‘Creative Control’ in the artistic world is usually defined as someone who has “the authority to make decisions in the context of a creative project.” In the music world, it can be a decided reason to stay indie rather than signing to a major label. It means YOU get to call the shots on the direction and style of your work and how the finished product turns out.
When you think of your life as a work of art (as I believe it is), then it becomes vital to determine who is holding the creative control. This is the person who will determine the final outcome, after all.
Often, we give our creative control away.
We let our need to please others dictate the choices that we make. We have the role, we have the power but we convince ourselves that we aren’t ‘good enough’ in some way. The role still must be filled, so we begin either consciously or unconsciously trying to fill it.
Perhaps you look to that one instagram girl who has all the followers and ‘perfect’ photographic feed. Maybe you look to your friends because you deeply desire a feeling of belonging. Maybe you look to a mentor or a top dog in your industry because they MUST be doing something right. They all seem to know what they are doing. They all seem happier than you feel.
The truth is external resources and trust-worthy people can be valuable assets in your decision making and in your life. But they cannot transform your life into the true masterpiece that it could be.
Only YOU hold that paint brush.
But that’s the good news. When you know that life can be crafted like a work of art and you just happen to be an artist, you stop side-stepping the real work. You stop waiting on others. You own your story and decide to make it a page turner.
How you can seize creative control:
Claim your role.
You’ve already got the job. The truth is, the role is already yours. You can choose to show up or not but it is already your job for as long as you are here on Earth. You might as well enjoy the benefits, right?
If this is a difficult step for you, lean into your creativity. You can even write yourself an acceptance letter from the universe welcoming you on board as the creative director of your life. It may sound cheesy, but the more you ways you send your mind this message, the more your start to believe it and step up to the task at hand.
Claim your narrative.
What is your vision? What do you truly want for for your life as a whole? How do you want to feel along the way? Taking the time to sit with your vision will help you understand where you should point your arrow.
Our time is limited. We can’t act on every story that we may want to explore or tell in our life. So you must prioritize. What is the MOST important vision you hold? Journal, create a vision board, or just meditate on your answer.
Claim your purpose.
Steve Jobs once said, “Life can be so much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call 'life' was made up by people who were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”
As artists in the field of life, we have to continue our work. We have choose to matter. We must choose to create meaning. Life is what you make it mean. No palm reader, astrological chart, or powerful person can give you any more meaning than you can give yourself.
Our entire system of life was made up by people. You are a person. And further more, if you have already done step one, you are a creative director at that! It’s time to act like it, gem!