I’m always interested in the ‘why’ behind creative work. After reading this post on the Buffer blog about The 10 Buffer Values and How We Act On Them Every Day, I started to think in more depth about the values that guide me, my work, and the creative endeavours I pursue. I’m a big believer in purpose driven work and having core values that guide me every step of the way, so from the content I create to the services I offer, I try and keep at the core of them my creative values and intentions.
Below I'm going to share with you some of my core creative values, and my challenge for you today is to explore some of your own. What is it that guides your creative pursuits and drives you to create? I’ve found that once we know the ‘why’ behind our work, it’s easier to create with purpose, to know when to say yes and when to say no, and really find fulfilment in the work we create and share with the world.
Courage: It takes guts to really put yourself, your work, and your ideas out there and for a long time I’ve feared that I just don’t have that bravery within me to really take that leap. What I’ve learned though is that courage is something we choose. Overcoming fear, having the courage to put ourselves out there and face whatever comes our way, and holding steady even when times get tough isn’t always an easy thing to do. Even though I can sometimes feel overwhelmed by fear, I know that I have to choose courage if I want to get anything done, move forward, and feel truly fulfilled by my work.
Vulnerability: I’m a big believer in creating work that is authentic, honest, and human. For me, I only create work that truly feels authentic whenever it comes from a place of vulnerability. I’m vulnerable when I open up about the creative struggle and the mistakes I make along the way. I'm also vulnerable when I take a risk, try something new, and open myself up to judgement and criticism. So many of us can align vulnerability with weakness but I find that if I put up too many walls between myself and my creative process my work can feel cold and a little detached. Allowing myself to create from a place that pushes me out of my comfort zone and opens me up to criticism, judgement, and failure ultimately allows me to push myself towards bigger and better work.
Challenge: Ever heard the phrase, don’t compete with others, compete with yourself? It’s something I live by daily. I always want to be better than who I was the day before, I want to learn from every mistakes (and success) and push myself to improve, evolve, and grow. This is easier said than done some days, but I like my work to be guided from a place of personal development. Staying stagnant can do terrible things to my creative process and although the pressure to always be moving forward can be a little too much some days, I always want to challenge myself to step it up whenever I start to feel too comfortable.
Connect: I thrive when connecting with others. Back when I first started this online space my main intention was to create an outlet that allowed me to connect with others, and although many of my other goals and ideas have evolved and changed over time, that initial intention to connect has always remained. Most of my work is guided by the desire to help and support other bloggers and creatives and I really enjoy spending so much of my work week engaging with other creatives who also inspire me along the way. Whether it’s connecting with my readers, working one-on-one with clients, or supporting fellow bloggers and creatives, I really like to prioritise this area of my work. I create in the hopes that it will connect with others, and even though many areas of my work are for-profit, at the heart of them will always be the pursuit of authentic connections.
Encourage: If I had to summarise the main intention behind the work I do, it would be to encourage and support other bloggers and creatives. To encourage them to create without boundaries, step out of their comfort zone, overcome fear, and make positive steps towards their long term goals and aims. Whenever I jump on a client call or create content for this blog my number one rule is to share from a place of encouragement. More than that though, a huge creative value that guides me is that I also want to encourage myself. Putting ourselves and our work out there is scary business and it’s far too easy to waste time putting ourselves down and doubting our abilities. I’ve found that true encouragement comes from a place of honesty, so I try and hold back on sugar coating reality, but still encourage myself to be vulnerable and brave along the way.
So how about you? What are your creative values? Can you relate to any of mine?
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