There are invisible leashes strung around our necks from a very young age. People telling us what to do and how to live our lives. As time goes on, we pull against these leashes less and less. We become accustomed to the constricting feeling. The desire to be led through life by unseen masters.
This is something that I’ve felt for a long time. The opinions of others have yanked on my mind for years. I sometimes feel like the real me has been choked nearly to death. It all comes from my obsessive desire to please others. To create the kind of art they want. Or worse, to try to please my idea of what the market wants.
I have to thank Essi Välimäki for reigniting this idea. I read her repost on Instagram (@susitse.art), showing a wolf being tethered by dozens of leashes.
These leashes are keeping you from doing what you want. What you need, in fact, to be your true self. There will always be disparaging voices in your head, mocking your work or belittling you. What you require are counter voices to balance them out.
When going through the start of RuPaul’s masterclass, he spoke of creating a positive inner voice. There’s no way to entirely silence the negativity we carry around with us. So instead, we can create a voice of reason (a sort of logical counter-balance) that will be just a little bit louder than the negative influences.
Once you identify these leashes, and know them for what they are, you can start to dispel their power. One leash might be the voice of a doubting parent or friend. Another might be a teacher who crushed your individuality in her desire to have you conform. But these are just ghosts. The only power they continue to have is that which we give them.
So cut your leashes, one by one, until you are free to run through the world. You may never be truly rid of these inner-voices, but knowing they are there is the first step to removing the muzzle and discovering your own authentic voice.
Run free and create.