Unmistakeable Creative is a podcast that has significantly influenced my view on creativity and self acceptance. Here are the lessons that have had a profound impact on how I work and how I get up in the morning.
Link to Episode: Start Where You Are - Samantha Bennett
(Blog post 1 of 10)
“You are always getting paid in the currency that you are asking for.”
No matter what you are doing, people are paying you for how you are behaving. Your preferred ‘currency’ can be any combination of money and attention and Instagram followers. It can even things that some will perceive as undesirable; people are constantly trying to show off their ‘work grind’ by working exhausting hours and saying no to enjoyable experiences. Whatever your currency is made of, always remember to ask yourself if this form is still working for you. As you get older, your changing responsibilities will affect what you want to receive for your actions. Money always becomes a bigger factor, so don’t be afraid to explore what money can and cannot provide in your life. Affection can often be misconstrued as the priority over making a living.
“It is not selfish to take care of yourself first”
It is tempting to sacrifice our own wellbeing in the service of others. We will work longer hours and stretch ourselves thin to accommodate the many that we love and a few that we barely care about. Remember that saying no for your own sake is not being selfish, but being compassionate to your long term self. The real selfish act lies in becoming bitter and irritable at those around you. None of these people would ask you to help if it meant stressing yourself to the point of burnout. Helping others in the short term may ultimately result in you doing more harm to those around you in the long term.
“Remind yourself that nothing bad is happening”
Rarely are we in a situation where our lives are physically threatened. What often occupies our conscious is not getting farther ahead, which allows us to forget that we are no worse off than we were yesterday. Undesirable circumstances will always happen, but in each one allows even a micro-opportunity to grow and become the person that you want to be. Not to say that it won’t feel horrible, but just because it feels bad to you does not mean that an inherent force of evil is descending upon you. People will go through their struggles, and they come out on the other side for better or for worse.
“Saying ‘I know what I need to do’ and not doing it is bullshit”
Everyone thinks that forcing themselves to do a certain action is the only way to get to the result that they want. The problem is that if you have not done something even when you claim to know what to do, it means that you obviously don’t really want to do it. You may still want the result, but the actions that you are putting in front of yourself in order to attain it do not agree with how you act. It is far better to look for another method of achieving the desired result, or question if you even want the result (are people just telling you that you ‘should’ go to the gym or do you actually want to improve your fitness?).
“Don’t underestimate the small changes”
Everyone loves to think of big changes made in life as the benchmark of behavioural change. While big actions are impressive, it is the small actions that will ultimately be more sustainable in the long run. Building up things making time for creativity and meditation will eventually result in you saying that you don’t have time. But everyone can make a small amount of time for a seemingly insignificant act. If you are overwhelmed, take a deep breath (in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, out for 8 seconds). If you are stressed, make some 5 minute art about what you are thinking about. You’ll be surprised at the benefits that this provides once it becomes a habit.