Cutting out what’s not working

Cutting out what’s not working
Photo by Ujesh Krishnan / Unsplash

We need to cut out what is draining our energy, to make space for something new.

What I am learning, over the years, is that I can’t do it all. In fact, I can barely do one thing right. And that’s OK. I used to think of it as a fault of mine, that I was always into something new and shiny, never able to complete the first thing I set off to do.

I have a tendency to try to run before I can walk and an even bigger tendency to try to stifle my own creativity. How do I do it? It’s that familiar experience many of us share where we want to create something that brings joy to us — art, sculpture, dance, writing, music, whatever you name it. We have this desire in us, but we don’t even start? Why? Because we think it will fail, will be rubbish, will be judged, etc? Or we think there is no point because we can’t do anything with it?

What about just making it for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment?

Whatever happened to making something because we want to? We don’t need to share it on socials if we don’t want to, we don’t need to try to monetise it (sure fire way to kill the spark!)

And that is exactly what I was trying to do with my website and mailing list (note: not this one). I wasn’t creating for the pleasure and enjoyment, I was creating because I wanted applause.

I wanted external validation.

And that is exactly the reason that this mailing list barely grew and how I barely produced any writing worth paying for. I stifled my own creativity the moment I stopped writing for my own enjoyment and wanted to write for memberships instead.

For a long time I felt low, disappointed, uninspired, unworthy. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why didn’t anyone sign up? Why didn’t anyone on the mailing list take action? Why wasn’t I getting anyone paying for my services?

Because your intentions were not honest.

Because you were creating for their approval, and they can feel it and are not interested.

Because you diminished your own fire to a mere flame, stifling your creativity to somehow fit into their invisible expectations, instead of aligning with your own true self.

I began to realise that having this mailing list and website in existence was not serving me, or them. In fact, it was draining my energy and probably blocking any space for something new to come in to my life, blocking my ability to allow my creativity to flow.

So this morning, I decided to delete it all. I am a champion of privacy also, so it’s not right for me to hold on to any backups or saved files of their details. I deleted the lot. I deleted the backups, I deleted the Mailchimp account, I deleted everything and emptied the trash.

Although this experience is more like a metaphor than anything else, I feel a huge weight has lifted off my body. My body felt excited and livened by my very actions. I felt like a dam on my creative flow was lifted, firing me up to write this article. It feels amazing. And all I needed to do, was let go.

My first love has always been writing, and over the last few years I felt sad that my flow was blocked, that I felt restricted in how I could write and what I could say. I created all these walls around me, these expectations I thought other people had. Even if they had them, so what? I am doing a disservice to the world by not being me.

The more I can be true to myself, the more honest I am with others, demonstrating that it’s safe to be ourselves. The more we are true to who we are and live from our heart, the more we inspire others to do the same, and imagine what kind of world we can create together if we all acted from an open heart?