Brene Brown defines vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and involves emotional exposure. I believe doing something creative brings all 3 of these to the surface.
- Uncertainty– Unless you do the same thing over and over again each time you are creative there is uncertainty. The biggest struggle is thinking “This may not work.” When spending time and money investing in a project I also face the very real certainty that I may fall flat on my face. The older I get the more certainty I want. Even today was a struggle with this one as a piece of art I was working on didn’t come together. In this place of uncertainty I find myself wanting to create a formula for success rather than trusting the process.
- Risk-Again there is some danger and peril in being creative. I can’t quite describe the place of optimism I feel when starting to create, but at some point it involves more than I’m willing to give. Kelly Rae Roberts, artist, compares being creative to the letter “U” and she says you start at the top of the “U” and yet at some point you will end up at the bottom of the “U”. Eventually…Perhaps you will get to the top of the other side (always my hope). Years ago my friend Gordon Butler told my friend Bob Morris, “Risk to trust.” Creativity involves risk and I confess it’s hard to trust in this place of risk. Also in all honesty I HATE risk. I remember taking a test and I scored out of 100 a 3 in the area of how I do with risk. (Yikes!)
- Emotional Exposure – Releasing what you’ve created is the craziest feeling of being seen. I can only describe it as that feeling where part of me wants to run and hide along with the other side that is saying, I’m letting you see my heart and I’m letting you see a part of me I’ve never shown to the world.”
Creativity involves vulnerability just like this picture from Seth Godin’s book V is for Vulnerable Life Outside the Comfort Zone. It cracks me open and I look with crazy big eyes thinking they are really seeing me. It allows me to connect with others in deeper ways and at the same time I find myself exposed. Do you feel vulnerable when you create?