Pursuing Creative Freedom


Hello! Welcome to Called Collective. My name is Jocelyn Youngdahl and bringing this project together has been a dream of mine for years now. I can't wait for you to hear the voices of some incredible women we have writing for our blog!

For now, I'd love to share a few of my thoughts on a topic that is very near to my heart, and that is the fear of pursuing your dreams because of your own insecurities. This is certainly something that has been a challenge for me, as it has taken me years to pursue my dreams! I hope this resonates with you as well.

It's far too easy to let our current circumstances affect our passions and aspirations for the future. I've personally seen this reflected in my own creative confidence over the last few years. In a city like Nashville, it's easy to feel intimidated and excluded by the "it crowd" when it comes to letting your voice, ideas, and art be seen. Sometimes it feels like you have to be the ultimate cool girl with at least 10,000 Instagram followers in order to be considered a "creative."

For too long, I've let my fear of others not considering me to be creative hinder my passions, whether that be in photography, design, style, etc. I felt like I had been labeled as just another college student, rather than a creative professional, and that if I tried to express my creative side I wouldn't be taken seriously.

These labels were ones that I had placed on myself because I was fearful of not measuring up to the brilliant creatives around me. I felt like I had been placed in a labeled box and set aside with no voice in the decision of who I was or who I could be, yet I was actually the one who had placed myself in this box.

There are two types of jealousy that can be experienced when you compare yourself to others. The first is the feeling of contempt towards others when you are envious of what they have or do. In your mind, you belittle them because you don't understand why they've been given the gifts that you should have. On the other hand, there's the feeling of contempt for yourself. You are able to acknowledge how blessed and talented another person is, but in turn, you feel inferior and that you will never measure up to the talent of those around you.

There's a quote that says "Just because she's pretty doesn't mean you're not." Though this is speaking to feeling physically inferior, any word can replace pretty and still be just as applicable.

Just because she's creative doesn't mean you're not.

Just because she's intelligent doesn't mean you're not.

Just because she's brave doesn't mean you're not.

Just because she's admired doesn't mean you're not.

What you bring to the table is wonderful and unique. The only time it's not is when you're too paralyzed by the fear of not measuring up to even bring it in the first place. When we let the title of "creative" become this measure of status and popularity, we forget that being creative is a personal experience. Creativity is about expression, honesty, vulnerability, openness, and wonder. Expressing our creativity is a way to thank God for the gifts He has bestowed upon us, and a tool to point those around us to the ultimate Giver of gifts.

Today, let's acknowledge and celebrate the talent of those around us. Today, let's use their talent as an inspiration to us, not a barrier to our own creativity.

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
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