Strengthening Personal Resilience

Pressifield says; “The enemy of the artist is the small-time Ego, which begets Resistance, which is the dragon that guards the gold.” [The War of Art 2012]


The Victim

In the The War of Art] (2012) Pressfield labels the enemy of artistic practice creative resistance.  Some people call this state of resistance procrastination.   Resistance can simply be defined as a destructive force inside human nature that rises whenever we consider a tough, long-term course of action.  Think of the amount of hours, dedication and practice it would take to become an internationally acclaimed world-class pianist.

Why Developing Artists Need to Build Resilience

The creative arts require what are called mastery experiences.   Not just one but many of them and unfortunately, usually they are required to be experienced on a daily basis.   Fortunately mastery experiences can be facilitated for students and teachers in small chunks.  These chunks are often described as elements of creative knowledge and they are combined by a kind of lubricant called principles. It takes quite a long time and a lot of effort to combine all of these elements and principles in just such a way as to bring forth a powerfully liberated creative artist.

Be a Part of the Lifestyle of Creativity Explosion Worldwide

There is a creativity explosion occurring worldwide because artists can find ample support in creative communities of practice to sustain their need for emotional and educational encouragement online.  These online communities of practice are often called CLIPs: Communities of Learning Inquiry and Practice.  As more and more online communities come together, they provide evidence that there is a creative genius hidden in each and every one of us if we are willing to take the time and accept the support needed to foster and nurture this capacity. 

Treasuring the Opportunity to Design a Creative Lifestyle

There is no such thing as treasure won without effort.  Any gift that has come too easily will dissipate just as easily.  This is because it has not been valued or fought for.  But this level of ability entwined with mass- potential for creativity has its enemies and Pressfield (2012) provides for us a rogue’s gallery of the many manifestations of this condition of closed mindedness. As you read the book you will recognize each and every one of the lil’ devils described, for this force lives within us all

—   self-sabotage

—   self-deception

—   self-corruption

Writers know it as “block,” a creativity paralysis whose symptoms can bring on all manner of excuses for indecision and inability to perform at all let alone act and think creatively.

Artists Must Develop Positive Intelligence in a Proactive Way

In the book Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential AND HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOURS (Chamine, 2012) talks about Positive Intelligence and he also says that Creativity Saboteurs are a universal phenomenon – they are the characterisation of feelings of insecurity that all people have when they face a daunting task.   Have you ever watched someone play the piano or work on a sculpture and thought?  “Oh! I could never do that!”

This is because to be able to design a creative lifestyle people need to be taught the basic building blocks and structure and steps of any creative process.   Pressfield claims that the question is not – whether you have creativity saboteurs – but which ones affect you and how strong they are.  Saboteurs that act as blocks to creativity are universal—spanning cultures, genders, and age groups—because they are connected to the functions of the brain that are focused on survival.   All people from all cultures develop saboteurs early in childhood.    People do this in order to survive the perceived threats of life, both physical and emotional.

Unfortunately later in life these saboteurs become redundant and are no longer needed.   By taking an inner journey creative individuals risk taking a long, hard sustained look at their invisible foe and provide themselves with a perfect opportunity to “slay the dragon”. 

To be able to develop this creative attitude to resilience each individual has to look at his or her own fears – or the discouraging things their saboteurs say – and face up to the challenge that these annoying little whispers provide.  By acknowledging fear for just what it is FEAR (Usually of failure) artists can dismiss the negative thoughts that hold them back and take up so much time and energy. 

We can turn this thing called fear into a resolute belief that “I can face everything and respond.”



About Brisbane Artist

Jo is a Creative Arts Teacher from Down Under, Jo lives in tropical paradise Brisbane Queensland.AU The topic that fascinates Jo is a Rapid eLearning The types of subjects Jo writes about thrive on synergy and so does she. Creativity and self expression are essential components of the curriculum, and yet so often they are overlooked as the source of self efficacy and resilience. Jo has been studying how to harness the power of multimedia and the creative arts as a therapist and community worker. Passionate about developing communities of like minded people who accompany each other on a path toward spiritual, psychological and physical health, Jo seeks to remain open to all possible forms and ways of personal and community expression. By challenging all educators to connect the various kinds of art, Jo hopes to dialogue about how the Creative Arts can be a made a more explicitly vital part of everyday lived experience. Teaching Art and being a Creative Arts Therapist has fostered a passion for personal development and for healing within community. Jo has an interest in all aspects of natural healing that promote inner balance and well being.
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