Wanna Be More Productive?
Here’s three tricks I learned from high performers!
So if you’ve read my book you know, I’m like crazy always trying to optimize everything for maximum productivity lol.
MUST ACCOMPLISH MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF THINGS IN MINIMUM AMOUNT OF TIME. Lol. God help me.
However, it’s funny, because, along my journey, I encountered some super duper high performers. And one very important thing I learned from them is that what we traditionally think is being productive is actually counterproductive.
Here I share 3 things they taught me, and which I found are game changers for truly optimizing yourself to achieve more of what’s really valuable to you.
Check out this video for 3 Ways To Be More Productive in 5 minutes!
Let us know if there are other tips you use to be more productive in the comments! Or if there are other topics you’d like to see in future episodes!
WARNING: I apologize in advance for today’s episode. I had a big matcha latte before shooting it lol. So it’s a little powered up lol. But hope you enjoy!
Have a wonderful day, leading into a wonderful life!
P.S. If you want some more supercharged tools to supercharge your life, check out my book, with 5 star Amazon reviews here.
Click HERE to sign up, so you’ll be the first to get free episodes of Krystal TV!
F*ck Self Doubt! And Do Beautiful Wonderful YOU!
So – last week I launched Krystal TV – a show designed to help you get past your mental blocks so you can live your best possible life! And on your death bed, feel like, “YES I rocked this sh*t! I’d love to live it just like THAT all over again!
But man – I was terrified for the launch. No joke – It was probably the single scariest, most self-conscious moment of my life. I’m not exaggerating, during the actual screening, with everyone’s eyes peeled on the first episode, I honestly thought I was going to have an aneurysm. But by the grace of the universe, and quite a bit of ass-busting work beforehand, it all paid off!
Then came the inevitable question – “What qualifies Krystal to give people life advice?”
I used to feel afraid or defensive about a question like this. “Who are you to tell me what to do?” But this time, it came from a very loving source, a long time friend who supported the book and the show – he just genuinely wanted to know – he was curious. And – without the defensive blinders up – I actually thought it was a really really great question, and a perfect topic for this weeks blog post – as I’m sure other people might be wondering the same thing.
So – Who the hell am I to give you advice? Ya?! Ya!! Who am I….
I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m not a medical doctor or a philosophy professor. I’m not a spiritual leader. I’m not a guru. (Really selling my self here huh).
Nope. I’m none of those glasses wearing, leather chair sitting, grey-haired, note scribbling things.
I’m just a normal person. Solving my normal people problems. Putting my Type A to good use by doing a crap load of research, over analyzing it to narrow it down, and testing those theories out on myself. And THEN, sharing what works for me, with others, in the event that it may work for them as well.
Sure, that doesn’t sound like a very big sell – which is honestly what I thought when I wrote the book. But at the point of publishing the book, I decided not to think too much about it and just do what I felt, intuitively, was the right thing for me to do. And I did (with that fear of who-am-I-to-give-people-life-advice ever present in the back of my head).
And guess what? (Squat! Belly full of ten boiled rat! – Joke – Inside joke for the Jamaicans). After I published the book, I got hundreds of messages and emails from people who told me the most wonderful stories about the incredible magical changes that were happening in their lives since reading it! GOD KNOW! (Some more Jamaican). Every single time this happens – it’s the biggest most surreal and fulfilling moment of my life.)
But here’s the funny thing. These same people, many previously suicidal, but most feeling anxious, depressed and totally hopeless, told me stories of past shrinks, past psychologists and councilors and other self-help books by famous authors that DID NOT work for them.
So why the hell did my little old book work for little old them?
Because they felt that I really deeply understood their struggle because I went through it exactly as they had. They felt empowered, knowing that they were not alone with these issues no one seems to be talking about, but so many of us are facing. And most importantly – They felt hope, knowing that me – a regular person just like them, with the same problems they’re currently having that seem like a dead end road – had actually overcome those problems and come out the other side on top of them. Hey if I can do it, so can they! They felt relief that little old OCD me, had put actual action steps in the book for little old OCD them! Because FML, who wants to feel inspired and fired up but then have absolutely no clue about what to do next! Talk about inspirational blue balls!
