I stumbled upon this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, best known for her artistry in the book “Eat, Pray, Love”, and it surprised me. I had a difficult time getting through the book, but this talk resonated with me not because I claim to be creative, but because I can empathize with the overshadowing fear of never being able to outdo oneself. These fears can hold you back, they can disable you from seeking newer better ways to take risks. They can spiral into manic depressive thoughts, however dark and extreme that its – it is true for some.
Just recently, I was thinking these discouraging thoughts about parts of my music, adventures, and writing. – If I write this the best I can, what if I can’t recreate something that people expect; or what if I run out of ways to describe something, or even things to say. I realized that this thinking and fear has been holding me back for a long time – from the times of quitting Kumon math exercises due to fear of failing fractions.
The beautiful part of this talk unfolded when she attributes the artistic ability no longer to oneself, but partially to an outside source- that your ability or passion and love for what you do is a stroke of genius not within you, but outside you. -That your job, if that is what this is, is to show up and create.
Her eloquence and way with words was soothing and hilarious. I gained an understanding of myself, but also a better understanding of those around me who ARE facing these struggles within, and questioning the volatility of their beings.
It’s ok, because all these things are like fleeting moments or thoughts, just like the poem could slip away in the talk, so too could the beauty and uniqueness of a perfect espresso shot; a vintage wine; a perfect meal; a captivating image. I think I’ll just let life unfold.
Take away: Don’t internalize the anxiety, allow this peculiar wondrous collaboration to just be
– @8:02, my genius is kind of lame
– @9:53 utter maddening capriciousness of the creative process
– @13:09 Can you not see that I’m driving?! Go bother someone else with this melody like Leonard Cohen
– @ 15:13 I would please like the record to reflect that i showed up for my part of the job (even when the garden gnomes didn’t)
Source: thanks Welcoming genius rather than being one