How to Stand Tall in the Battlefield of the Creative Process


](’ve never been face-to-face with a lion…_

I’ve never faced anything that required very much courage, come to think of it. I’ve never engaged in battle; I haven’t been attacked by gunfire like Jennifer Garner in an old Alias rerun. I haven’t even had to stand up to online bullies or mean girls at school.

It’s easy to see the stories of others who have overcome incredible obstacles and give due-credit to their valor: a woman who has escaped an abusive relationship has valor. A man who has fought a battle with cancer while maintaining a full-time job to provide for his family. A couple who has worked tirelessly with the foster care system to provide a loving home for someone else’s children…I see these battles courageously fought and conquered, and I think, how does one develop this kind of courage ? Is it only revealed in light of life-altering experiences, or can I develop it now?

In my lifetime, I’ve had plenty of things I’ve had to overcome, whether or not they seem like giants…

Sometimes the lion is right in front of you, whether or not it’s an actual living, breathing animal. In college, finals week was my little lion. For some, it’s a challenging familial relationship. For others, it’s an anxiety disorder or a physical health battle. Sometimes, just the idea of Tuesday itself can be a lion.HOW TO STAND TALL IN THE BATTLEFIELD OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS So when you’re faced with a pretty normal, roaring day, how do you choose to be a woman of valor? For me, it’s in three small steps:

Show Up: Show up for work (on time). Show up to community events — yes, even if you’re an introvert. Show up for friends and family who need you. Getting over yourself and developing tenacity now will benefit you as it becomes easier with practice.

Be Honest: Proactively speak truth, even when it’s difficult. It’s harder to confront things head-on than it is to skirt around tough talks, but it’s much more effective in the long run — and choosing to make honesty a habit can help smaller issues from growing into larger lions. Instead of avoiding the hard conversations, meet them with conviction (and kindness, of course). If you’re honest in the day-to-day, it will be more natural to speak truth in a setting where much more is at stake.

Give It Your All: In a lion’s den, you wouldn’t avoid the animal because you were afraid of it, would you? You might be able to hide behind a rock for a bit, but ultimately, there’d be no chance for survival. Think of your daily battles the same way. Stand up to them with lion-like courage, and fight until you’ve overcome each one. When a larger beast comes your way, you’ll have confidence that you’ve conquered baby cubs — and certainly, you can face a lion, too. 

Photos by Karen Marie Co. in style collaboration with Caroline Artime 


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Ana Pierce

Founder at She Learns Things