-esteem or well-being, please read on.
It’s dawned on me recently why we have a lack of lasting success in our search for these qualities – we are looking in the wrong place!
Let’s use an analogy. You know how it is when you apply for a job. You get to that stage where you have to list your qualifications. There are the academic ones, the professional ones and the incidental ones.
Because you know there is competition for the job and a standard you need to reach, you work hard to make your qualifications look as impressive as possible. You probably wish you had more. The strength of your application depends on it.
The trouble happens when we take the same mentality into other areas of life. Take self-esteem for example – we think we have to qualify for it. We think we have to earn it by what we’ve achieved, who we know and what we own.
We also think we need extra qualifications in order to be confident. So we aim for new skills in voice projection, body language and repartee.
It’s the same with creativity. We ‘know’ we are not creative enough and seek to repair the omission. Therefore we consume books and videos, and go on brainstorming workshops.
The biggest issue we have is well-being. We believe we need to complete a never-ending list of things to do or to acquire before we can feel happy and fulfilled. The motto we use is ‘I’ll feel happy when …’
The common problem is that we think we have to qualify to get the qualities we want. Yet the truth is that we already have them. It might not seem like it but bear with me a moment.
Small children are naturally confident. They are instinctively creative. They don’t have problems with self-esteem. They spend most of the time in their well-being and, when they come out of it, they are quick to return.
In other words, the qualities we search for as adults are actually those we were born with. So how is it possible to lose them?
Well, we didn’t lose these qualities; they got hidden and then forgotten. Over the years, a complex web of thinking hid them from view. Call it conditioning, call it limiting beliefs, call it the illusion of the ego, it doesn’t matter. It is just a load of thinking.
This thinking creates our experience and that experience seems very real. People make statements like ‘I’m really not a creative person’ or ‘I can’t be confident’. But it’s just thinking that’s talking; it is not you.
When you see the difference, you don’t have to keep giving those thoughts your energy and attention. Simply by recognizing them for what they are – thoughts – your relationship to them changes.
Even if the thoughts hang around for a while, you know they no longer identify you. You don’t have to take them seriously. And without the energy of attention they will fade. With less on your mind there becomes room for new, inspiring thinking.
The brilliant thing is that it works like this for everyone; we are truly equal. No qualifications are necessary. You already have what you are looking for. When you see this, the natural qualities you never lost will reappear.