In my years of mentoring Creative Artists, I have found a really crazy emotional roller coaster that many of them ride.
One minute they are raving narcissists, completely self obsessed, believing that the whole world and every story relates back to them.
The next minute they are overwhelmed with crippling self doubt, unsure whether they will ever be able to produce anything ever again.
Do you ride that kind of emotional roller coaster often?
Narcissism is described as this;
Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterising a personality type.
Self Doubt is described this way;
Lack of confidence in the reliability of one’s own motives, personality, thought, etc.
How do we walk comfortably in the pocket that exists between these two chasms?
I have found, the only true place of peace that can be found in the reality of human experience in the battle between these two evils, is humility.
Humility is described as this;
The quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.
I am sure you are saying?
Isn’t this definition saying that we should swing over to the crippling self doubt section of the spectrum?
Humility is not about self doubt, telling everyone how bad, crap or awful we are.
Humility is grounding ourselves in such a way that we know ‘what we are good at’, but we place ourselves in a place of service and preference towards others.
There is an old Jewish story that tells us that we should carry a little note in each of our coat pockets everyday. In each pocket there should be a piece of paper. On one of these pieces of paper it should say, “I am but ashes and dust.” In the other pocket, it should say, “For my sake the world was created.”
One of the best ways to stay in this place of humility, is building a great collaborative creative community in your life. The catch ups with these people, need to be just as much about their projects as yours.
Do you spend most conversations talking about yourself?
Do you spend most conversations with people worried about what they are thinking about you?
Do you just stop catching up with people creatively because you don’t want to waste their time full of self doubt?
Humility is not a form of self depreciation.
Humility is someone who knows their worth, who knows what they are good at, but also prefers others.
I read a great article lately about Narcissism and it was really interesting.
Let’s continue to have conversations that help us stay in the middle of the spectrum.
Not extreme narcissists, who are forever the victim, focussed on all the reasons why everyone needs to help them and be in their dramas. Nor extreme crippling self depreciators, who are obsessed with, how bad they are at everything.
Let us be a people of humility.
Creative Artists who know their strengths,
Creative Artists who know their weaknesses,
Those who find the balance between the two and create extravagantly from a place of servitude of others.