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Overcoming the 'Shoulds' and Embracing Authenticity in Your Art

Updated: Jul 5

Sidewalk art that's colorful and reflects different buildings and homes.

How many times do you find yourself following the "shoulds" in your creative lives instead of building your individual paths to success?

I remember when I graduated college, ready to launch my career as an actor. I was excited but also terrified. Suddenly, I found myself faced with countless "shoulds".

  • I should move to Chicago, LA or New York to launch my acting career.

  • I should get a flexible job so I could attend every single audition.

  • I should audition for every company and show, even those I had no interest in.

It was overwhelming!

Over time, I realized that these "shoulds" were not serving me. They were not my voice, but the voices of others. These expectations were not helping me to build a fulfilling, authentic creative journey. They were holding me back.

So, I decided to break free from the "shoulds". It wasn't easy, but it was definitely worth it.

I want to share with you the four ways to mitigate the "shoulds" in your creative life that I have discovered through my journey.

1. Treat advice like an experiment, not a rulebook.

Yes, there is a lot of valuable advice out there, but remember that it's just advice. You need to filter it and decide if it's right for you. Try things out, see how they feel, and if they don't work for you, let them go.

2. Define your own version of success.

Only you can decide what success looks like for you. Write it down, visualize it, and make it your guiding light. This will help you to identify what is and is not worth sacrificing.

3. Identify your current values and priorities.

When we don't know what's important to us, we tend to seek out definitions from others. Take charge of your life by defining your own values and priorities. This will help to diminish the power of the "shoulds".

4. Explore alternative approaches to your version of success.

If what you're doing feels like a "should" rather than a "want", it's time to find a new path. Remember, there isn't just one way to achieve your goals. Rethink what aligns with your values and priorities, and utilize your personal strengths.

Breaking free from the "shoulds" was a life-changing decision for me. It allowed me to find my own voice and pursue my creative career and build a business in a way that felt authentic and fulfilling.


🎙️💖 If you like this article, you might like listening to these episodes of The Empowered Creatives Podcast.

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