Many artists and creative people in various fields are unconventional, embracing their unique personality traits and ways of thinking, following their own path. Not conforming.
“The worship of convention will never lead to astonishment.”
Author and personal development coach Tama Kieves faced a number of challenges after graduating with honors from Harvard Law School.
She felt compelled to leave her career as “an overworked attorney” to follow her “soul’s haunting desire to become a writer.”
In her book “Inspired and Unstoppable” she writes,
“As a creative individual, visionary leader, independent thinker, soul-healer, or entrepreneur, it’s your birthright to utilize other talents, insights, resources, and innate strategies.
“You are not made to fit into the world…but to remake the world, heal the world, and illuminate new choices and sensibilities.”
“The worship of convention will never lead to astonishment.”
[Another of her books is Thriving Through Uncertainty.]
[You can hear a brief audio clip of her talking about “What stops us?” in my post Tama Kieves on inspired desire and new directions.]
This image is from my article
Gifted and creative adults are different from an early age –
Many gifted children and adults feel “wrong” or anxious about “not fitting in” even though being different can be a strength, a positive attribute.
Of course, many artists and exceptional people value themselves for being different, quirky, eccentric, or an outsider.
Fitting in and being accepted by others can be a challenge for people who are different – or celebrated.
Singer-songwriter, actress and author Sara Bareilles made her Broadway performing debut as Jenna in the musical Waitress.
She has noted:
“I was kind of a misfit little kid and bullied at school, so finding the theatrical community was a great home for me very early on.
“It’s where I felt like I could really be myself and be the little weirdo I was and not be judged for it.”
From my article Feeling like a misfit – Sara Bareilles and other artists.
In an interview, she said, “The thing that I love about the theater community is that they just wave the flag loud and proud – they’re proud to be sort of like misfits in the world. That’s really cool.
“It’s the most accepting, sort of liberated, expanded community I’ve ever been a part of.”
This is a brief excerpt from interview: Sara Bareilles Talks ‘Amidst The Chaos’, Touring, The Resurgence Of Broadway Musical & More, 104.3 MYfm Mar 15, 2019.
Appearance can make us painfully different, especially at a young age, but also be one of the ways we are unique, and something to celebrate.
Actor Lily Collins commented about her now-famous and distinctive eyebrows:
“It used to bother me – having bigger, fuller brows. I even plucked them once so I’d fit in, but I hated them and couldn’t wait for them to grow back.
“Now I embrace them. I realized the quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful.” [imdb]
In this video, she talks about her book, and notes:
“The best piece of advice is from my mom, which is that the quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful.
“When we’re not embracing our differences and we’re afraid to be different, it’s really important to know that one day those things that make you different are the things that make you unique.”
“Be you and embrace your differences as things that make you unique and special. “Different” shouldn’t be considered confusing, negative, or something that divides us. It should be a quality we applaud and admire within ourselves and others.”
“The quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful”
“Some may underestimate her abilities – and those are the ones she enjoys shocking the most.”
― From book by Lily Collins: Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.
Psychologist Mihaela Ivan Holtz writes about one aspect of conforming versus being unique: comparing ourselves with others, and the self-limiting feelings this can bring about:
“In the ‘comparison trap’ you find yourself in a spiral of challenging emotions and thoughts.
“It captures your mind and you have difficulty escaping it.
“And then, the negative self assessment takes over, which makes it even harder to really see yourself as you are: the artist with all your inclinations, strengths, and weaknesses.
“Although you have had success and you know you are talented, you can’t help but feel disappointed with yourself and your life.
“Many creatives and performers experience self-doubts, fears, anxiety, depression, and other challenging emotional states when they compare themselves with others.
“The creative world is fascinating and tough at the same time. Falling into a ‘comparison trap’ is very easy.”
From her article Create Your Unique Artist Journey: Step Out of the “Comparison Trap”
Psychologist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts, and has many more articles on her site – follow the link.
Do you feel like a misfit as a creative person?
Many creative, sensitive, highly intelligent people may feel like misfits. One example:
“I felt like a freak.”
An article notes Lady Gaga ‘described her academic life in high school as “very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined” but also “a bit insecure”:
“I used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric, so I started to tone it down.
“I didn’t fit in, and I felt like a freak.”
The article comments about her being gifted:
“Gaga began playing the piano at the age of four, wrote her first piano ballad at thirteen, and started to perform at open mic nights by the age of fourteen.
“She performed lead roles in high school productions…”
She was “one of 20 students to gain early admission, at age 17, to a musical theater training conservatory at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.”
Many creative people say they feel like misfits
One result of the pressures to be social and fit in with other people can be a fear or anxiety about solitude.
Writer Susan Cain thinks “Solitude is out of fashion.
“Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.”
But, she adds, “there’s a problem with this view.
“Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.
“And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies…”
From post: Developing Creativity in Solitude.
Susan Cain is author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
Of course, you can be creative within a more conventional workplace, even wearing approved business clothes. Creativity doesn’t just happen at Google, to pick one example of an innovative corporation. But there can be subtle and powerful ways creative thinking may suffer within conforming groups.
Continued : Conformity and Creativity.