Updated: Mar 3, 2021
It's that inner part of you that says no.
The part that pushes back, that won't have it, that insists on something being different.
It's the part of you that you often had to suppress as a child while in school, and that part that you perhaps even more often have to suppress in your day-to-day life as an adult.
So by habit we tend to try to squelch the inner rebel, because following that voice may have gotten us into trouble before. But though it may be true that pushing down the rebellious voice has kept us safe in certain situations, the fact is that our inner rebel actually has quite a lot to teach us, especially when it comes to creativity.
Because the thing is, creativity is most alive in us when we're connected to what we want. When we're fully present in the moment and aware of our desire (to move, to paint, to put the next word on the page, or whatever our creative impulse might be), that's when creativity flows most freely.
This comes into play when we think about what we're 'supposed' to do creatively as well. Over the years we all accumulate certain ideas of how our creative process is supposed to go. We gather these notions from teachers, from popular culture, and from advice about creativity that we actively seek out.
But anytime there's a 'should' or a 'supposed to' present in our ideas about creativity, we may find the inner rebel popping up---and for good reason. Your inner rebel is protective of you, and it simply wants you to be able to follow your most fulfilling impulses. Any external influence, however well-meaning, may result in creative blocks or obstacles, because the suggestions in question simply may not be right for you.
And so the inner rebel comes to the rescue. It says, "No, I will not wake up at 5 in the morning because that one creativity guru said I should." It shouts its refusal to schedules and deadlines and whatever else may be in place to try to rein it in.
And these protests are where we get the most useful clues. Because once we know what we absolutely do not want to do, we have a far clearer idea of what we do want to do. Which is how an upward spiral of positive creative flow gets started.
So embrace that rebelliousness. Ask it what it really wants creatively, and then follow its voice. It is here to serve you and your creativity, as soon as you're ready to let it.
If you'd like some help getting to know your inner rebel and listening more closely to its cues, let me know! One-on-one coaching is a rich, fruitful path towards the self-knowledge that leads you into a deeper, more productive relationship with your creative work.