Authenticity for Creatives: The Art of Being Sincere

Authenticity for Creatives: The Art of Being Sincere

November 2021, while we were prepping for our first NGDX event, I was juggling between two roles as the creative director of Levitate, and also co founder of NGD while YouDesign was at its alpha stage and was due for beta launch at the conference. Yoh! there was no time! Period! Often times when I look at my calendar, I am booked back to back, with meetings, design work, catching up with leads, hitting targets, all of which reduces personal time with family or even sleep! Not much has changed really. I guess I am just more aware of what is driving me to do what I do, and for what purpose at any given point. NGDX has come and gone, but many connections established during that event are still lasting today.

In a world that celebrates extroverted qualities, it’s easy to assume that those who always appear outgoing and sociable are living their best lives. They seem to effortlessly navigate social situations, making friends and connections wherever they go. With creatives however, we tend to have a preference for carving out personal space to process and grow the craft. This capacity to turn inward is a significant contributor to the creative prowess, but is it the single most effective contributor?

Extroverted traits are often associated with success in various aspects of life, from careers to personal relationships, thus, for many, adopting an extroverted facade becomes a coping mechanism. They push themselves to be more outgoing, attend social gatherings, and engage in small talk, all in a bid to fit in and gain social acceptance. On the surface, they may seem like extroverts, but deep down, they are battling anxiety, which can be a mentally and even physically exhausting experience. Is there another way to position the mind from feeling this way as creatives?

It’s crucial to recognise that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to social interaction. Some people genuinely thrive in social settings and draw energy from them, while others find solace and strength in quieter, more introspective moments. It’s okay to be introverted, extroverted, or anywhere in between if the aim is to advance you towards your purpose.

I have caught myself showing up at gatherings sometimes at odd hours with the aim of showing a side of me that is important to deepen partnerships on the corporate side, while I also never shy away from a whole weekend of aloneness to reboot, process past days, develop thoughts and ideas, sleep and whatever replenishes the energy.

The path to personal fulfilment involves more than just embracing your authentic self; it also entails recognizing the influences that shape you along the way.

Instead of perceiving yourself as merely conforming to societal expectations of extroversion, consider using social gatherings as a fertile ground to test your ideas and establish genuine connections that can expand your sphere of influence. Authenticity doesn’t involve conforming to a predetermined mold; it’s about being sincere in your interactions and wholeheartedly embracing your unique qualities.

As a creative, it’s crucial to strike a balance. While introversion may be your natural inclination, showing an extroverted side is equally critical. It has the potential to deepen connections with others who appreciate the value of your craft.

Remember, the talent you possess is meant to be shared with the world, for others to enjoy and be inspired by. So, come out of your shell and make meaningful connections without feeling like the world is forcing you to be social against your will. It’s all part of the tapestry of life.

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