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Category Archives: Creativity

How to Get Comfortable with Self-Promotion

One of the things that I know I’ve really had to work on in my journey of blogging, coaching, podcasting and so on is self-promotion.

For many of us, the idea of self-promotion can feel really “-ucky”, ingenuine, and just not very “real”.

However, the irony is that, if we don’t self-promote at all, then we can’t serve anyone!  Nobody is going to get our message and we’re certainly not going to be able to serve others and the world in the way that we are meant to.

My mentor Gabrielle Bernstein has managed to bust through these fears of self-promotion herself.  As a result, she has managed to promote herself so she was able to sit next to Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, be featured in the New York Times Sunday Style section, be featured on The Today Show and Dr Oz, and many more.

Being able to land these media placements has helped her Gabby reach an international audience.  And she has done it through being able to work through her own blocks and creating her own unique process to manifest media.

In Gabby’s third video, she tackles those fears and limiting beliefs head on.

In this video you will learn:

  • How to create a movement with your message
  • How to make publicity fun!
  • How to stand out in an overcrowded media landscape

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Click here to watch this free training video!

Much love to you,

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This is What Blocks You From Success

Through the years, I’ve heard a lot of people share some their dreams and aspirations with me…

… I want to be a writer.
… I want to teach and host workshops.
… I want to have a blog like yours.
… I want to have my own podcast.
… I want to X kind of work so I can serve others.

But, more often than not, the statement is then followed up with something like…

… but I don’t have any money to do it.
… I can’t earn money doing that.
… I don’t know how to write a book.
… I don’t know how to start a blog.
… I struggle to write.
… I don’t know how to start teaching or speaking.
… maybe I’ll just “try it out” for a few months and if I’m not successful I’ll quit.
… and so on.

While some of these can be legitimate concerns (like figuring out how to set up a website so you can blog), as my mentor Marie Forleo says “everything is figureoutable”.

So, if you try, you can figure it out (trust me).  But what I’ve found is that, more often than that, what is really blocking us from fully boldly jumping in head first is our own self doubt.  It’s our own fear.

As a result of this fear, we start to create our own limiting beliefs and myths, like believing that we can never earn enough money doing the work we love or that, for some reason, we shouldn’t charge people for our work.  ‘Cause, you know, when you’re helping others it should always be free right? 😉 

My mentor, friend, and New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein, busts these kinds of myths in her new free training video! In this video, she teaches the 3 most common mistakes that block you from earning for your great work and how to fix them.

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Click here to watch the video now!

Much love to you,

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P.S. There’s another awesome video coming in a few days, so be on the look out!

Why We All Need a Creative Outlet

The other day I got to talking with a client about writing.

She used to write several years ago and was even published in a magazine, but stopped because she, basically, got all caught up in working her full-time job and, well, living life. Currently, she has been feeling the urge to start writing again, but has been really struggling to get started.

Needless to say, I could definitely relate.

About two years ago I started my coaching business and setup this website.

I knew I wanted to blog in order to help market my coaching because I absolutely loved writing, but, to be completely honest, I had no clue what to write about.

The coach I was working with at the time told me to write something around at least 20 titles for potential blog posts. Needless to say, I could only come up with five titles and then found myself saying, “But that sums up everything I need to say”.

Clearly, my ego was having a heyday with this one.

This struggle of coming up with 20 different blog titles, then led to being highly self-critical about the articles I did write. My coach offered to look over some of my articles that I wrote to critique so I would send her every single article I’d write.

About 95% percent of the time, she would simply respond in saying “Great job!” or “I love this one!” without very minor critiques. Needless to say, I would then react with, “But… are you sure? There’s got to be something terribly wrong with it, right?”

I was constantly worrying about if my articles made sense, if people resonated with anything I said, if what I said was good or correct, and if I had all my grammar, syntax, and spelling errors all figured out.

I was stuck in that place where nearly everybody goes when they have a creative outlet… a place of resistance.

A place that is saturated with inner voices of “That’s not good enough” or “You’re doing it wrong”. A place where we can find ourselves with a motivation to be “perfect” and nothing less.

Fortunately, for me, this wasn’t the first time I had to deal with this kind of resistance when doing a creative outlet. A year earlier that I had taken up watercolor painting while living in South Korea. I had always wanted to learn how to paint, but I never had the opportunity to learn. I heard about a local art teacher who spoke English, so I took advantage and signed right up.

