Most of the artists I work with beam when they talk about their creative journeys. To hear them describe their experiences singing, dancing, and acting is like witnessing Christmas morning or a surprise birthday party.
The journey isn’t all performing, of course. In addition to the magic of their artistry, these men and women need to position themselves in their respective marketplaces and stay at the top of their creative learning curves. Even those who have achieved enormous success must continue carving out a niche, lest they become irrelevant and obsolete.
Unfortunately, there is something that happens to so many creative people when they are asked to address these aspects of their art. The passion that comes through on every channel all but dissipates when they need to consider where and how they fit into their fields.
The proud, declarative ‘This Is Me!’ all too often shifts into a frustrated and confused ‘Who am I? Who should I be?’
This is a common tendency not only of artists, but of entrepreneurs, company owners, and frankly, anyone not living in virtual isolation. The struggle to swim against the tide to the shore of self-distinction brings us face to face with those from whom we are trying to stand apart. And more often than not, we view each other with a sense of confrontation and competition, rather than communion.
Yet focusing on and comparing ourselves with who and what we are not– rather than on our unique contribution and value– we are splitting our energy and focus; we are dividing, rather than conquering.
By nurturing the perception of competition between rather than our personal and proud creative process of, we remain in an endless struggle for position, rather than allow a distinction born of true value to emerge.
This value is meant to fuel not only your creativity, but the business plan that supports it as well. Therefore, in your marketing, strive to be your most wholly authentic, entirely genuine self… just as you are in your art.
Pour your energy into and prove nothing other than how much meaning, contribution, learning, and enjoyment you can pack into your work and relationships each and every day.
When you do, the ‘Who I Am’ of your voice and passion will resonate throughout your entire being and rise like the inevitable Phoenix… a rising and distinction people will be inspired to see and go to great lengths to share.
There is no better marketing strategy.
Learn more about Jennifer’s coaching practice, and her book: The Art of Singing: Discovering and Developing Your True Voice, heralded as a breakthrough in the psychology of personal and musical performance.
Originally published in Psychology Today, December 2, 2010