Vulnerability in Creativity
by Liesl Cronje
According to the freedictionary.com, to be vulnerable means: “to be susceptible to physical harm or damage, susceptible to emotional injury – especially in being easily hurt, susceptible to attack and open to censure or criticism”. Quite harsh, don’t you think? Creativity on the other hand is: “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas”.
It seems impossible to link the two. How do you create and at the same time open yourself up to critique that may cause emotional injury? How can you embrace your vulnerability so that you can share your unique creativity with others and at the same time, be open and vulnerable to what may or may not follow?
This past week I met two amazing woman artists who paint the most beautiful stories on canvas. In both of them I could see the lingering vulnerability, the difference … one of them embraces her vulnerability wholeheartedly and shares her paintings with who-ever wants to see, she grows as time goes by. The other, well, she denies it – and in the process also denies the world a view of her special talent, she stays the same, as time goes by.
Brené Brown describes this so well in her book Rising Strong: “If we’re going to try new innovative things, we’re going to fail. If we can learn how to feel our way through these experiences and own our stories of struggle, we can write our own brave endings. When we own our stories, we avoid being trapped as characters in stories someone else is telling”
Painting, telling, writing, singing, thinking, dancing, showing or designing your story can be a great tool for healing, and forgiveness, for learning and growing, for sharing and receiving. Embracing your vulnerability is embracing your story, and embracing and sharing your story in whichever way you are at your creativebest, may just be the nudge someone else needs to open up and grow.
Wouldn’t you rather break the habit of closing up … wouldn’t you rather stand with arms wide open …wouldn’t you rather write your own brave ending?
This may just be the time to start creating …
Liesl Cronje is an Idea and transformational coach | Facilitator | Speaker | Training workshop prez | Creative thinker | Inspirer