The Courage to Create: Confronting the Fear of Exposure


Do you hold back your creativity due to the fear of judgment? Discover how to overcome this fear and confidently share yourself with the world.

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Thursday, June 20, 2024, at 2:00 PM EST

Have you ever created something and released it for public display?

You have, but perhaps you never considered your effort art or a created piece.

If you preach, you create and put your work on display every Sunday. If you write (like I’m doing now), you place your art into the public space. If you build a home, fence, or wall, you’ve created art.

We are all artists.

Yet very, very few of us are willing to put our art into the world.

What’s Our Problem?

In short, other people. That’s our problem.

We are all insecure to some extent. We all want to avoid judgment and condemnation. We want to be accepted, not rejected.

This internal drive is powerful. And it keeps so much great art in our insecurity closets.

We all are creators, yet we are terrified to allow anyone to see our creations.

How Do Artists Do It?

I’m guessing the first time they displayed a painting or piece of art was one of the more terrifying experiences of their life. No matter how proud they were of their art, a gallery is where rejection lives.

Yet, it’s where acceptance lives, as well.

I’m a non-practicing artist myself. It’s been a long time since I drew a picture for display of any kind. In middle and high school, I drew and displayed plenty of pictures and even designed logos for my high school.

When I thought about how I did this, I realized it became easier and easier with each piece I produced. Not because I got better. And not because I didn’t care. But because:

  1. I realized rejection wasn’t nearly as bad as it seems.
  2. I realized what I create isn’t who I am.

I drew plenty of pictures that could have been better. And they were judged as such. But I refused to allow negative critiques to define me. It was a judgment of my art, not my person. And the rejection never killed me. I could always get back to my paper and pencils and try again.

My New Art: Big Shoes To Fill

I’ve been thinking about this paradigm a lot of late. Last week, I recorded the audio for my first published book, Big Shoes To Fill.

As I sat in that recording studio, reading my own words aloud, I felt that temptation to shrink back. A producer and sound engineer were listening to my content. To my book. To my art. And that feeling brought me quickly back to middle school and high school!

I then realized these two individuals were only the beginning of the gallery experience. On January 16, the world would have access to critique me and my art.

On the way home from the first day of recording, I spent some time processing this emotion. My conclusion was what I learned earlier in my life:

  1. Some will reject and negatively critique my art, but I’ll recover. It won’t kill me. And…
  2. I am not this book. I created this book, but the success of my first book is irrelevant to my self-identity and worth.

What Do You Need to Create and Display?

You are an artist. You have things in your heart and head that the world needs.

What’s keeping you from working on it? What’s keeping you from devoting time and attention to the creative process?

The world is begging you to create. And the world will judge your creations, but don’t allow that to stop you.

Just start. Expose yourself to the world and allow your resilience and art to improve with each piece.