But yes. Every time I heard a story, from a reader who took back their power and changed their own lives and created their own magic- and is continuing to do so – the more I got a little courage muscle growing that you know what – fuck that ‘who-am-i’ doubt – imma share my sh*t anyways. That’s totally cool if it doesn’t work for some people, and if a more traditional route does, more power to them, but yo there’s a whole bunch of people just like me who this stuff is working for – and that’s’ who this stuff is for.
And that realization reminded me that on this journey of ours, finally – when we do connect to this thing we really want to do, fear comes in and disguises itself a self-doubt. A HARD ass pill of HARD ass self-doubt. And yow, I tell you, that fear is a smart ass mother f*cker. It comes up with some brilliant logic to trick you, so you feel to just go crawl back under your rock and live under a mushroom (a red and white one like in the cartoons).
So I’ll talk more about conquering fears in other episodes and other blog posts. But today I wanted to give you some action steps for conquering self-doubt.
- Do it for the right reasons. Make sure what you’re doing, you’re doing for the right reason. Make sure it’s something you feel intuitively in your GUT that this is what you’re supposed to do. If it is, the universe will support you, because it’s your destiny. (If you’re uncertain of how to tell, check out Chapter 6 in my book, The Stater Step).
- Set a date or a deadline to do this. If you don’t give yourself a timeline, trust me, that self-doubt will convince you to postpone it indefinitely.
- Anticipate the self-doubt. Just know that everyone who ever does anything for the first time, and even for the second, third, and fourth time, has this self-doubt. It’s part of the package. Find a greater reason why you should do it, than why you shouldn’t and focus on that instead. If it helps, focus on why you ARE capable of doing this instead of why you’re not.
- Do the work. Nothing beats self-doubt more than being very prepared. Get feedback on your work from close friends who understand what you’re doing. This way you can improve on anything beforehand to get yourself ready for the big day.
- Distract yourself. If you have some free time, your mind will play tricks on you especially coming close to the date. Do things that distract you and make you feel good; work out, listen to music, get immersed in a good book, do a guided meditation – or practice and prep some more! Anything to get out of your head, when your head is getting to you lol!
- Know that no matter what happens, it won’t be the end of the world. If you felt this is something you must do, it’s a part of your journey. If you’ve prepared, leave the rest to God or the Universe to show you what’s next. And whatever happens, there will be a valuable life lesson in it that you needed to know for something important in your future – and that will be priceless.
If you liked this post and would like to read more on becoming the best version of you, check out my book, “What The Hell Am I Supposed To Do With My Life?!” – With 5 stars on Amazon!
Or share this article with a friend who would find it helpful.
And sign up for free Krystal TV – for videos with more relatable actionable advice and more blog posts like this one.
Have a wonderful day! Leading into a wonderful life!
Lots of love!
“Stuck in a moment… and you can’t get out of it.” – U2
So I wrote this whole book about my life story that was vulnerable as sh*t. The moment it came time to publish it – I literally sh*t my pants. Well not literally, but as close to the feeling of that expression as possible. My thought was, “If I publish this, the whole world, anyone who wishes, will be able to see me completely naked. In ways that even when you’re naked you’re not seen!” Hello. That’s pretty freakin’ naked!
Anyways. The thing that got me out of that nakedness-fearing-ditch – was the thought that if this book made even one person feel not alone, or feel braver, or led to a more fulfilling life for them – then even if everyone else hated it and judged me – it would have been worth it. So, I did a big gulp… like in the cartoons …. with sweat beads on my forehead and all – and hit publish.
Mic pick back up….
The biggest surprise of all happened in the moment immediately after that. I felt COMPLETELY FREE. FREE FREE FREE. Like a panty liner wrapper blowing in the wind. Freer than I’d ever felt before.
Why? Bc I had forever, and in a way I could never take back, told the truth about who I was – the good the bad and the very very bulldog ugly. And – I’d freed myself from having to pretend to be something I wasn’t – bc I actually couldn’t anymore. What .. a .. woosah!!! Like a panda bear taking off some tight pants and officially letting that belly go! Ya man.