I went in thinking it’d be fun and relaxing.

Boy was I wrong…

My very first class my art teacher gave me a picture of a sunflower and told me to paint it. No instruction. No guidance. No help whatsoever. She just wanted to see “what I could do”.

Needless to say, I freaked out. I spent the majority of that first class stopping to second guess myself and then looking her direction asking, “What do I do now?” but getting little to no guidance.

Even once we started the actual teaching and learning process, this didn’t change very much for me. Yes, I was learning skills, techniques, and getting a lot more help and guidance, but my inner critic certainly didn’t quiet down. In fact, it got louder.

I’d spend my 3 hours painting two nights a week dealing with this voice in my head saying, “You’re gonna mess this up”, “You’re doing it wrong”, “You can’t do this” and so on.

It seemed that my biggest struggle in learning how to paint wasn’t actually getting the techniques down, but gradually learning how to quiet my mind down enough so that I could paint really well.

And, eventually, it managed to quiet — just as it did in my writing as well. Of course it’s not fully 100% gone, but it’s not nearly as loud as it was. I’ve learned how to manage it — and, because I learned how to manage it, I’ve been able to create many beautiful paintings and written many beneficial articles.

Getting through the mud is tough, but once you manage to break through it, it is so miraculous to finally be able to bloom.

There’s a flow that starts to happen and your intuition seems to guide you to things that start to really energize you and make you feel inspired and excited about what you’re doing. You start to feel more in-tune with your own inner truth.

And that’s why we all need a creative outlet — its not to simply create things — but because we allow ourselves to fully express our true selves. We allow our own inner light to shine through in our creations.

InnerLightCreations

Click to Tweet: We allow our own inner light to shine through in our creations. via @jenilyn8705

That’s why expressive arts therapy can be so effective. The process of confronting and overcoming the inner blocks in our minds allows a great healing to take place.

We can heal old wounds and release old blocks, so that we can express what our souls truly want us to express.

So pick up that paint brush, commit to doing the work, and allow yourself to shine.

Take action now!

In the comments below, share with me one creative outlet that you would like to take up then make a plan to do it!

Overcoming Our Inner Resistance

I spent my weekend indulging in some serious self-care through creative expression practice. Friday night I dusted off my art supplies and did some watercolor painting with a friend. On Saturday I created a Christmas centerpiece for my dinner table.

This was the first time I watercolor painted in nearly a year and it’s been even longer since I have done a flower arrangement. Because of this, I had a lot of self-defeating thoughts like “I don’t know if I can do this” “What if I mess this up?” “Is this okay?”

This process was intensified because not only had it been a year since I’ve painted but it was also the first time that I was painting without my art teacher there to guide me. I was filled with anxiety and worry. Even the simple process of drawing took me over an hour simply because I was so worried about everything being “just right”.

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Many of us experience this all the time when we are creating anything. Whether it be writing a paper for school, doing yoga, or writing a song we experience this inner resistance that has this hidden underlying message of “you are not good enough”.

Steven Pressfield discusses this resistance in great detail in his book “The War of Art”. In this book, Pressfield shares the many ways that resistance manifests in our lives. Rather than create what our hearts’ truly desire, we allow our inner resistance to take over. We can experience this resistance by turning to things like procrastination, watching TV, drinking and drugs, sex, medications, the limiting beliefs of our culture, and so on.

We turn to these various things in our outer world in order to, basically, avoid creating and doing what we truly want because, deep down, we feel unworthy and incapable.

Resistance can be a very difficult thing to overcome and there is certainly no “one time” solution. Though we may not want to hear it, conquering resistance is a life-long process. No matter how many degrees, certifications, and credentials you have there is always going to be something within you coming up and saying “that’s not good enough”.

So how can we begin to overcome this inner resistance of ours so that we allow ourselves to create so we can experience fulfillment and happiness?

Create something every day.

Many of us have ideas or goals of things that we would like to do or create but the trouble is that many of these ideas are long term. It’s something like “Well, once I do X, Y, Z then I’d like to do this”. By making such long-term goals it doesn’t help to satisfy you in the present. In fact, it may actually cause you more stress and dissatisfaction because you have to wait to get there.

