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The art of Being yourself

When it comes to creative work, comparison, ego, human complexes, fears, and limiting beliefs come into the game really quickly. However, some might find that there is something behind the art of being yourself.

During the Salon de la Photo in Geneva last week-end, I was asked to give a conference for FUJIFILM Switzerland, on a topic of my choice, and you name it, I couldn’t find a better topic than to go ahead with the Art of being yourself, how to create authentic work.

In front of a potential audience of 200 people, the topic was looking bright and interesting, and I’m sure there’s more to it that we might feel. Now here are a few key points I believe are, in my humble opinion, how I worked my way into being more Authentic as a person, further translating in more personal creativity.

Fears

We are dual human beings, meaning that we always have 2 sides to our coin. Duality rules our world, love & hate, big & small, pain & pleasure, and so forth. Most of our fears are inner fears, such as humiliation, abandon, rejection, treason, and create deep complexes of inferiority & superiority.

Complexes

Our aim could be, for example, to develop more interiority and less Superiority or Inferiority. We are who we are, we are not someone else. Being superior is uppity, it’s annoying for others, and nobody likes to be around people who look down on you.

Inferiority is a stress and a killer. That feeling that we are never enough, less than others, not as good, must be better, nothing worse to bring self-esteem down, than looking at others in a comparison mode. It clearly doesn’t mean that we should not look at stuff from others, but we should NOT compare, whatsoever.

Interiority

We are looking into Interiority, the art of looking inside ourselves. Who are we ? What do we want to develop ? Why are we here ? Large questions, larger than creativity however if we can’t answer that one, looking deep inside and accepting our imperfections, apologising to ourselves for our mistakes, how can we grow ?

stop living a lie

For many of us, we live in a lie. Who will really admit they fucked up ? They didn’t take the responsability of every single thing taking part in their lives ? We live experiences, some good, some not so fun, but every single one of them is due to action or inaction from our part. Shit happens, for sure… why ? Well it takes guts to look ourselves in the mirror every morning or multiple times a day and say… Right, that took place, what did you do… do you want to continue that way ? how can you change this… by YOUR actions.

A creative project goes west ? sure, it’s easy to blame the stylist, the creative director, the client, the models, the gear, location, or whatever else… But the truth is… it’s ALL YOUR FAULT ! And it’s fine.

Why is it all your fault ? Because that team was set by you, and if some were not, and you were not ok with that choice ? well why didn’t you push to say so ? By accepting them in the team, you gave your consent, so you take the responsibility.

Ok, so now what ? how can we sort all this out ?

Profoto A1x Duo Kit - Portrait headshot

Creative Routines

Here are a few ideas that came to mind to improve our creative work and daily life. Please don’t take everything if it doesn’t resonate with you, as the essence of this is that you must feel it deep inside, so what’s good for me, might not be good for you, but give or take, if you’re reading this, you might have a nail to hit on the head.

The three “I’s”

Isolation, Introspection, Intuition. those 3 elements go hand in hand for being ourselves. We need some time off from whatever we do, our jobs, our career, our families, our friends, our creative projects. Disconnect from everything. No phone, no computer, no books, no social media… DISCONNECT.

That helps work on our introspection, and answer a bit of what we want to do, who we are, what is good for us and what feels like it’s not quite right.

That time off in isolation helps work on introspection, but helps intuition too.We can learn to feel inside our body about what is good for us. Does it feel right ? Does it feel wrong ? Tight throat ? a Vision coming along ? a Sound ? a Tinitus ?

Journaling & writing

Writing is a good starting point to all of this, and is worth going ahead with too. May it be journaling, writing every day, all your ideas, and having gratitude towards what is happening in your life. May it be good or bad, lessons are to be learned, and it’s a path forward. We can’t go back in life… so journaling helps with aspects of gratitude.

Gratitude

Feel gratitude, not only see it, but Feel it. Be grateful, thankful for everything. If you’re having a shitty day, maybe the coffee in the morning was good, that smile in the street, whatever. The more you are grateful for little things, the more large things come to life. Be happy, for sure, an accident is no fun, but what about the kind person giving you a hand when you broke down ? that’s precious ! Be grateful, you’ll get more creative because love brings more creativity than fear.

Meditation

Meditate 15mn a day, helps increase productivity & creativity by over 40%, so maybe it’s time to give it a try. it’s not about being a monk, it’s all about mindfulness in meditation. being present at what you do. When you eat, eat, when you write, write, when you walk, walk. Don’t walk with your burger, listening to music and scrolling on your phone, that’s not living, that’s not being in the present moment… it’s all about… THE MOMENT. So meditation can be walking, but just walking, smelling a flower without thinking about something else, letting go of those thoughts which lead the mind to go bezerk, and bring back fears.

The present moment

As many philosophers, and Master Eckart Tolle would say. Be in the present moment. It takes work to get there, but it’s seriously amazing when sometimes it takes place. it’s all about what others would consider the “flow state”, how to reach that moment of supreme divine pleasure. Time doesn’t exist anymore, you’re just here, now, doing what you are doing, there is no before, no after, no good, no bad, just a now, and doing the now action.

Conclusion

Creativity starts inside you, so I can’t say what’s good or bad for you, because it would be antinomic with the topic of this post, but what I can say is that looking inside yourself and driving yourself away from “what should”, “you must”, “but”, “because”, words and attitudes really help drive creativity. So, what do you think about you starting a journey on the art of being yourself ?

I am attaching the PDF of the conference here, with the key points. Please note that it is copyright protected and as such no content should be shared, or used under any circumstances, but for the insight… go ahead with living.

Conference Presentation

Should you find this conference, article and topic interesting, and wish for me to come and talk about it in front of your audience, please contact me and i’d be honoured to discuss it with you.

The art of being yourself (in french for this conference in Geneva) (PDF)

Bibliography

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