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Inspiring Creativity

How to Get Over Feeling You Don't Have ‘Permission’ to Create

Creativity is Your Birthright

By Dave Storer | Updated September 1, 2018

Several common lines of thought lead many people to the false conclusion that they don't have the right, or sufficient "permission" to create. Some examples:

  • Only the "true" artists — the really talented ones — get to create. All the rest of us are amateurs and dilettantes and should be embarrassed to admit to any artistic interest or ambition.

  • If you don't demonstrate great talent, or at least serious potential, pretty much right from the beginning of your engagement with an art form, then you're clearly not one of the above mentioned "true" artists and so you better not embarrass yourself by going any further.

  • Someone with acknowledged authority to judge talent in a given art form must "anoint" you as one of the chosen few soon after you start. For example, you need to get published impressively, or you need to be accepted into an art school or MFA program, etc. at a young age, or the professionals in your art form will forever consider you an outsider and the rest of society will look on you as a poser.

In some ways, these thoughts reflect a harsh reality for many artists, writers, musicians, and movie makers in our society, especially for those who want to be considered professionals in a given creative field. But in most cases, these attitudes are purely myth and keep far too many people from acting on their creative needs and pursuing their artistic dreams.

We are all born with incredible creative abilities, and few things in life make us happier than fully engaging those abilities. To let a belief that we haven't the proper "permission" — from either society, family and friends, or ourselves — stop us from developing our creative abilities and expressing our deepest, truest selves in the best creative way we know how would be a terrible loss. The choice to create is yours; no one else should be given the power or authority to stop you.

The various messages we get that tell us we haven't the right to create can be separated into three categories:

  • What society as a whole tells us
  • What our family and friends tell us
  • What we tell ourselves

Let's take a close look at these and bust the myths behind them.

Next: How Society Tells Us Not to Create

©2005 Dave Storer. All rights reserved.