Then. Only up from there. Everything just started to happen so magically. It was surreal! People really connected with the book’s message. The press rallied behind it. I got unbelievable, soul touching reviews on amazon. People, both ones I knew but had no idea what they were going through, as well as complete strangers, we’re reaching out to me every day to say how much the book was touching them, making them feel unalone, and inspired and brave. Every single day.
It was just such a high. It was like the creation of the book it self was fulfilling enough, and then every day it was more and more and more fulfilling, seeing the positive impact it had on people.
“Oh boy” I thought. This is just too good to be true. And aware that life is yin and yang, high ups and low downs – a balance – I was like “Shit – if this is so high – how bad is the come down gonna be!” But I decided to just enjoy the moment anyways while it was there, and deal with the low later when it would come. And that I did. And that it did.
One day a few months later – when the momentum had peaked, it started coming back down slowly. And there I was spiraling down. Initially caused by an incident with an old friend who was going through something difficult. Then made worse by hitting a road block with my work. And finally, the winter took an aggressive turn, and it was just like ‘Bodoof boof boof’ – drop – done.
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to – Seasonal Affective Disorder. Otherwise known, very sadly, as SAD. Happens mostly to people who grow up in a warm climate that move to a cold country. Their body can’t adjust to the lack of sunlight and fresh air and the confinement, and so they become physically depressed because of the hormonal imbalance this circumstance causes.
It was happening. It had happened to me once in college and I had to drop out for a semester and make up the classes in summer. So once it started happening, I knew exactly what it was.
So this time it was different.
Let me first be clear. The depression I refer to in my book was depression that was caused by my mind and my natural biochemical predisposition. It was just depression – no reason to be sad – not caused by external circumstances – just depressed as hell for no good reason – biological thing.
So now that I learned how to handle THAT – surprise surprise – life was like, “Yeah man, you think you know whattagwan. Tek snow. Tek lock up inna house. Tek farin without family,” – life has a Jamaican accent apparently.
Sigh. One hurdle jumped – now another.
I pulled out all my tools for dealing with depression. Exercise, no processed food, good sleep, meditation, keeping my energy field clear. And it definitely padded it, making it not as bad as it could be, but it still felt really really sh*tty. And it became exhausting continuously trying to keep it at bay.
One night in trying to explain this to Lasse, my fiancé, I said, “It feels like you’re constantly treading water trying to stay afloat, desperately trying every day not to sink.”
The next day I did my special workout class that usually motivates me. And I had a strange discord with my body and my mind. Mentally, I was strong – I wanted to fight, but physically my body just couldn’t get down with it.
It was so strange. Usually, when I start to get depressed, I can recognize what’s happening and use my mind to counteract it. I’ve been doing that for 8 years now with regular depression. But when it’s something like Seasonal Affective Disorder, related to an external situation having a physical effect on you, no matter what’s in your mind, your body is separate from it and you can feel powerless.
Anyways, I wanted to say all this because… there was a moment I felt to go under the radar until I felt better. Sort of sweep this under the rug. After all, how can I talk about depression when it still affects me occasionally in new and different ways. But then, that would take back that freedom – and nothing is more important to me. The freedom I gained when I published my book and was honest about ‘me’ with nothing to hide. So here it is. And as usual, like all my chapters, talks, blog posts, here are five action steps for anyone going through something similar.
- Recognize what’s happening to you. When you realize it’s caused by an outside circumstance, you don’t buy into the stuff your mind makes up. Stuff like, it’s your partner’s fault, or your bosses fault, etc etc. When you realize it’s external, though you will still feel it, it has much less power over you.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about it. I was holding it all in, trying to be super brave, not wanting Lasse (or even you) to see this ‘pathetic’ side of me. Then one night, I could not help it and I just started crying crying crying uncontrollably. Instead of looking at me like I was a lunatic, it brought Lasse and I closer and he finally felt compassion for something he will never understand. And funny enough, right after I cried I felt so much better (crying releases the hormones – which is biologically why we’ve evolved to cry). And it’s been on the up and up mend, since then. Yes, ladies, crying can be productive! But please proceed with caution lol.
- Do what works. Exercise, diet, meditation etc etc has been on overdrive. And yes still it has not completely obliterated it. But it’s kept it at a controllable and bearable level until it passes. Which it will.