So come up with some easy activities that you can do for yourself today. It may be in line with your bigger long term goal or it may not, but do something!

Recognize how your resistance manifests itself.

Do you procrastinate? Do you turn on the TV rather than write your book? Do you study or read more than write your own ideas? Do you spend more time shopping or drinking rather than doing something that you really truly enjoy? Notice what your inner resistance is like and write it down in a journal. Then try to make a conscious effort in your day to day life to catch yourself when you feel inclined to resist creating.

Set a specific time frame to create.

Whatever it is that you want to do – write, paint, knit, decorate, or prepare to put together a project – set a specific time frame to work on that activity. Cur yourself off from any possible distractions, set a timer and then work on the activity or project without stopping. Having a specific time set can be very effective in making sure that you get done what you really want to get done.

Focus more on what you’re gaining from the process and less on the mess ups.

Because we are so inclined to resistance, we tend to focus more on our little mess ups and less on how great it is for us to be creating to begin with. Sure, it’s good to critique so that you can become better, but be patient and easy yourself. If it’s something you can edit, then take your time reflecting on it and make sure it “feels” right to you. If not, then appreciate what you’ve gained from the activity and focus on the next thing.

Know that you are worthy.

We are all worthy. We are all capable. Like Marianne Williamson said, “It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most”. Focus on allowing that light to emerge. The more you do that, then the happier and more fulfilled you will be.

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Start Overcoming Your Inner Resistance!

How do you stop yourself from creating or doing something that you really want to do?  What are some of your resistance habits?  Do you just go watch TV or go shopping?  Share your thoughts and experiences below!

This Weekend I Took a New Risk in Self-Expression

Halloween is a holiday that is loved by many because it gives us the opportunity to express ourselves in a way that would be considered socially inappropriate any other day of the year. We can dress up as someone who is completely out of our own character.

This weekend, as I do every year, I found myself contemplating a Halloween costume. I decided to keep in simple (as I usually do) by putting a costume together with some clothes and accessories that I already had laying around.

Somewhere in the midst of visualizing what this costume would look like, a certain fashion trend came to mind. It was one that I always thought was cool, but I never actually had the guts to do.

The fashion trend? “Leather” leggings (they’re not really leather, but look like it). After seeing Marie Forleo wearing a pair on a photo on her website, the desire to go that route has been on my mind but I’ve been holding back.

You see, a little over 10 years ago a similar fashion trend was in style. I had some classmates that wore flared pants with a leathery-coating over top. Others wore flared pants with a leopard print. Even then I was attracted to the style. I don’t know why, but something about them drew my attention.

However, at that time when I was in my mid-teens wearing a pair of pants like that was completely unheard of in my household. There were several things that should never be worn and that was one of them. I knew that if even if I did buy a pair and somehow sneak out of the house wearing them I’d be in for a TON of criticism.

And even though that was about 10 years ago, that fear is still there. Even though my outer critics are gone, those critics are still internalized.

This is what I had to confront this weekend. My inner critic kept saying things like “This is not appropriate!” and “If you wear that then you’re just desperate for attention”.

Eventually, my desire to have them far exceeded my inner critic and I found myself at the mall trying on and then buying my first pair of “leather” pants. I overcame my inner critic once again and have taken another step closer to my own unique self-expression.

It’s a challenging thing for us to do and, though it may not appear to be on the outside, it is a great risk. It is especially difficult for us people pleasers because we so desperately want to keep others happy and not cause any stir. We fear taking the risk if it seems we may be unaccepted.

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Click to Tweet: In order truly self express we must be willing let go of any of our limiting beliefs and inner critical thoughts @jenilyn8705

This can manifest in a number of ways. For some of us it involves moving to a new location or taking a new career path. For others its stepping outside of your comfort zone to experience a completely different culture or to wear something that you’ve never worn before in your life. It challenges us to release what we believe to be our identity so that we can move closer to who we truly are.

So what can we do to help us let go of the inner critic and be more self-expressive?

Identify your inner critic in the act.

Is there something that you’ve been REALLY wanting to do but you’re inner critic keeps telling you not to? What is it telling you? Then reflect on whether those things that the inner critic is saying is correlated to a voice you used to hear growing up. Was it a family member or teacher? How about a friend or classmate? Is it rooted in a cultural belief?

