Sometimes the most dangerous obstacle to overcome lies within us, not outside of us. Guilt and self-doubt kill creativity. The solution to these internal problems however, could be an external one.
Old Words, New Knowledge
I am rereading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist for the fifth (sixth?) time.
Each time I read his inspirational and visionary book, I find passages and lyrical prose to appreciate and ponder. His writing, folded neatly under his arm like a newspaper, seems to wait for me to arrive at a certain station in my evolution.
When the timing is just right, he places the folded paper in my lap and steps off the train without explanation. Certain paragraphs seem to appear anew, nearly knocking me out with their precision and power to illuminate.
On this latest rereading voyage, the message came within minutes of opening the book:
“The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt…I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal—when it was only a step away. This is [the most dangerous obstacle] because it has a kind of saintly aura about it. Renouncing joy and conquest.”― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Realizing You Are The Most Dangerous Obstacle to Yourself
This business of turning away right when we are on the precipice of achieving our heart’s desires is something that many of my entrepreneur clients grapple with at some point during their journey. Interestingly, nearly all of them are voicing this challenge right now. We are the most dangerous obstacles to ourselves without even realizing it at times.
And just last night, I considered resisting an opportunity I have dreamed of since I was in the fifth grade. While I was thinking through taking the next steps, I heard myself say aloud as if hypnotized, “Well, maybe not.”
I was so startled by my disrespect for my great (and hard-earned) fortune, I sat on the edge of my bed to regroup. I have worked for years to be right where I am, at this particular point along the path that leads toward my version of creative and professional Oz.
I sent a probe into my brain. It took about two minutes for the reason for my hesitance to keep moving toward my dream to return from my neural exploratory mission: guilt.
As predictable as the morning mist on summer mountain tops, my old nemesis had paid me a visit. My brain had conjured up a limiting belief wrapped in a virtuous ribbon, whispering I could just stop now and not risk standing out by enjoying the height of artistic expression. We are sometimes the most dangerous obstacles to our own creativity and success.
And, for goodness sake, wherever that would lead.
The remedy for this obstacle?
A community of co-creators with dreams and goals as big (or bigger!) than our own. It is vital that we belong to a group of trusted, brave, and creative colleagues who are macheting through their own personal and professional jungles each day.
That we bear witness to the omnipresent ways we will hold ourselves back so that we can recognize those tendencies in our own thinking, and then deftly course correct without delay.
Witness and celebrate courage, vulnerability, and the willingness to keep going during the heights of self-doubt and uncertainty.
That we refuse the tendency to turn back. See guilt for what it is—a pesky mind construct. In doing so, allowing us to overcome the most dangerous obstacle.
Overcoming With Creativity & Community
I am so relieved and excited that the next cohort of The Sketchbook Entrepreneur Masterclass® begins in 10 days! This community of creators is unlike any I have known, and each class is uniquely populated with the most kind and passionate souls.
The exact remedy we all need as we pursue the dreams that fill our hearts with excitement and fear.
Would you like to join us?
The Sketchbook Entrepreneur Masterclass® is a LIVE six-week online course (we meet via Zoom for an hour on Mondays and Thursdays at Noon Eastern) designed to help entrepreneurs like you access your innate creativity and artistic talent to move into freedom in ways you never dreamed possible.
During the Masterclass (and well beyond), you’ll fill the pages of your sketchbook with creative exercises you are learning via experimentation and exploration. You will learn the basics of art-making principles (no prior experience or perceived “talent” required!) that you will use throughout your life and in all areas of your enterprise.
Your sketchbook will be where you safely take risks, try on new skills and thinking, and create with abandon.
The Sketchbook Entrepreneur Masterclass® will help you…
- Gain creative confidence—Tap into the power of vulnerability so you can stop doubting and start thriving.
- Discover & articulate your unique voice—Find the language you need to communicate your vision and shine in who you are.
- Learn the art of business—Navigate business challenges with creative solutions and strategies.
- Become a magnet for ideal clients—Uncover what brings you alive and attract ideal clients with offerings only you can deliver.
- Unblock your imagination—Blast through limiting beliefs and dissolve them through art-making.
- Get clear on your “why”—Leverage the powers of your left and right brain for clarity in your entrepreneurial vision and strategies.
We’re all seeking freedom. Freedom to be who we truly are. Freedom to do work we love and succeed. Freedom to live the art of our uniqueness and become indelible in the marketplace.
The Sketchbook Entrepreneur Masterclass® brings together like-minded people in pursuit of this freedom: entrepreneurs prepared to move past their self-doubt and into a place of resounding business success.
Through live instruction and fear-busting exercises, we’ll work together to take self-knowledge and art-making and turn it into business and personal liberation, success, and real-world traction.
Let’s not say, “Well, maybe not.”
Let’s stay on the path and do the work we came here to do (and have a ton of fun in the process).
Remember: no previous art experience is needed! I designed this experience with busy folks in mind, so the classes and time requirements for the assignments are easy to fold into your schedule.