The High Price

“You are only free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every pace — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

Maya Angelou

I’m sure I’ve written about this Maya Angelou quote before but it bears repeating.

Creativity can so easily get stifled by anxiety around what other people think. A worry about how people perceive me has been a constant in my life, as I’m sure it is for many people. The real challenge is to recognize that our innate power comes from within. It isn’t given or taken away by others.

When we realize that we “belong no place,” that we bring our own belonging around with us, the confidence that forms as a result might scare others away. We’re bound to rub up against negative reactions when expressing ourselves authentically. I believe that to be the “high price.”

But the reward is indeed great. We can get a heck of a lot more done as creatives when we are drawing from our own pool of inspiration and curiosity, not other people’s. We can connect much more closely with our work when it’s genuinely our own. And that authenticity will always shine through, enhancing the beauty of the work for those witnessing it.

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