Creative Resilience: Thriving in the Face of Disruption
Times are tough and change is accelerating!
Social Media: Mounting reactivity:
I believe a creative person has unique powers and advantages, especially in the face of profound and accelerating disruption that seems one of the few dependable constants in our world.
Social media selects for and amplifies outrage and a sense of fight-or-flight, dialing up our collective reactivity and sense of threat. This offers a disheartening horizon, a bleak, seemingly inevitable path ahead. It’s easy to take on a sense of decline and smothering pessimism that is toxic to joy, optimism and enthusiasm.
Social media’s projection of urgent panic and impending doom is the addictive bait on the hook that captures our attention.
This toxic dynamic not only degrades our society and our democracy. It also can corrode the spirit and focus of a creative mind.
Social media offers us a misleading and manipulating construction, a false map of our world and our future.
The World Needs Creative People Like You!
It’s easy for a creative person to feel disheartened. Firstly, see that you are what this world needs.
How can a creative person counter these pervasive corrosive forces? What is our best response to the stresses presented by these tectonic changes in our increasingly reactive world?
A creative person is used to regular rejection and dismissal as a feature of our long aspirational climb towards a career. It is hard to see our self value, when the world seems so set on devaluing what we do and who we are.
In addition, our social media newsfeed holds our attention and degrades our mood by offering an exhausting, seemingly inevitable future of decline.
A creative person can counter this with what me make, what we put out into the world- fresh connection, the optimism of collaboration and grounded meaning, inventiveness and play.
The world seems to take, but a creative person gives. The world needs you.
Advantages of a Creative Mind
Second, realize that a creator has special advantages in navigating what life throws at you.
A creative is not someone who merely maintains or services things. Your radar is directed towards brighter possibilities.
You aspire to be hired for this unique power, to create, to solve, to collaborate.
There is a built-in freedom to being a creative freelancer. With this comes an attendant insecurity and vulnerability.
See this all as an advantage- you are untethered and liberated, with a greater range of movement and possibilities than most in life.
Your job is to be a “charged battery.” A power or energy that is ready to spark, produce, create. This is what you are hired for. Your job is to bring this energy around with you, to feed your work and the world with it.
Charge Your Art and Your Life!
Answer a reactive world with charging up your grounded creative powers. This will be unique to you.
Self care is an important response to the adversity and stress of these times. You double down on charging your creative readiness. This is what you have control over- in an age where we seemingly have less control, less say, less agency.
Creative professionals have an advantage in that we can be nimble, we are experienced at improv and in the moment by moment navigation, rather than clinging to fixed assumptions.
We counter zero-sum atomization with collaborative creative connection where all involved win.
How do you find this? I believe a creative should have a habit of self-excavation, exploration, refinement. Have some means or space allowing a radical, uncompromising honesty with yourself, to tap into and be familiar with your authentic voices, the rivers that flow within you, your coalition of inner forces. (Journal, friend, therapy, spiritual leader, confidant, etc.)
Allow yourself a “mouse-in-the-pocket” or some sense of danger or risk alive in your life that is yours alone. This isn’t for another, not for sharing. It’s your inspirational “everlasting gobstopper.”
Your aim is not stasis or certainty, but charge yourself up like a battery, full of authentic and honest energy. These are the forces and potentials a creative wants to have accessible, ready to spark. To bring to your work or gift to others and the world.
An overflowing sense of generosity.
Counter uncertainty, fear or disruption by feeding your mind, your enthusiasm, your heart, your love. Feeding yourself isn’t just taking in, the best feeding is a giving out.
In the end, all you have is what you’ve given away.
You may feel confined or boxed in by these times, but there is freedom and connection in creating and putting that out into the world.
Make something and put it out there. Give positive benefit to the world or other people with no money attached. True creative power is generous, magnanimous.