In the late 90s there was this thing about “posing.” Being a poser was maybe the worst insult someone could hurl in some circles during my high school days.
Posing – pretending – being false.
Of course, in high school, pretty much everyone was posing in some way. We just hadn’t admitted it to ourselves. Adult life isn’t much different.
Often creatives sniff when art is compared to business (I used to be one – it’s a common attitude.). There’s the question of pandering. There’s also the question of selling – accessibility of all kinds. If you’re too accessible, you’re commercial pulp. If you’re too inaccessible, you’re pretentious bullshit.
Everyone who has ever written, sculpted, choreographed, or designed anything at an advanced level knows this is true. Once you get to Painting 201 you’ve seen this judgy duality.
That said, after reading many blogs, books, and articles, I firmly believe there is an audience for every niche. But there isn’t just an audience for every niche – there are people for every person.
No one is alone. No one is singular. There is always a group that will resonate with a given message.
There really is – it’s simple math. There are over 7 billion people on this planet – the issue is simply connecting with the right ones.
Have you found the One?
Be authentically you. Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t. I learned that the hard way. I was afraid of being myself, so I tried a hundred different things. I squeezed myself into little boxes pretending to be someone else in every way I possibly could – because I was afraid.
I was afraid to be honest and open. I was afraid of being rejected. I was afraid that I really wasn’t good enough.
And it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I pretended to be someone I wasn’t, and it ended up proving my point. I was unhappy and ravaged by self-doubt. No strategies worked because I wasn’t being me. None of the boxes worked because I wasn’t being me.
It took me a long time and a lot of self-work to transform all the inner critics – to get rid of all the voices from a thousand books, blogs, movies, and shows telling me how I was supposed to be. Even after I began working on myself, I still felt a tug on my heart when I put something out there (It was hard for me to put out THRIVE, 42 DAYS THROUGH FAITH, and even harder to get up the guts to allow myself to put together my class The Heart Unboxed!).
For a long time I had lingering moments of, “What if I’m pushing someone away?!”
I felt it strongly with my fiction. But then with time and exploration, I realized I wasn’t sitting in fiction anymore. I was in the middle of shifting from fantasy to reality (in so many ways!). I straddled that line for a long time and it was exhausting. I had to choose.
I chose to give up fiction for a while. Maybe someday I’ll come back to it, but it wasn’t serving me. It wasn’t serving readers. It wasn’t doing any of the things I needed it to do, and so it was the right thing to put it aside.
I used to feel doubt with my poetry, but after a few poems were published in Angel Flight- Literary West, I realized people like them (You can read my Spring poems here, and my Summer piece here.). I realized they resonated with people and they reflected me.
I used to feel it with my posts on this blog, until I fully embraced who I am and my vision for what will be.
It was around that time I remembered the most important thing: the people pushed away are not the ones that belong in my tribe. When I am myself, really me – the love-centered, socially conscious, person of faith – that’s when I connect with people. Those are the people I want to read my blog regularly. Those are the people I want to talk to in social media, email, and real life.
The Scariest Thing Ever
Being out – being truly you – is the scariest thing EVER. Really. It makes a person incredibly vulnerable, but it yields the greatest rewards.
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t take classes, read, or watch continuing education materials. Yes, be you – but strive! It requires effort to reach mastery. There is always more to learn, more honing to be done.
And this effort will help you to connect with your tribe – your people.
Practice humble authenticity. Stay true to your story. It’s worthy to be heard just as it is. And if you stay true to your story, you will find the places where you tribe is. You will find the people who love you, and whom you love (there will be a HUGE love-fest!).
Want to be part of a REAL love-fest? Enroll in my course The Heart Unboxed: How to Love the Unloveable where you’ll learn how to recognize worth, let go of the past, and pave the way for complete love! Enroll here!
Note: This post was originally published December 9, 2015 and was updated to better serve you.
- Between Chaos and Order: The Need For A Middle Way - June 18, 2018
- Spiritual Mamas: Intuition, Spirituality, and Motherhood - June 4, 2018
- Neither Selfish or Selfless – Only Loving! - April 30, 2018