- Stop thinking just do. There are times when you’re depressed when your body wants to just lay in bed and do nothing. And of course, this makes the depression worse. But when you’re depressed, it’s hard to explain, but the desire to do that is so powerful it makes sense in that moment. I knew I needed to go outside in the cold, and force myself to walk for half hour, to get Vitamin D from the sun in the morning. But every time I thought about it I couldn’t get myself to do it. Finally, I decided to just put on my coat and get to the front door and not deliberate about if I should or shouldn’t – once I got to the front door I could come back up if I wanted.That didn’t seem so bad or hard. And whenever I did get there, walking outside was easier, and the much-needed sunlight helped a lot with keeping things tolerable.
- Remember – Everything will pass – in time. When you’re depressed you can feel like you don’t remember when you were happy or if you’ll ever be happy again. It sounds silly to think of when you’re not, or if you’ve never experienced it, but the chemicals play this trick on your mind. Just keep remembering that that’s just one of those crazy types of thoughts you have when you’re depressed, and reassure yourself that “this too WILL pass.”
Finally – On my birthday – I was feeling down having been going through this for a little while, and not having any friends or family around. About 2 pm on that day I was super down. And then two things happened:
- I went through my Facebook messages and saw the sweet love notes everyone had sent me. And that love from everyone really was like medicine – it had a physiologically healing effect on me.
- A reader reached out to me at exactly the same time, sharing a really touching story about the struggle she had been going through, and the things she did based on some suggestions in the book, and how she was totally reinvigorated and excited and empowered about exploring life again. I could feel her transition from hopeless to enthusiastic. I could see her re-writing her wonderful future. And that just f@cking made my WHOLE day.
So I guess the reason I wanted to share these two things is that a lot of times, we look to our partners or our immediate family for joy when we’re down. And this can become exhausting for them – they’re people too and they do the best they can. But don’t forget to look for joy in unexpected places, then you have so much more joy to find!
Photo by @Claremarienyc
And now finally finally! I wanted to share a sort of, fun, pseudo-masochistic indulgence which sometimes makes me feel better. I play “Stuck in a Moment” by U2 super loud, and sing the song like it’s my happy self-singing it to my SAD self. Then I start kind of jamming out to giving myself a passive aggressive pep talk lol – try it – the song is super fun!
HAPPY S.A.D! Whatever that means. It seemed strangely appropriate. Lots and lots and lots of hugs.
So let’s help each other yeah yeah yeah! One and two have lots of fuu-uun! – Leave a note in the comments below if you have any questions. OR! If you have tips for dealing with S.A.D effectively, we would LOVE to hear them below! – Seriously! Don’t hesitate or over think – just write it below – now :). <3
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And if you’d like to read more about my book, “What The Hell Am I Supposed To Do With My Life?!” – A Fun and Friendly Guide to Finding Your Magic Your Purpose and Yo’ Self! Check it out here.
If you liked this article and if you think it would be helpful for someone else, please share!! Until next time! Big huge massive hugs!!
Ok. I’m coming out of the closet: Hi my name is Krystal, and I’m a new-agey hippie, and I don’t give a f*ck about who thinks it’s cliché. And here’s why:
Bc it sure as sh*t is, and I friggin’ love it anyways.
Now…. where’s the nearest tree that I can go hug?
Six years ago, my level of emptiness in my ‘perfect stupid fake @ss life’ was like woah. Pretending to be important (to myself mostly), driving in my Benz to my C-level job, barf barf barf. Even worst, it exasperated my anxiety and my depression issues. And I literally thought of killing myself. No joke – dramatic I know – but this is another story. Back to this topic.
So I did the math. After all, I AM Asian, so if I can do anything, it should at least be math.
Life = Make Money + Spend Money + Die ?
Holeeey God. Is that all there is? (Sung in that jazz song that I don’t know – I only remember that one line from Sex and the City’s Za Za Jew Episode).
But seriously… Is that all there is? F*ck My Life if that’s the f*cking case. “Then what the hell is there left to live for?” my suicidal self asked provokingly. Then my rational side, seeing no winning argument here, bought myself some time by answering back, “Well, I mean, if I’ve got nothing to lose, then I’m gonna go find out – if that’s all there is.”
