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Express Yourself – 5 Ways to Awaken Your Inner Artist

Express Yourself – 5 Ways to Awaken Your Inner Artist

As children, we would dream of drawing, painting, building things from scratch and living the dream with art. It was considered as something majestic and inspiring. Unfortunately, as we grow, this dream of living it up as an artist gets trampled by reality

The older we get, the more we realise that our occupation would have to be something more lucrative and quick to pick up. Art is not necessarily that, since it takes a lot of learning, practicing and overcoming obstacles in order to become even remotely successful; and the financial side of art doesn’t look promising, either.

For that reason, as adults we tend to work in other areas, those that are considered profitable, and, in a way, we put our creative side in the dark. However, no matter how busy we get, and our various obligations, we shouldn’t kill our creativity for the sake of other people and work. We should let it flourish, and enjoy every moment of it. Here is how it can be done, in five different ways to be precise. Some of them may just be hobbies, but they can also turn into jobs.

1. Start doing things

By sitting idly, waiting for things to come to you, you won’t achieve anything. In order to succeed and get the desired results, you will need to put some work into it. For example, if you want to be a painter, graphic designer or similar, start drawing. Buy a notebook and start creating figures, drawings and learn various techniques.

Even if your skill level is not perfect – do it. Fear never helped anyone, and it will only hold you back. Therefore, get down to work, and start creating.

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Moreover, if you like writing, start writing sentences, no matter how random they are. You could start off with a journal, or simply by putting your thoughts on paper. Through time this can evolve into something longer and more complex, like short stories.

Eventually, you can transition into running your own blog. First of all, it is easy to create a blog, even with no real coding knowledge, and can even be successfully monetized – if done right. The best part is that you can write about any subject you want, like fashion, personal stories or comments on life in general.

2. Find inspiration around you

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    One thing that will surely get you started is inspiration. Whatever you want to do, whether it is painting, singing or writing, you will need to start from somewhere, and that point is the small “a-ha!” moment, when the light bulb in your head turns on. To find this stimulus, you can do many things.

    For example, start traveling. Nothing provides more inspiration than discovering the world, with all its many cultures and diverse people. Actually, there is no need to leave your home country; you can also explore your country by going on weekend trips to lakes, mountains or other cities. There are beautiful locations all around you, at every corner.

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    Other than traveling, just enjoy life. Spend time alone, with friends or meet new people. Sharing thoughts with others could give you new insights into their worldviews and ways of thinking. From this, you could create so much, and such gorgeous art. After all, your art is the reflection of your life.

    3. Try something new by attending courses about it

    Have you been interested in something for years, but never had the guts to try it out? Well, now is your time. You can sign up for various classes about cooking, sewing or any other skill you can think of. Whatever it is, it will certainly help with making your creative juices flow.

    For example, you could attend a photography or a writing workshop. No matter if you already possess certain skills, going to these classes could help you learn something new or awaken some old, long-forgotten skills. Moreover, it gives you a nice base to start from as a rejuvenated artist.

    Unless you push towards it, creativity will never come to you. Therefore, do not be afraid to try new things, and learn about the ones you are already familiar with. Who knows, you may find new and better ways of expressing yourself, and starting something fresh.

    4. Start doodling

    Let’s say you want to perfect your drawing skills because you want to become an artist. Well, a good starting point would be to start doodling in your notebook. Actually, you might be already doing this, while waiting for time to pass, talking on the phone or similar situations. The action is oftentimes involuntary, but it can result in some amazing sketches. Not only is it good as a distraction, it is great as a way of improving creativity, and an exercise for artists.

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    Your small drawing could turn into something bigger. Imagine that you doodle the same thing over and over again, every time. Eventually you would become an expert in those particular types drawings, which could then be turned into a profitable business.

    For example, you could be great with typography. You could turn this random doodling into a proper job of designing signs, posters, making invitations or a bunch of other stuff. Not only would it be lucrative, but it would also help you become the artist you’ve always wanted to be.

    5. Read books, listen to music and keep learning

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      Lastly, the oldest and the best ways of finding yourself in the artistic world would have to be these: books, music and education. There is so much information you could gather from there, but you would also become more creative along the way. For instance, reading books leads you to a variety of different worlds, both real and unreal.

      In a way, you live a thousand lives and travel a thousand journeys. From all that, you learn, develop as a person, and develop as an artistic personality. Music has the same effect. Just think about how much you listen to it in your everyday life.

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      Some people cannot go without music, at all. They listen to it while commuting, while working, while sitting at home. Music provides inspiration, and an understanding of emotions. It is a healer and a teacher, at the same time.

      Finally, no matter your age, or how busy you think you are, you should never stop learning. Education is the most important part of your life, and it should always be encouraged. You could read educational books, attend classes – online classes count, as well – go to workshops, get more diplomas, etc.

      The best thing about education is that it can come from any interaction and any action you do. For example, you could learn a new thing just by talking to a friend or a colleague. You could also gain new knowledge by watching documentaries. The point is, knowledge is all around us. All you have to do is be willing to take it for yourself.

      Creativity doesn’t come with birth – it is learned and nurtured, throughout your life. To be an artist takes time, it takes skills and, most importantly, it takes love for what you do. Therefore, if you truly believe in art, pursue it no matter what.

      Forget about the naysayers, and obstacles; they can be surpassed and forgotten about. Move forwards and do what you love. That is all that matters when expressing yourself and becoming an artist.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/markusspiske/ via pexels.com

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on March 15, 2019

      How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

      How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

      When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

      Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

      In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

      What Makes a Leader Fail?

      A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

      If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

      And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

      What Is Effective Leadership?

      Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

      Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

      Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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      “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

      How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

      To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

      1. Courage

      The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

      “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

      Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

      For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

      In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

      It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

      Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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      2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

      If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

      The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

      To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

      3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

      Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

      Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

      4. Likability

      Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

      When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

      Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

      So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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      5. Vulnerability

      Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

      When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

      6. Authenticity

      Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

      Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

      7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

      Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

      Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

      Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

      Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

      As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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      “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

      8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

      Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

      This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

      9. A Passion for Continual Learning

      Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

      These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

      Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

      The Bottom Line

      No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

      Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

      More Resources About Effective Leadership

      Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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