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Conquering Fear and Finding Your Artistic Expression: Cultivating Creative Safety

by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC


Creating art can be a deeply personal and vulnerable endeavor. For many, the act of expressing themselves through art can be daunting, especially when past experiences have left emotional scars. The role of creating safety in the art-making process cannot be overstated. When we feel safe, our inner artist is more likely to emerge, uninhibited by fear or self-doubt. Understanding what is needed for this sense of safety is crucial for overcoming creative blocks and fostering a space where creativity can flourish.


Freedom from Judgement and Criticism

Our inner artist needs an environment free from judgment and criticism. This doesn’t mean that constructive feedback isn’t valuable; rather, it should be given in a way that encourages growth rather than stifles it. A safe space is one where mistakes are seen as part of the learning process, not as failures. To feel safe, we need to trust that our creative expressions will be met with empathy and understanding. This trust can be built through positive reinforcement, supportive communities, and self-compassion.


Fear as a Barrier to Creative Safety

Fear is a significant barrier to creative expression. Parts of us may feel scared of rejection, ridicule, or failure. These fears often stem from past experiences where our creative efforts were dismissed or harshly judged. Such experiences can leave deep imprints on our psyche, making us wary of putting ourselves out there again. Fear of not being good enough or comparing ourselves to others can also contribute to this apprehension. Acknowledging these fears is the first step towards overcoming them.

Comments and criticisms from the past can have a lasting impact on our creative confidence. Negative feedback, especially when delivered insensitively, can lead to a fear of creating. These experiences can create a mental block, where the fear of encountering similar negativity paralyzes our creative impulses. It’s important to differentiate between constructive criticism, which aims to help us improve, and destructive criticism, which serves only to belittle and discourage.


To develop safety and rekindle our creative spirit, we must start by healing these past wounds. This can involve reflecting on past experiences and re-framing them in a more positive light. Seeking out supportive and nurturing environments where we can share our work without fear of harsh judgment is crucial. Surrounding ourselves with people who appreciate and encourage our creative efforts can provide the reassurance we need to move forward.

Practicing self-compassion is another essential step. We must learn to be kind to ourselves and accept that perfection is not the goal of art. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes and see them as opportunities for growth rather than setbacks can help diminish the fear of failure. Setting small, achievable goals can also make the creative process feel less overwhelming and more manageable.


Additionally, engaging in regular creative practices can help build confidence. By setting aside dedicated time for art, we can create a routine that reinforces the importance of our creative pursuits. Experimenting with different mediums and styles can also help us find what resonates most with us, making the process more enjoyable and less intimidating.

In conclusion, creating safety in the art-making process involves building a supportive environment, addressing past negative experiences, and practicing self-compassion. By taking these steps, we can help our inner artist feel safe and empowered to create freely. Overcoming creative blocks is a journey, but with patience and persistence, we can reconnect with our creativity and allow it to flourish once more.


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fear and safety in creativity


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