Quit my job working with my family – it was a big deal lol. Moved to New York from Jamaica, with no visa and no plans. That was also kind of a big deal. And then nose dive face planted into the hella big ass unknown. At that point, everything was such a big deal that nothing was a big deal anymore.
Fast forward four years later. Holy mother of God what a journey. But let’s get back to the original thesis.
Is that all there is?
HELLA MOTHA FREAKIN NO ITS NOTTTT! Yikes. Yabadabbadoo. ZABA-goh-oey! It’s hard to cut this short, but one must in the interest of the average 2016 sized attention span. So back to it:
The most insane thing to me is that the media has managed to make us think it is, creating this big @ss veil in front of gazillions of people! (Gazillions is a legitimate term in hippiedom). But, look – this isn’t like, some ‘idealistic hippie conspiracy theory,’… like ….
‘Ugh the media, ugh, let’s roll a fatty and take a nap.’(Said in mean girls accent).
This is a matter of life and death. It’s a matter of feeling like you’re dead when you’re alive (for your entire life, so you’ve basically only ever been dead). And feeling so alive that you’re lit up with so much freaking life, you feel electric life in every cell of your being. It’s the difference of living just to eat, excrete and then get buried deep under ten feet ( wtf – did I just turn into a rapper?). And really using and experiencing the sh*t out of this one life you have – to the point that when you die, you cannot imagine possibly having lived more fully! You feel like, ‘woah, that was a good friggin’ run, peace out yo.’
I felt so passionate about the topic, that I was more inspired than I’ve ever been about anything else, to create a company that uses the media for positive change. So I created a company with the vision of producing entertaining and empowering media. Stuff that helps people live their most fulfilling and their freest lives. Like what you ask? Well, I’ll tell you at the end of the blog, I feel like it would just be a big fat plug at this point right now.
So – I’m at peace. I’m happy. I’m fulfilled, even on my absolute shittiest days. I have never been depressed again since that day six years ago. And I now have a hilarious relationship with my formerly tormenting General Anxiety Disorder – with no meds and one patient fiancé.
But best of all, I can’t wait to wake up to do my work, and I don’t care how much money I make. And I have no more doubt, only anticipation of the unknown up ahead of me. Why? Bc I’ve found my true north (you know on a compass when you know where north is, you can always find your way? – like that – thanks Wanderlust for the analogy).
But look – back to the point. Now, after I’ve spent four years finding ‘myself’ (yes, I know this sounds cheesy, but hey apparently that’s my thing now – along with beaded jewelry and essential oil as perfume). And after spending a year working on stuff I believe in with all my heart – I’m ready to put it out there and guess what?
I have cold feet. Like a groom right before he’s about to walk down the isle, I’m sweating bullets, my crotch is imaginarily scratching; I’m having a panic attack paralyzing all parts of my body except my eyeballs, which are frantically looking around for the nearest exit.
And I’m just like “WHAT THE HELL, KRYSTAL?”
Then I realized. While I’ve been on this adventure, all my closest friends have seen the old, corporate-b*tch-me die. And then seen this new happy hippie, new agey, crystals lovin’, inspirational quote buggin’, tree huggin’ mother f*cka get born (I’m a rapper again, wtf).
I’m a born again lifey. I don’t feel the need to be sarcastic about ‘happy sh*t’ or dumb down my joy and turn up the cynicism so I can seem cool and be invulnerable. If I see a quote that I think is powerful – Imma share it! I’m over it. I don’t wanna pretend like this is not what I am. Ya, I shed the ‘bad ass bitch’ and put on the unicorn costume, and I feel like the flaming gay man who got the chance to dress up and perform with Liza Minelli on his 50th birthday- like THIS IS WHERE I BELONG – in that unicorn costume. Yes. There.
In this hoodie:
Alright – confession – so up to now this is just a vent, and a preface that all my cynical friends should probably just delete me, or from here on in, you’ll be rolling your eyes like a husband of a Real House Wife. But I wanna say something really important to you. So here it is.
Don’t fight the hippie inside. The hippie inside is the real you. He/she wants to come out so you can do what you’re supposed to do in this world – (and you don’t have to wear natural deodorant and stop washing your hair.) Don’t let the angry, needy, approval seeking, fake you – stuff the real you down in there so much that you just become a zombie – dead during this one precious and short life you have. I know you know if this is what’s happening to you. Be real with yourself.
