What define yourself

“To diverge from the mainstream and from mediocrity takes a lot of guts, and it takes a lot of bravery.

“And to be in a movie that is all about that is so exciting to me, because I want to encourage everyone to take a step toward sovereignty.”

Shailene Woodley

From article Shailene Woodley embraces being divergent, by Noelene Clark, Los Angeles Times March 21, 2014.

[Photo from facebook.com/Divergent]

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“Listening to your heart is not simple. Finding out who you are is not simple. It takes a lot of hard work and courage to get to know who you are and what you want.”

That is a quote by Sue Bender, author of Everyday Sacred: A Woman’s Journey Home.

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According to an article, Mena Suvari was raised in an affluent family in Rhode Island, and “the 28-year-old actress says her upbringing was so sheltered, she never even learned how to take out the garbage.

“Then, soon after achieving stardom in 1999’s American Beauty, the then-21-year-old married cinematographer Robert Brinkmann, 17 years her senior.

“During that marriage, which lasted five years, she remained insecure and dependent. ‘I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t capable of doing things,’ she says. ‘I felt as if I were waiting for someone to validate me.’

The article adds, “After her divorce, she moved into her own home for the first time and began to see herself as an individual, not as someone’s wife or daughter. ‘I’ve gotten to the point where all the love that I need, all the support that I need, the confidence, I can give myself. It’s empowering and freeing.’

“She also takes great pride in her ability to accomplish such tasks as building her own bookcase or hanging her own holiday decorations. ‘One year I was like, I am going to put up those damn Christmas lights outside by myself. My guy friends would ask, Can I do that for you? and I’d be like, No! I have to do this, because to me it’s an accomplishment.’

[From a Page Six Magazine article by Stephanie Trong.]

Hilary Swank has commented about achievement: “As in life, your mind can be the hugest obstacle or tool, depending on how you choose to use it. And I find that a lot of people who are successful in life say, ‘I can do this, and I will do this.’

“Their minds don’t get in their way; whereas people who wake up and say, ‘Oh, I can’t,’ their mind is in their way, and it’s going to stop them from doing what they need to do to achieve their dream.”

[Photo: as boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby.]

But various fears and anxieties can get in the way of realizing our dreams.

Arianna Huffington points out, “Fear is universal; we all have fear.”

Certainly men can experience as much self-limiting fear as women, but Huffington notes in her book On Becoming Fearless, some fears “do tend to be more prevalent among women than men, including fear of staying single; fear of imperfection; fear of failure; of ugliness; of loneliness; of growing old; public speaking; ridicule; being alone; getting wrinkles.”

From post: Arianna Huffington on empowering yourself .

Psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel addresses in his work and books the issue of how important meaning is for creative people in defining themselves, engaging their talents and maintaining mental health.

He says, “Even before you can make meaning, you must nominate yourself as the meaning-maker in your own life and fashion a central connection with yourself, one that is more aware, active, and purposeful than the connection most people fashion with themselves.

“Self-connection — understanding that you are your own advocate, taskmaster, coach, best friend, and sole arbiter of meaning and that no one else can or will serve those functions for you — is crucial.”

From Eric Maisel’s “Van Gogh Blues” Explores Connection and Meaning-making as Treatments for Depression, an interview by Janet Grace Riehl.

Hillary Clinton, in her Commencement Address at CUNY Honors Graduation May 31, 2005, said one of her great personal heroines was Eleanor Roosevelt.

“The more I know about her, the more I admire her. A woman who may have come from privilege but had very little support in the family in which she was born. Who in a very American way invented herself.”

Clinton quoted Roosevelt:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do.”

[From the page Courage / confidence.]

[Portait from C-SPAN First Ladies Page: Eleanor Roosevelt.]


Here is some information about my related Kindle book :

Identity and Confidence

How does your identity affect how well you make use of your creative abilities? How does confidence impact your energy and enthusiasm for creative work?

If you are a solo artist or craftsperson, you may sign your work, like Vincent van Gogh did: the book cover image is a detail of one of his paintings.

But even if you do creative work as part of a team and organization, your personality and how you define and think about yourself, your self concept and self esteem, are part of your creative expression.

See a listing of the book Sections, read excerpts and more information on the page:Book: Identity and Confidence

Or, go directly to Amazon.com to read 1st pages and purchase the Kindle:
Identity and Confidence


Related articles

Fretting about mediocrity
“Linus, the smartest of the Peanuts gang, has just received his first “B” ever on his report card, and now here he is, age six, fretting away about not getting into the college of his choice. ‘I am burdened by a great potential,’ he exclaims. I couldn’t have put it any better. God knows I’ve tried.” Hugh MacLeod.

Finding Joy in Creating
Will Smith reminds us, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” Career change mentor Valerie Young writes: “People told you to put away your silly ideas about being ‘happy’ and just get a ‘good job.’ So everyone from your guidance counselor to your mother swayed you toward being a teacher or an engineer or an executive. There’s just one problem. You’re miserable. And sadly, you’re not alone. As Benjamin Disraeli once said, ‘Most people will die with their music still in them.’ … Pianist and composer Clara Schumann: “There is nothing that surpasses the joy of creation, if only because through it one wins hours of self-forgetfulness, when one lives in a world of sound.”

Living and Creating: Fear Is Not A Disease
What we call fear may really be excitement: emotional and physiological arousal. Creativity coach and author Eric Maisel, PhD notes it can sometimes be hard to distinguish nervous tension from anxiety or fear. … Natalie Portman once commented: “Fear is intrinsic to everything you do as a creative person. You’re constantly putting yourself up there to be trashed. If I thought about it too much, I’d just be crippled. I’d rather create.”


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Filed Under: Creative Women, IdentityTagged With: anxiety, self-concept, self-esteem and creative people
By Douglas Eby: Resume | Facebook/The Creative Mind page