Photo taken by Sharon K. Summerfield in Cancun, featuring a thought from Out of Our Minds by Sir Ken Robinson

Learning to Be Creating and Move Away from the Fear of Other’s Opinions

For the longest time I thought I had no creative talents as it seemed we were recognizing the artists, the painters, the musicians, intellectuals and those who were identified as the experts, top performers and being intelligent.

We have been celebrating the wrong things and closing doors.

Often the creatives have been those that created works of art and a select identified few within our teams and organizations.  Through this lens, and similar lens of only identifying top performers, so many were missed.

And organizations wondered why  people were quiet quitting and leaving their teams and organizations.

This thought from Out of Our Minds resonated with me:

“When people find their medium, they discover their real creative strengths and come into their own.  Helping people to connect with their personal creative capacities is the surest way to release the best they have to offer.”

I recently listened to a wonderful podcast with Whitney Johnson and Dr. Michael Gervais “Why We Betray Ourselves for the Approval of Others”

In this conversation Dr. Michael Gervais, who is the author of The First Rule of Mastery, Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You. talked about the Fear of Other People’s Opinions.

This resonated with me strongly and had me reflecting on a time where someone’s reaction to my work, derailed me.  Another important piece is when someone shares with you what they have observed, this may not always be to help you improve or grow.  In saying that there is always learning.

Sharing a story with you.

A number of years ago I joined an organization as an Administrative Assistant in a new sector, in a newly created role working for a person in a leadership role.  I was at the launch of a new S Curve of Learning as highlighted in Smart Growth, written by Whitney Johnson.

Within a few months of being in this new role I learned it was expected that I take photos at events.

This was not captured in the job description or mentioned during the interview process. As I write this I think of so many conversations I have had with Bonnie Low-Kramen author of Staff Matters, and the importance of having accurate job descriptions that accurately reflect what we do.

After being in the role for well over a year, the leader I worked for (many of you know I love to partner, collaborate and work with people) shared “you take terrible photos”.  With my learning mindset, I asked for support to take a course outside of my normal working hours, which was denied.

This comment derailed me for a long time.  I had allowed the Fear of  Another Person’s Opinion be that critical voice in my head.

In that role I continued to gather information in the Collector Stage of the Launch point.  As there was a values disconnect, which is a key contributor to Burnout, I left that organization.

In time I started to challenge that observation that had been shared.  There was some truth, yes photography was not something I was an expert at, I was learning.

As I took on other roles, I started in small ways to take photos and find those ways to be more creative.

Being creative or an artist are the things you see and do.

Loved this quote from the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces “An artist is not just someone who paints or sculpts it is someone who sets the table a certain way, prepares a meal a certain way or teaches a certain way”

As I moved away from that negative comment, I reframed that inner critic.  I started to take photos.

This photo is the first one I framed.

This is the first photo I created a quote on and featured in one of the first blogs I wrote “Moving from Work Life Balance to Harmonizing Life”

It was by challenging the reaction to the work I was doing that honestly was meant to shut me down, I started discovering new possibilities to share my perspective.

Each of us have so many beautiful ways that we are creative.

It can be the ways we:

  • Write
  • Gather a group of people
  • Set up and manage a meeting
  • Share a perspective
  • Notice who is not participating in a group and include them
  • Play an instrument
  • Bring together a group of students to foster curiosity
  • Capture a photo with a different view
  • Highlight the strengths of others that are often missed
  • Discover the ways to invest in all team members and their development
  • Paint
  • Develop a Pilates or Yoga Practice
  • Create a recipe or prepare a meal
  • And so much more

In what ways can you nurture the ways you can be more creative?

This is something to celebrate and help to notice in others.

Photo taken by Sharon K. Summerfield in Cancun, featuring a thought from Out of Our Minds by Sir Ken Robinson

Be kind. Be patient. Be nourished in all you do.
Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield


Photo of Sharon K. SummerfieldAt The Nourished Executive we help leaders invest in wellbeing, with a holistic lens, to prevent burnout.

Our founder, Sharon K. Summerfield, is a Wellbeing Coach, Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Growth Advisor, with a demonstrated success in nurturing healthy employees and high performing organizations.

We have a strong commitment to giving back, investing and supporting local community.

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