The “You Are So Totally Worth It Jar”

I’ve been feeling rather uncreative lately.  I have worked on lots of projects, sure, but the Muses don’t seem to be smiling on poor little me and frankly, it’s given me the blues.

*insert harmonica riff .wav here*

I hate complaining about things and hadn’t said anything to anybody about this current drought of creativity, so when Kim (one of my besties) paid me a huge compliment, it caught me completely off guard.

“You know how you meet people who have high ambitions in life,” she said, “and you think, ‘Yeah, good luck with that…’?  I have honestly never felt that way about you.”

Whoa. 

I confessed to her that I frequently do feel that way about myself.  How do I know I’m really any good at the things I like to do?  Sometimes it’s difficult for me to believe that people aren’t just being nice when they tell me that they like my stories or my art or my photography.

But Kim’s comment really stuck with me, and not just because she had said something nice.  You know how some compliments are just compliments for the sake of being nice? “I like that shirt,” or “Great haircut!” Somehow I knew her compliment wasn’t one of those.  It was genuine.  She meant every word, and wasn’t just saying things to make me feel better because she didn’t know I was feeling bad in the first place.

And I wanted to remember that.  I wanted to remember how I felt when she said it: confident, strong, successful.

We creative people are way too hard on ourselves.  Always. We might have moments when we feel confident in our writing/art/music/underwater basket weaving, but those moments are far too fleeting. When we forget those moments, self doubt can hinder the creative process and make it hard for us to do what we love most.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here.  You all know what I’m talking about.  And I want to tell you, right here, right now

YOU ARE SO TOTALLY WORTH IT

You are better than you think you are.  Those compliments you get? Remember them.  Use them to help you feel better when you’ve got the Creativity Drought Blues.

This is going to sound totally narcissistic of me, but after Kim gave me that awesome compliment, I decided to start collecting compliments. I wrote it down on a slip of colored paper and folded it into this cute little star:

I'm a Star!

Every genuine compliment that I receive is going to get the same treatment, and then I’m going to put all the stars in a jar, which I will lovingly refer to as the “You Are So Totally Worth It” Jar. I’m going to hide it away so nobody thinks I’m really vain, but then, whenever I’m feeling like the worst writer in the world, I can look at my little jar and remember that even if I don’t think I have any value, these people did.

Lots of people keep gratitude journals.  I think people should start So Totally Worth It journals, jars, whatever so we don’t forget how awesome we are.

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