In search of community

I think a key part of being creative is doing it as part of a community.

Community is really important. You don’t need to be working on a joint project you can simply work on your individual projects together. Being part of a community can help keep you motivated and accountable, give you people to bounce ideas off and act as a sounding board. Plus, you have people to share your progress and growth with. All those things you can gain are also the things you’re able to give.

There are the kind of communities that you pay for with a monthly membership fee. There is usually some sort of leader or overseer even if they don’t interact with the members directly.

But there is also community formed when a few people (sometimes total strangers) decide to come together. In this case, there is no leader or hierarchy. This is what I’m currently in search of.

I’ve been sharing my work online for close to a decade and it has always been a solitary pursuit. However, lately the idea of community has really appealed to me, both online and offline.

How do you view you?

For many people, how they value themselves comes from other people.

This can be great when people are treating you well but when not so much when you’re treated poorly. You go from feeling good about yourself to not feeling good enough and because you’ve become reliant on other people to determine your value.

It may even get to the point where you almost feel lost and are unable to truly establish how you feel about yourself without it coming from other people. And so, you feel down and worthless whilst also blaming other people for how you feel.

I think that stage of blaming others continues until you’re able to realise that nobody else should be in control of how you feel about yourself. That’s not a solid foundation.

Valuable conversations

Some of the most valuable conversations to have are the ones that are most difficult but that shouldn’t be a reason not to have them.

Even though it might be difficult, challenging or uncomfortable it allows room for learning, growth and understanding that may have not taken place otherwise.

Of course, there is a chance the conversation won’t end well and perhaps you’ll walk away feeling frustrated.

But if the conversation really matters then perhaps it is still worth a try.

Don’t forget to ask

Sometimes we make plans that involve others without speaking to them first.

You get so excited and carried away that it doesn’t even occur to you to let the other person know.

Instead you just assume that of course they will share your excitement.

And it’s not that your plans are bad but when you don’t ask the other person but expect them to be involved you might end up disappointed.

Does your life align with your values?

Yesterday I wrote about the simple life and after clicking publish I realised that I still had more thoughts to share.

After giving it some thought, I started to question why instead of living the life that we want we decide to pursue other paths. In yesterdays post, I wrote of how it is often the expectations of society however I didn’t consider that actually it can often have a lot to do with being out of alignment with your own values.

If asked the question ‘what do you value in life?’ it’s very unlikely that you would say things like stress, not having free time, feeling overwhelmed, working with people or in an environment where you’re not supported or not having the energy to do things that you enjoy. Yet, those are often traits of the kinds of jobs or lives that we settle into.

There is great value in asking yourself what you value in life and then working towards creating a life that aligns with that.

You don’t need to pay attention to what everyone else is doing or what everyone else is telling you that you should do. Maybe that’s not the sort of life that you will enjoy.

It’s worth so much more to reflect and ask yourself the big questions and follow where you think you want to go. If that leads you to where everyone else is great and if it leads you to a different path that is also great.

It’s about you and what you want rather than conforming or meeting the expectations of others.

Putting it out there

Your job is to create and then put it out there.

It might not get the amount of views you want or it could be loved by millions, that is not something you have any control over.

It’s not your job to try and convince people that your work is good. In fact, you need to learn to be okay with the fact that some people won’t like it.

Focus on creating your work for the people that want it. That might only be a few to begin with but those people are important.

The most important thing

Often in life the thing causing the most anxiety and frustration is not particularly important in the long term. If you were to assess it in the grand scheme of life and death you’ll probably find that it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.

We tend to get swept up in how other people feel and what other people will think (in general but mainly towards us). We do this because we are eager to please, want to be liked and we convince ourselves that if we just try hard enough we can control what other people think and feel towards us.

But instead of getting swept up in other people, think about yourself. Have you even considered that what you feel and think is important too?

More to the point, maybe how you think and feel is actually the most important thing.

The wrong perception

How you view yourself impacts how you act. How you act, influences how you are perceived.

If you don’t think much of yourself, it’ll show up in your posture the way you speak and the kinds of things that you say.

And in turn you may be perceived as quiet, shy, uninterested, someone who doesn’t care. But maybe you have low self-esteem and maybe nobody taught you to think good of yourself.

Perhaps, even though you haven’t yet learnt how to say it or even show it, you actually care quite a lot.

2 kinds of value

If you had to leave your home and could only take 10 things with you, what would you take?

Turns out the things we value in our day to day lives aren’t the same things we value in an emergency.

In our day to day life we’re more materialistic, we care more about perception. It’s not that we don’t value the things we need to survive but that they are a given rather than something we need to think about.

In an emergency we place value on safety and survival. There’s not much point valuing your green faux croc handbag when you are without food and water.

And sometimes people choose to live their day to day lives valuing only the essentials even when they don’t have to.

Learned behaviour

I’m really into self-observation and learning about why we are the way we are.

I find behaviour to be quite fascinating. I’ve learnt that often how we act is down to the people we surround ourselves with and the people we allow ourselves to be influenced by rather than just something ingrained within.

It might be easy to blame external factors for why you are the way you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change.

The same way you learned to be one way you can choose to learn to be different (and hopefully better).