July 4

As a creative pro, it can sometimes feel as if there are too many con- straints placed on you. You must navigate the expectations of your client, your manager, your peers, the marketplace, and any other stakeholder who wants to ensure that their particular needs are met through your work. It can feel as if each of those constraints is a limitation of your cre- ative freedom. However, true freedom is not sourced in permission from others; it is internal. Others can only limit your creative freedom if you surrender it to them. Your job as a pro is to leverage your intuition and skills to deliver something great within those constraints, even when they feel artificial. At times, the constraints may be so numerous that your options are truly limited, but that doesn’t mean you’ve been robbed of your creative freedom. It simply means that you must self-limit in order to deliver on your expectations.

When you see others as the arbiters of your personal creative free- dom, it’s easy to adopt a victim mindset, which can lead to a downward spiral both mentally and emotionally. Instead, embrace the default posi- tion of creative freedom. Do the best work you can within the constraints you’re given, and you will experience fulfillment. Rail against your con- straints, and you will struggle. Remember: no one can rob you of your freedom—you can only surrender it.

Your creative freedom is sourced internally, not externally.


Do you ever feel as if your creative freedom is being taken from you? How can you embrace the ethic of inner creative freedom?

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