When I was young, I suffered from extreme anxiety whenever I was in public places. I would clam up, not say anything, and rely on my older siblings or parents to do all of the talking for me. I hid because I had an overwhelming fear of failure inside.
I just didn’t feel like I was competent enough, knowledgable enough, funny enough, witty enough — I just didn’t think I was enough.
This anxiety completely shut me off from feeling normal around kids my age, and feeling intimidated around adults who were just trying their best to engage with me. It was almost as if my mouth was frozen shut, keeping me in a silent prison.
Similarly, anxiety over feeling inadequate (not enough) can silence our creativity, debilitating our destiny in who we are created to be as Creatives.
Celebrate Who You Are
In High School, I slowly became more confident in the way I was created to be. I soon stopped hiding my voice, realizing that I was different for a reason, and had every right to explore and express who God had created me to be!
Amazingly, I found that I had a lot to offer in conversation, and began making friends, in which one of those has remained my best friend now.
Moreover, I speak all over the world, helping people find their creative voice, as they discover how unique and valuable they are in the way God created them.
Celebrating and enjoying who we are in our uniqueness is an essential key in expressing our creativity.
Bill Johnson reasons that, “No one who knows God made them to be special would ever want to be anyone else.”
Comparison kills our creativity because we somehow think that God did not make us to be enough; that somehow we are incapable of reflecting His nature through our uniqueness.
Bill goes on to point out that, “If you are filled with anxiety, the goal is survival, not to creatively express yourself in the way God has created you to be.”
The reality is that the enemy works hard to keep us exposed to anxiety because it undermines our creative expression.
As we are able to celebrate our uniqueness in the way the Creator has made us, we will no longer feel a need to hide our creativity.
Live Connected To God
As a child, I would get close to my Mom, Dad, or siblings when I was in crowds, so that I felt safe and secure.
Connecting with safe people is essential to our confidence when we feel insecure in who we are.
Being intimate and close with God breaks off anxiety and fear, releasing us to create and move forward in our creative calling. When we have a consistent and secure relationship with God, we can face any foe of insecurity because we sense His presence, knowing that He will never let us out of his sight! He is a big God and an even greater Good Father when bullies of shame and fear come knocking on our door.
Persevering In The Process
I remember coming home crying every day for a month at the beginning of First Grade. Each day, I would tell my mom that I didn’t want to go back. I was terrified in my insecurity.
Through my mom’s comfort and encouragement I eventually found more confidence in expressing myself, and was able to connect with the kids and my teacher. It wasn’t long before the anxiety and fear was replaced with wonder and excitement for what each day would bring.
It wasn’t the circumstances that changed — it was my confidence in who I was that changed. Once I conquered my anxiety, I actually loved school because I it was a place where I could express myself.
You may feel anxious as God leads you into new creative experiences in which there is the possibility of rejection. In those times when it feels safer to hide your creative expressions, it is important to press forward, knowing that in time, you will break through the fear barrier, and find fulfillment in being seen and known.
Keep expressing your creativity.
As you persevere in the development of your identity and destiny, you will eventually experience the breakthrough of confidence to expressing the creativity God has placed in you to contribute to the world around you.
Shift The Atmosphere In You To Shift The Atmosphere Around You
When I became comfortable in my own skin, in how God made me, I began to experience the world around me so much differently. Instead of living in the fear of not measuring up, I began to appreciate my differences and uniqueness.
I found that my ideas and insights actually impacted my friends, and they began to look to me for more and more influence. The more confidence I had in my value and worth, the more I was able to express myself to others around me. And now, today, I am able to influence people all over the world, as I speak at conferences, teach and preach at my church, coach people, and express myself through creativity.
I still find myself at times, asking, “Can I really do this? Do people really want to hear what I have to say? Am I enough?”
It’s in those times that I fall back to the apostle Paul’s admonishment in Philippians 4:7-8 when he says:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
It’s hard to be anxious when you see how happy Jesus is towards you, and how great He made you! Those truths work well at guarding your heart from fear and insecurity.
He reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
What if I had settled for staying in that anxiety? What if I had allowed the enemy to steal my creative destiny and rob me of peace? I would not be writing this blog today!
I want you to know that you have the power to shift the atmosphere around you, and to become free of anxiety and fear today.
I declare that you are different! And that is good.
I want to encourage you to celebrate who you are, stay connected to God, and continue to persevere in expressing your creativity, and you will not only find freedom of expression, but will also begin to influence the world through your creative expressions.
There is only one of you.
I encourage you to be the best unique you possible. The world is waiting for what you have to express.
Remember, You are Born to Create!