We may be humans and not personal computers, but nevertheless the internal Operating System (OS) we each run ultimately decides how creative, adventurous and successful we feel our creative lives are.
What do we mean by your OS??
If your mind itself is the computer or the hardware, then the contents of your mind – all your thoughts and beliefs – is the Operating System.
If you’re trying to run cutting edge, complex, incredibly creative software, and you want your computer to be performing at its best, then having an overloaded OS full of outdated and fragmented files is going to cripple its ability to function well.
It’d be like trying to run a brand new computer with an OS from 10, 15, even 20 years ago. The weakest link is not the lightning fast processor, the vast expanses of memory or the retina quality graphics card. It’s the creaky, limited OS.
Before we disappear into too much geek speak, let’s look at a simple real life example of what I mean.
I’ve been teaching salsa for about two and a half years or so. I currently teach four lessons a week, and have done at least three a week for a long while, so I get a fair amount of experience.
But when someone new asks me about how long I’ve been teaching salsa, there’s a part of me that thinks: “Oh, you mean ME? Well I’m not REALLY a salsa teacher, I just sort of turn up and show people roughly how to do a few moves and hope they get it.”
Or, worse still, I look around to see if there’s a “proper” salsa teacher behind me that the stranger was directing their questions at.
My own Operating System in this area is still stuck in a previous era maybe four or five years ago when I hadn’t even danced a step of salsa, and never dreamed I’d ever dance it, let alone teach it and be good at it.
My beliefs haven’t caught up with the reality.
If I could indulge in another personal example. I went through a difficult emotional time in my late teens, and had a few issues with eating, and especially eating publicly. That was literally decades ago.
But even now, if I’m asked to dinner with a group of people, I occasionally briefly revert back to the old me of my late teens and think “I can’t possibly eat in public, I have issues with eating, didn’t you know?”
Again it’s a broken, outdated old file in my OS that still sometimes influences my current thinking and beliefs. It’s not the current reality, which is that I love cooking and eating and regularly enjoying eating out with others,
Can you think of similar examples in your own life? Where what you believe about yourself is outdated and redundant, but still casting a strong influence over what you do (or what you don’t even attempt to do)?
Specifically, in the areas of creating, are there beliefs you hold that simply aren’t relevant and true any more?
For example, despite the fact that you’ve written thousands of words this year already, you still don’t think you’re a writer? Or, even though you’re an active photographer who’s regularly approached for commissioned work , you still don’t think you’re a “proper” photographer?
Start a page in a notebook and write down all your outdated thoughts and beliefs that just aren’t true anymore (and maybe never were anyway!).
Add to it over the next few weeks as other thoughts come to you. You’ll be surprised just how much old junk we all carry around in our heads that limits our actions and our creativity.
Each time you identify an outdated belief, ask yourself what you really believe now in that area. And if that belief isn’t strong, or positive enough, then write out a new one to use instead.
It’s time you updated your OS. That amazing computer that is your creative mind deserves nothing less than the best!
If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, please take a few seconds and use the buttons below to share with others who might like it too.
If it’s your first time here, you might like to subscribe to receive new posts. Thanks for reading.