Do you. Be you. Stop caring. Live your life. Be fulfilled in answering your calling. Don’t feel weird about it. It’s not weird, being a Kardashian is weird. You’ve got one life man, and it’s getting shorter by the second. Now’s your time buddy. I’m behind you and so is the universe. Be you, and it will free you.
“Only through vulnerability comes true and essential invulnerability.” – Eckart Tolle.
Here’s the delayed plug from above, cause hey, a girls gotta eat right? Plus – the stuff I make is pretty freaking awesome. I wrote a book, “What The Hell Am I Supposed To Do With My Life” – A fun and friendly guide to finding your magic, your purpose and yo’ self – and it’s life changing if I don’t say so myself – check out the reviews. And I produce hybrid meditations, which are guided meditations for anxious minds, and for people who don’t like to meditate. I used a combo of the most powerful techniques in meditation with findings in neuroscience, bc I just could not get myself to meditate! They’re better than xanax and much less hot-mess-like! They’re getting rave reviews by people who clench up at the syllable “med” and then look for somewhere to hide when it’s followed by “itate.’ But definitely follow me on facebook for daily, fun loving, pseudo-hippie tips, on living your most fulfilling life!
Big big hippie hugs! (Then we’ll hold hands and skip around together in a circle under the setting sun).
For more info check out my website www.krystalchong.com
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Do you have problems getting creative sometimes? Well – Welcome to 2016! A world of creative constipation! It’s gotten to the point that some people now just assume they’re not creative people at all. (Big – huge – disaster type of head shake).
So this week – creativity spoke with me. She said, in no uncertain terms, “What the HELL have you been doing? Wake the f@ck up already! I’m waiting!”
What happened? Here we go:
I was in a workshop for entrepreneurs who are escaping corporate world and starting purposeful businesses. It’s a God send. A guy named Jeff runs the program. He’s a cute little Jewish guy with brown curly hair, always eager to teach with his brown rimmed glasses and beige cargo shorts. I’m staring at his little Jewish hat thing, watching him move thinking – “how is that magically staying on his head?” when he gets up and asks:
“Who here thinks they’re a creative person?”
30% of the room raised their hands.
“So do 70% of you just think you’re not naturally a creative person?”
60 smart, energetic, good hearted individuals depressively nodded ‘yes’ – looking as defeated as Martha Stewart walking into a jail cel with her fresh $120 blow dry.
The statement that came next was beautifully mind blowing and dumb-perspective crushing.
Jeff, always bursting with so much excitement for what he’s sharing with us, smiled as if he was about to tell us we just landed on the moon and waving his arms he yelled, “We are all creative! We have just lost our ability to create.”
A group of every mixed culture, with every different personality and business idea were all unified with one emotion – hope.
“Could I be more creative than I am right now?”- was the unifying thought amongst us all.
Jeff continued, “Creativity is an inherent skill. You see it in every single child that’s born. But as you grow older, some people lose it. But why does this happen?”
Then he posed the next question, “Think about it: what prevents you from being creative?”
Surprisingly, people immediately identified their blockers. Interestingly, they were different in detail but all the very same at their core. They were all based in fear.
“Fear of judgement.” Maybe someone won’t like your idea. I mean, when you engage your creativity you bring something up from deep within you. What if someone else thinks it’s ‘stupid’ – does that mean what you have deep inside you is stupid? Are you stupid?
“Fear of losing control” – To be creative you have to be open to a place you don’t exactly know how to navigate. You have to get in touch with a place inside you that you don’t fully understand. And in today’s world, we have been taught to the point of it being second nature, that ‘control’ is security. You’re afraid of losing that control, what may come up? You don’t know.. And thats nerve wracking.
Is this a good time for me to use the F.E.A.R plug? What is FEAR? False Evidence Appearing Real. It’s so so so insane how much our own fears, of stuff that probably isn’t even real or that we don’t need to be afraid of, prevent us from being our best selves. But that’s another topic. Back to creativity.
So it turns out, creativity is something you practice. It’s not just a talent you’re either born with or you’re not. But just like everyone has the innate ability to learn to speak or to walk, you have the innate ability to create.
