Often we think the greatest forces that stand in our way are external. The negative forces of too little time, lack of know-how, or a platform to shine on. Maybe it’s concern what others might say or think if we put our life on a plate for the world to consume and criticize. Or, as with most creatives, there’s the creeping fear of failure that rises from within.
I have found my greatest fears press in from a different direction. It is not so much the fear of failure that kills my creativity; it is the fear of success. I have heard this said before and raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, right! Says the person who’s living the life and busting some moves. Give me a break!”
But the reality of fearing success in areas of my heartfelt hopes was highlighted to me after making the decision to step up and step out into creative projects that were utterly aligned with my passions.
Maybe you have experienced similar fears? It’s easy not to be emotional when we do not care either way how something works out, but when our heart and passion are attached it becomes personal.
With every tiny step toward fulfilling your dream you’ll face new challenges.
See, success is not so much measured by the number of people who say it’s great – success is actually stepping out on the things close to your heart. Success is breaking out of the “shadow life” into the light.
How many choose to live a shadow life, hiding in mediocrity because quite frankly it is safer and more secure? The shadow life skirts the edges of creative calling but never dives into the eye of the storm to experience the full force of divinity working in and through your hands to deliver the dream you carry so others can experience it.
The most vulnerable thing we can share is not our hurts and fears, it is our hopes and dreams. The things we most desire and our most enduring heart-held hopes.
This is where the giants congregate. Goliath doesn’t want to crush you, just keep you in the line. He wants your sling to stay in your pocket and your life to hide in the quaking crowd. Stepping forward and making yourself visible makes you a target for derision. Even brothers and sisters may “tut” at your boldness.
But what’s the cost of staying in line? What shadow falls over the heart when inspiration and playful creativity are quashed.
I believe that God is raising a house of holy creatives. A community of called-out ones with a desire to share their life and color with the world in wildly anointed ways.
Christian artists, authors, entrepreneurs. You are not called to stay in line!
Don’t be afraid to fail. You have the goods and the grace to make a difference.
Face the terror of how terrific it would be to step into your creative calling!
Don’t creep behind your comforts.
Seek and find your tribe.
Each time you push my heart beyond the line, I’ve discovered something new.
In my own journey of discovery, it is not safety that I seek. I long to enjoy a community of Christ-centred lovers looking to lift one another in the art and act of creation.
You do not need not know or have everything before you bring something valuable to the table. Your journey and your challenges, your trembling hopes, fears, and insecurities are as much a part of this mix as the stuff that usually ends up plastered on the pages and posts.
How horrible to think we could live a shadow life and not enjoy the freedom of being all out ourselves. Not perfection, not adulation or success in the conventional sense of the word. A tribe to encourage one another to create, and make, and write, and sing, to dance and delight themselves in the seeds of God coming to fruition.
My journey here has been a lengthy one, and there’s still a way to go. I’m holding hard and tight to Jesus as I pick up one more stone and place it carefully in my sling.
This short confession is one way to let that stone fly and find its mark. To slay another giant.
Hopefully, it will resonate with some other bold brothers and sisters ready to challenge whatever Goliath is shouting them down.
I applaud you! Come into the field of creativity and fear not. Facing your fears is admirable, but embracing your success, actually doing and delivering what is really in your heart – the full substance of it, not the shadow, is where the fields of joy are calling you to venture.