To know and appreciate your true self is one of the first goals of personal and spiritual growth. Archetypes are accurate signs and symbols that will take you there, but many people also find that they connect to their true self when they are being creative, that is, engaging with their imagination, vision, dreams, ideas, intuition as a hobby or being artistically productive in a professional capacity. They become so engrossed in their creative process that they get lost in the moment. They get lost in many moments, one after the other, and so they learn to be more present in the ordinary moments when they are not being creative.
Every human being, whether they believe they are creative or not, has a multi-dimensional personality. There are many facets to a personality, and one of those is creativity.
Everyone is creative, to greater or lesser degrees, but you may not identify yourself as an Artist. Some creative people may find they have elements of the Hermit archetype and it’s need for solitude to help them bring their ideas into fruition. There may be elements of the Muse archetype and it’s urge to be passionate and inspired in order to create. The Child archetype will provide the creative or artistic person with a freedom of spirit to be adventurous. The positive nature of these archetypes can be a tremendous support to the creative person, but there are usually at least two sides to the nature of all things. For every upside there is a down side, for every pitfall there is a benefit. There is always a blessing, or gift, often in the form of a new skill or talent, to be found in every difficulty. It may take a while, but if you look carefully, you will find it. Since every person is more or less creative, one of the downsides to being creative is that there will always be an internal Perfectionist lurking in the background, waiting to criticise their achievements or lack of them.
It’s hard to deny that there is more to every human being than their personality. A creative person may have a multi-dimensional personality, but beyond the archetypes that make up your character is your true self. There are many names for your true self. Some give this self a name; others do not as they believe it is not possible to name something so vast and intangible. It has been called your Authentic Self, your Soul, your Conscience, the Divine Self, the God Self, your Natural Self or simply the Self. Whether it has a name or not, it is still a part of human nature, or at least connected to it. Human nature has it’s positive and negative sides. One of the biggest downsides for many creative people manifests when they are consumed by creative jealousy. It can happen when a fellow musician has had a string of hits that generate financial and creative success; meanwhile you are still waiting on tables in a cafe to pay your bills. It possesses you when a colleague has sold out their entire photographic exhibition as you continue to struggle to find inspiration and ideas to move forward. This type of jealousy and its effects occur because at some stage, you have compared yourself and your achievements to those of others. You believe the other person has won the creative prize, and you have lost it, or you’ve come last in the race to achieve creative success.
Despite it’s many names, when you compare your True, Creative Self – and what it has achieved, or has the potential to achieve – to your Perfectionist Self and what it expects, and even demands, that you achieve, you will always be disappointed. When you focus on the creative achievements of others you erect invisible brick walls where none need to be. These walls block your confidence and self-esteem, affecting your ability to be creative and productive. You stay locked in creative competition that puts a strangle-hold on your creativity. Creativity was not designed to be competitive. To help calm professional or creative jealously, focus on what you’ve done so far. What have you achieved? Do you need to improve it? How can you do it even better today? It is much easier and far less demeaning to compete with your own accomplishments than measure your success against someone else’s. Next time you realise that you’re jealous of another person’s creative achievements, stop for a minute. Imagine that up until now, you have plugged more of your creative power into the other person’s creative project than into your own project. The longer you stay plugged into what they are doing, the more creative energy you will lose as it drains away from you and into what they are doing.
What is the solution? Unplug your creative power now. Flick off the switch and pull your power out of their creative practice and redirect it into your own. Jump into yourself, and mind your own creative business from now on. Put your creative energy into your own creative potential and pursuits. When you are being creative, you are in the present moment and so your presence will be much stronger. You can use your creative power to realise your true self. It’s about doing your best, and being your best, with what you have, and where you are right now in the present moment, so that getting into your true self will eventually become second nature to you.