You just gotta train it man, like your muscles. You wouldn’t expect to wake up and kick ass in an Iron Man competition if you’d never trained for it right? So – don’t expect to be your creative best without training that too!
So – the next question is – how do you train it?
Well – Back to my workshop – They gave us a blank piece of paper next. Jeff, radiating his ever present optimism instructed, “Draw 3 boxes. You’re going to draw how you feel in each stage. The first box is where you’re coming from. The middle box is where you are. The last box is where you’re going. No words, and it needs to be interpretive. Don’t draw yourself sitting in an office. Let it be feeling based. You have 10 minutes to do nothing but this.”
Woah – put on the spot. Hello performance anxiety!
And it’s funny because I experienced performance anxiety, knowing no one else would ever see it! Proof to me – that the judgement we place on ourselves is paralyzing – even more so than the judgement we expect to face from others.
Anyhow – 10 minutes is long. And I sat there thinking well, I have to do something. So I drew the boxes. And then … I outlined them. And then I didn’t know what to draw, so I drew the arrows in between the boxes. And then I shaded the arrows. LOL. Pure procrastination. Why? Well – Resistance of course! It’s that resistance you feel before you create. The powerful thing here, is that during regular life, when we experience resistance before we create, it’s so fucking uncomfortable that we usually just give up and go and do something else. Like eating a cookie – cause that’s easy. Not that I do that or anything – *looks away*. But because I knew I had 10 minutes to do nothing else, I said ok I have to do something.… anything. And then something strange happened.
I started to draw!
I started very small. I started by drawing spikes in the block. Why? I dunno! I just did. Then when I looked at it, I realized, this is how I felt where I was coming from, trapped in a prison of sharp edges. And then ….. HELL-OOOW FLOW! No more effort was required here, just simply ability to stay focused and keep up and let that ‘unknown’ thing in side guide me.
Guys. This was bizarre!
Here’s my drawing.
When I look at it, I realize this is exactly exactly accurate. And I feel proud that I connected to what was inside and brought it out. And right as I finished, someone who had peeped on it behind me (ugh total violation of my private unjudging creative space) said “THAT is beautiful!” – with like some massive conviction in her voice, like she connected to it and it made her feel validated.
I mean, is it beautiful? Maybe. Maybe not. The point is, who the hell cares? Beauty is not objective, there is no right or wrong definition for it. And it shouldn’t determine if I continue to create or not.
And that’s what I realize I have to stop doing – stop creating for approval.
Because there will always be people who don’t like it. Ya man – The girl beside me looked at it and was very VERY silent when the girl behind me made that comment. But it doesn’t matter. If we create for other peoples approval, we’ll never get it, and we’ll never create and we’ll never get anyones approval or disapproval!
We have to create just for the sake of creating. For our own need and desire to create and fulfill ourselves in bringing out whats in us. And sure, it will feel good when people like it, and people will, but that has to be totally separate from the process.
BUT! This is not about the drawing! A really freaking awesome thing happened next!
I got so creative in every area of my life! I came up with a fantastic concept for a video I was working on. On the spot in a client meeting, I came up with all these ideas the client loved. I wrote my first blog post (here) which i’d been resisting for months. It was like the one little creativity exercise, built up a muscle and the muscle wanted to FLEX!! It was like, I viscerally recognized the feeling of fears of being creative, and then when I created, I again viscerally recognized how total BS that fear was. And then I was just like, “I’m over it – Imma create – whoever likes it can like it and who doesn’t doesn’t have to!” Hellooooo permission to myself!
And in the words of Barnie Rubbel – Yabadabbadoooo!!!
So – to recap. You’re creative. And you wanna be! Don’t trick yourself into thinking other wise. You have just untrained yourself. So retrain yourself – and do it right now! Go, draw the 3 boxes, and do your own exercise. Give yourself 10 minutes on the timer to force yourself to break past the BS so you can re-train yourself that the BS is not real – Your first step in not being held back by your own mentally created fears.
Now go create the hell outta of your naturally creative little self!
Big BIG XO – Krys.
Any other tips on how to encourage creativity? Lemme know in the comments beee-looow.