Another block to creativity are the ghosts of failures past.

A client once told me, “I’m afraid to get my work out there because the last time I tried, I was sabotaged and betrayed by a group of women I had trusted.”

I said, “I’m so sorry that happened. That must have been excruciatingly painful. But I’m noticing that there is no group of women holding you back now. It is you holding you back. You are sabotaging and betraying yourself.”

She launched her new business exactly seven days later.

Almost every working creative person I know has a story about the overly critical teacher, the cruel playground remark, or the scathing review that made them feel like quitting.

Some of these slights were imagined, some were real, and some were richly deserved.

After all, even the best artists fail from time to time.

But if you let the ghosts of your failures, errors, and wrongs derail you, they will define you.

You have the power to exorcise those ghosts, but it will take determination and persistence.

You must first notice when those ghosts take control, and then mentally paint them pink. Now you have hot-pink ghosts — they seem a bit lighter and sillier, yes?

Good. Now call to mind a memory of one of your great successes, a time you felt valued, gifted, and good inside. Really dive into this memory and let the feeling of it suffuse your body.

Repeat this process any time those old pink ghosts threaten to keep you stuck again.

photo credit: waferbaby via photopin cc