…Because I know that you can do it.  

I venture to guess that most of you reading this have heard these words at one time or another in your life.  Perhaps you remember that first time when someone ‘let go’ of the two-wheeler bicycle and you glided on your own, like a bird flying out of the nest for the first time.  What a thrill, how free,  how light, how happy basking in this exhilarating feeling, or you recall a challenging time in your adult life that took courage and motivation to complete a task or address a situation.  Regardless of what the situation is, someone believed in you and trusted you more than you trusted your ability at the time.    You were learning self-confidence; you were learning to trust that little voice inside your head thatknows you can do it.  

One of my dear friends passed suddenly a couple of years ago.    What happened prior, is that her beautiful daughter learned of a life altering disease that demands surgery and has affected the use of her right arm.    What Mary has done is to embrace this situation and hone her trade as a left-handed photographer and her work is astounding.  Many of us have urged her – just keep working because we know you can do it, Mary.     She faces self-doubt constantly and that, I remind her, is what makes her art reach so many people.    For creative thinking and expression is about interpreting a situation that can better help people communicate and connect.  

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” 
― Vincent Willem van Gogh

Creativity is the ability to create solutions – and it applies to everyone.   It is not restricted to people in the arts or communication.    It is a part of our thought process whether you are in the military, an accountant, a mechanic, a Mom, an athlete.    When anyone is in a creative moment, there is a flow that comes from within.   I believe IN-SPIRIT  is true IN-spiration.      I’ve often silenced at the little voice in my head that says, you can’t do it or why it can’t be done or how my work is not good enough.   The good voice says, I know you can do it. 

Professor Patricia Sternberg believed and trusted in me when I was in college.    Majoring in Theater, one of my focuses was costume design.   The annual play was being produced and I was asked to design the costumes – and I did design 33 costumes on $300 budget.  Pat trusted me to produce the costumes without seeing one image, one drawing.   All she said was I know you can do it.     I loved to sew and design, but my illustration skills were a little beyond stick figures.  The costumes were perfect for the show but that little voice won because of this doubt that my illustrations weren’t good enough, that I didn’t pursue costume design.  Little did I know that illustration was a separate talent.  

I did the same with considering being a television anchor.   That little voice telling me that I would never remember all the words and lines – again, little did I know about teleprompters and signs and reading from a script!  

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” 
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I know that YOU can do it!   Don’t limit you.  Don’t limit your talents because you can’t see where the next step is.    It is our obligation to be the best we can be so when you feel the seeds of self-doubt, try the following:

  1. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile – say thank you for being you
  2. Speak to the voice or feeling and tell it that there is no room in your head for negativity
  3. Turn on your favorite music  
  4. Call a friend and tell them how much you admire their work
  5. Write a thank you note to someone who has inspired you and tell them why
  6. Post something that has inspired you
  7. Post about someone who has inspired you
  8. Say a prayer of gratitude and recognize your own innate talent
  9. Ask for help with how to solve a problem
  10. Just keep going!