Using Your Limitations

“Limitations are often perceptions and not realities.” – Erwin McManus in The Artisan Soul

I could really just leave it at that and I think my point would be made, but what fun would that be?

I’ve been reading this book called The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus, which is basically discussing how creativity is essential to the Christian faith, etc. When McManus dropped that little truth bomb on me, I knew I had to share.

There have been so many blog posts written, by me, by you, by random strangers, about the different things hindering us from being our true creative selves. We fear we can’t properly express our feelings through our chosen medium, because it’s not enough.

According to McManus, it’s more than enough. Any sort of box you feel stuck in is created by you, not your work or what you’ve chosen to portray through it.

I don’t know about you, but that gives me chills.

When we think about the boundaries of our medium, whether it’s words or paint or clay or music, we think of them as walls. No one likes to feel trapped, so when we see those walls, we start to panic. What McManus suggests, is that we should see the walls as opportunities. So you have some limitations on what you can do (Ex: You can’t create another note in music. The notes are as they are. All you can do is rearrange them in a unique way that’s never been heard before. Same with words.)…well, how can you creatively achieve your goals while staying within your boundaries? This is where we artists should thrive. This is where we have to access our full creativity in order to deliver our message, whatever it may be.

So today, when you’re working on your chosen art, I challenge you to meet your walls face to face. Label them. Know what they are. Take your walls head on and find a way to work around them as only you can. Remember, you are the only one who can decide to prevail or to quit. Don’t choose the latter.

[Follow me on Twitter at @tclem91. Hopefully I’ll be tweeting more fun things today if I can remember my password.]

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