This is my interview question I ask internally when stepping into communities--athletic communities, spiritual communities, work communities, creative projects with artists--the cellular environment of a system.
"Will joining this certain community offer robustness enough to support growth--or just sufficient for a little just change?"
Will I actually create something here?
It's no surprise that when we find communities to help us ask these questions, we experience some massive shifts in how we create.
What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if I do nothing?
What if I fail? Does the group support me in my goals? Does the group know what my goals are--have I stated them thusly? Am I supported when I don't make my goal? Am I encouraged to get back up and try again?
What if I succeed? Believe it or not, many families/tribes view rising to the top as a form of dismantling the group. Tribe energy is cohesive, unitive. If you succeed, does this endanger the integrity of the group? Does this tribe celebrate with you when you make your mark?
What if I do nothing? Here's the trick: for most of us, if we do nothing, nothing happens. No punishment. No reward. Doing nothing is very easy--and easy to get away with. Will your group tolerate you doing nothing [creative]?
Now, on to the creative act... Brené Brown speaks to stepping up to be seen and heard for your creative offerings--sometimes within critical communities.
I am para-quoting here, but I highly recommend the video: Brene Brown on The Power of Being Vulnerable [and the whole series for that matter]
"When you start to be vulnerable and take chances you will be holding a very uncomfortable mirror up for some people. And if you're surrounded by people who are critical, it's because daring greatly--to watch someone be vulnerable and risk, to
watch someone walk headlong into uncertainty--is so uncomfortable for people who are not willing to do that. They are dying to see failure...and to point it out...
as confirmation that my way of living is okay. "
I recently witnessed a lovely ceremony in which a colleague was asked to participate publicly, without notice. Of course he agreed, and he stepped way up. There is something so captivating in one's willingness to be put on the spot, to be vulnerable--open to inspiration, open to their heart--even open to the possibility of failure! Witnessing someone play their edge before you is one of the most thrilling events in life! I live for those moments in sports, in oration, in music performance when someone goes way out on a limb and works with It there.
Brené: It's so easy to make a life/career out in the bleachers. People who are stepping into the arena, being seen, and showing up give feedback that is so much more constructive, useful and mindful.
Unless you are in some capacity getting your ass kicked on a regular basis, I don't have time for your criticism.
One of the greatest losses happening today is that there are people with amazing gifts, that can make a better place, but because of the fear-driven critics, we'll miss their gifts, their stories, their ideas, their music, their service....
We'll never see/know it because there are reflexively cynical, critical, and mean-spirited individuals secretly rallying to see you fail--or hold you in the fold, well below your edge.
So is your community one that encourages you to jump?
"If you fly, then it looks like I'm not testing my edges, and living my fullest, most vulnerable, inspired life," say the critics.
So go ahead...Jump!