My goal for creative humans is for us to validate the needs of our present selves.
Perfectionism, hustle culture, and capitalism disengage us from our physical and emotional needs. It benefits these systems to have us disassociated from our body, mind, and heart.
Honoring what your present self needs – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually – is an act of rebellion and it reclaims a piece of humanity.
This could look as “small” as pausing a call to get a drink of water and go to the bathroom.
This could look as big as quitting your job that is detrimental to your mental health.
Two years ago, I was deep into the most severe mental health crisis of my life. Every day was a battle. I had a light at the end of the tunnel (I knew I was leaving my job at the end of my contract year), but the tunnel felt so so long to get to that light. There were many days I wasn’t sure if I could make it to the light.
The past 18 months, I’ve been rebuilding myself and my mental health, and part of that process has been creating community online with fellow low-energy souls and designing a business that feels good to me and my values.
It was a windy path to get here, but now I see what I’m meant to do in this phase of my life – validate people’s needs. That’s what I so desperately wanted someone to do for me two years ago. It took longer than it should have, but now I am validating my needs. My business and content I share online aims to validate the needs of creative humans.
I’ve realized that a key to being able to validate our present selves is calling out perfectionism.
Perfectionism is more than straight As, a tidy room, a curated Instagram feed, or a successful business.
Perfectionism says that your truth isn’t what matters – arbitrary standards of effort, quality, efficiency, productivity, and value are what matters.
Perfectionism is designed for us to burn out. That’s a tragedy in and of itself because of the harm done to humans.
I also see it as a tragedy in that for every rebel, artist, creative human that burns out in their process of sharing their work, our world loses out on messages from vibrant, divergent, weird, wild, wonderful humans, just like you 💚
Here is an exercise you can use in your creative process to help you anchor into what your present self wants to do – this could be used as you open your phone to post on social media, when you get out your supplies to make some art, or when you step into your kitchen and you have to decide what you’re going to eat. It is a process that can be helpful at the start of any task.
Step 1: Take a mindful breath. Doesn’t have to be super long or deep if that doesn’t feel accessible right now. Just notice your breathing.
Step 2: Pause. This could mean you stop moving. This could mean you close your eyes.
Step 3: Check in with your current capacities. You could do a mental scan of your body. You could notice what emotions are currently at your surface. What does your energy feel like to you right now?
Step 4: Get clear on the specific task you are wanting to accomplish. Not this task plus the next five things you want to do. Just the very next task you are looking to complete.
Step 5: Visualize completing this task. This could be imaging it in your head. This could be speaking out loud what you need to do. As you do this, get curious about any “requirements” or standards you assign this task. For example, if you are about to post on Instagram and you say “I have to post a Reel because I haven’t yet this week” we could get curious about the Reel requirement, and the time requirement.
Step 6: Feel into what YOU want to do for this task. This might be the same as what you said in Step 5. This might be something different. Trust whatever comes forward.
Step 7: Take another mindful breath. As you exhale, release tension in your body that could be holding onto perfectionism with this task. Imagine it leaving your body. You could even blow it off the palm of your hand to send it back into the air.
Step 8: Begin engaging with your task, breathing and checking in with your current capacities. As thoughts arise about how this task should be completed, get curious as to if those thoughts are helpful and compassionate, or unnecessary and de-humanizing. Gently dismiss the unhelpful commentary. Trust what your current self wants to do and has the energy for.
I hope this little exercise helps you in slowing down, just a smidge, to be able to create some space for breath, connection with your body and creativity, and validating what is true for you instead of letting perfectionism tell you what has to be true. Perfectionism is wrong. You are right.
If some more support in building out a long-term social media strategy that is focused on sustaining your mental health and creativity would be helpful, you can read below about my self-paced course TiredTok. If you don’t have the capacity or interest for that right now, I leave you with this reminder:
Get some rest today. You deserve it no matter what you got done.
TiredTok is my love letter to fellow low-energy creative people – the validation that I can personally offer to help you share your much needed art, business, mission, community, joy, writing with the world for the long haul.
I’ve bought so many courses, guides, PDFs I never ended up using or finishing, so I designed TiredTok to be easy to get what you need from it:
- skimmable text
- super detailed table of contents
- variety of written & video delivery
- text is often chunked, made into charts or lists
- facilitation for helping you build your own strategy for social media while working at your own pace