Realize the critic’s irrationality.

Though there are ethical debates with some things, most of the time the reality is that something is only inappropriate if you are acting out of fear or lack. So if you catch your inner critic saying “Don’t do that cause that’s totally inappropriate” stop and ask yourself “Am I wanting to do this out of a lack of self-worth or because I really truly just want to express more of my authentic self?”

If your really not sure of this, I personally always think of Lady Gaga. She is like the modern day epitome for self-expression. The woman has no fear. I mean, come on, meat dress? Could you be anymore self-expressive? That being said, there are also celebrities who have clearly acted more out of a desperate need to get attention as well.

Take a step (or a mini-step) towards more self-expression.

So you want to try a totally outrageous new hairstyle? Go for it – or maybe just do a mild version of the new style. Want a tattoo? Go for it – or try out one of those washable henna tattoos first. Go at the pace you feel most comfortable so you can be confident, but take a step forward.

Take a step in your own self-expression today!

What is something that you’ve always wanted but you’ve been letting your inner critic tell you not to? What does your inner critic say?

Share your experiences below!

Rediscovering My Love for Writing

Back when I was a teenager I loved to write. Contrary to what many of my teachers expected, I wasn’t as big of a fan of reading as I was on writing. I guess I always felt a cap in reading… I mean, there’s only so much I could gain from reading other people’s stuff while the act of writing left endless possibilities to my own creativity.

As a kid I used to make up stories in a notebook. As I got older, it turned into articles and essays. Truly, it didn’t matter what it was. What I loved was simply the art of word play… of finding a way to structure the words in a way that “felt right”. I didn’t care too much about following any of the “rules”. In fact, I hardly paid much attention as to what they were unless it was something very obvious or important.

And then I started college… I took English Composition as every student needs to and then later moved on to take some journalism courses with the intention of receiving a minor in journalism. This then followed into a course in business writing and then later – even today – the obligations to write a TON of papers where I was told to either analyze, reflect, or do both.

Somehow, somewhere along the line. I completely lost my love for writing. It wasn’t fun anymore, it was just an obligation. I was now unconsciously taught to associate writing with mindless regurgitation of information just to keep someone higher up in academia happy.

I had attempted to get myself back into the love of writing groove fairly soon after I received my undergraduate degree, but it was so much more difficult to write from the same place that I did before. Something was lost (if you want to hear more details, check out my About Me page) and I wasn’t sure how to get it back.

And so, I generally stopped trying because my attempts felt more frustrating than empowering. I’d experience more stress than joy. I just couldn’t find the fun in it anymore.

It wasn’t until a few months ago when I launched this business that I was able to write and experience the fun with it. I remember now why I loved writing so much – it’s because through writing we have the opportunity to teach OURSELVES things that we didn’t even know that we knew. It helps us to feel more grounded and complete within ourselves – and that’s definitely not something we can ever get from reading.

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And so, that is what I encourage you to start doing today. It may be writing or it may not be, but find some outlet of self expression. Play music, sing, dance, paint, do crafts, sew, create your own fashion trend, create your own recipes, or create some unique décor for your apartment or house.

Do SOMETHING that is 100% originally YOU.

Allow your own uniqueness to shine through.

The bonus part? By allowing yourself to express your own uniqueness you will, in turn, feel much less inclined to rely on other people for you happiness. Why? Because through self-expression you will be doing things for YOURSELF so you’ll feel MUCH more self-confident and empowered. The perfect equation to help you create more fulfilling relationships in your life!

 

Express yourself today!

Think of something that you used to love to do as a kid or something that you’ve always wanted to do but have never done before. I’d recommend starting with something simple that would be easy to start without any extra training if you’ve never done it before, like writing or making your own jewelry. If you need to buy stuff for it, then go out and get it and just DIVE IN! Don’t worry whether it is “perfect” or not. If you catch the inner critic talking, then tell yourself something like “I’m doing the best I can right now” or “I’m doing this for fun, it doesn’t have to be perfect”. If you ever find yourself struggling to focus, then put your phone on silent, close your e-mail, shut off anything that could distract you, and set yourself a timer for a half hour or an hour with the intention to work on ONLY this activity. Making that intention with the timer can be great to help us get and stay focused.

 

What do you plan to create? Share your ideas below! 🙂