How to Stop Talking Yourself Out of Being Creative


Creativity makes you a better person. But because those creative ideas are easy to dismiss, you’ve got to stop talking yourself out of being creative. Each of us needs to learn to get over the excuses you may be giving yourself for not doing it. 

And that last piece is what I want to dive into today. Which is why I’m interviewing Zarinah El-Amin. Zarinah is the CEO of Book Power Publishing and the Power Author Academy.As well as the author of the brand new book Book Power: The Complete Self Publishing System to Build Your Business, Legacy, and Impact.

Zarinah is trained as an anthropologist and is a world traveler and socially conscious entrepreneur who is deeply committed to helping people share work that will uplift their own souls as well as humanity as a whole. She and I got to know each other when we were each members of a year-long mastermind. And I am so thankful our paths crossed and excited to have her here, so that we can talk about how to stop talking yourself out of being creative. 

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You work with folks to help them become authors. What do you see as the reasons that people give themselves for not pursuing their creative ideas. Whether that’s a book or something else? 

Yeah. Unfortunately I really feel like our society is living in this sort of creativity deficiency almost. You know, how we hear Vitamin D deficiency. You have all of these other B12, you need this, but we also need to get our creativity out. And I think that many people are not doing it one, simply because we’re already overwhelmed with everything else that is on our plate. We have jobs, we have families, we have businesses that we’re building. We have all of these things that are tugging at us.

And so it seems like being creative is just another thing added to the list. And if you’re going down this checklist of 35, 45 different things. To be creative can easily get pushed down and just never brought up to the front. So I think that people are very overwhelmed with what they have and they don’t necessarily see the value yet of how bringing your creativity outwards into the world can really enhance their entire life.

Hmm. I never thought about that, but yeah, creativity deficit,I think you’ve coined a new phrase. So, as someone who creates her own content and helps others write their books, I know from my own thought process and from my conversations with my clients that a big thought that comes up when we’re contemplating a new creative project is, “Who am I to do this?” Do you see that? And what do you have to say to that?

Oh my God. Yeah. The old friend, the imposter syndrome that hits every single one of us. You know, that imposter syndrome is a life suck. It really can suck the life out of all of your dreams and things that you want to bring out. You know, I think that when we have this world of millions of followers, people on Instagram have a million followers. You know, you hear all of these big, big groups of people that people lead. It can be difficult to feel like you can, like you fit in. You know, it’s like, am I really competing with someone that has this huge, huge following? Would they really want to listen to what I have to say? You know?

But I think one of the most important things to remember is that every single one of us has our own unique set of life circumstances that have brought us to where we are right now and your circumstances and your life experiences and the skills that you have that unique combination is different. There is no one else that has the exact same combination of experiences that you have. And so when you bring that uniqueness forward, you recognize that it can resonate and it can help someone else.

So when we’re working through imposter syndrome, one of the things that we discussed is one building up our, what we call like our inner author, you know, its our inner author armor. Building up our own sense of self, our own sense of confidence, our own sense of appreciation for those things that we’re bringing forward so that we can then go out there,and be able to share our, messages and share what we’re doing. And so a part of the ability to up your inner author armor is one, recognizing that you don’t have to adapt this mindset of “being an expert.”  You know, meaning that you have to be eons and eons beyond where anyone else is.

Like when someone wants to learn something. If someone can teach me just the next step. Like if I want to learn how to restore, I have an old 1964 Fairlane in my backyard, right? That I’m looking to restore it. I may not need like the expert expert, the person who has restored, you know, thousands of cars. I don’t need them to come and help me. That guy down the street that put a carburetor in, like he knows one little aspect of what I need to do. And he can be my quote unquote expert for that small step. You know what I mean?

And so I think one does recognizing that as long as we have something that can be of use to someone else, you don’t need to have 1,000,001 followers. You don’t need to have this email list. That’s thousands and thousands of people, you know, people will want what you have as long as you can be the aspirin to their headache. If, you know, if you can help them solve one of their problems. So that’s one of the first things we try to get into people’s mindset when this whole imposter syndrome comes up, can I be of use if the answer is yes, then let’s go.

Boom, I love it. You know, that’s funny because I have a 1969 Mustang sitting in my garage. We’ll have to talk about that.
One of these days we’ll have to go on a joy ride, right?
So I love how you talk about the inner author. And there are all of these inner reasons why we shy away from doing creative thing. But there are a lot of external ones too, which is you are alluding to in your first answer about how we’re all overwhelmed. And it can feel like, you know, item number 45 on your, to do list. So what’s a practical strategy or two, you can share with us about how to make sure we actually make time to devote to our creative projects.

I have been, especially during this pandemic time, really doing an internal audit. A real deep look at internally, how I feel, and then also everything that I have on my plate. And what I recognized is that the creative things that I added, I added gardening this summer and that gardening I’m telling you, Kate like changed my life, totally changed my life. It affected my business, everything right? And so I think one of the things is that you have to look at everything that you’re doing.

Like do an audit, like really sit down and really write down whether all of the things that I’m doing and then look at what can I redirect energy from? You know, where can I take some energy and put it towards something that actually is going to bring me a little bit more joy? Like nobody else has responsible for your joy in life, other than you, like, you have to be responsible for that.

You have to put yourself on the front burner. And recognizing that creativity is a key part of that. It’s a makeup for us human beings. It’s just a part of how we are made up. If you look all over the world, you’ll see artists, you’ll see people who are writers, people who paint, you know, people who take some fabric and do something together. Like creativity doesn’t mean that you’re going to have your stuff in the Metropolitan museum or whatever. So you don’t have to worry about trying to have it’s a hundred percent perfect. It’s just finding something that brings some joy, finding something that lightens the world up for you in that moment.

And recognizing that that is worthy and it is a sense of self care. And it’s a sense of I’m making this life worthwhile, you know, making the life worthwhile. So I think practically looking at what you are already doing and really being able to see that creativity and expression of self is important enough for you to put it on  the front burner and then directing some time and energy into it.

Fantastic. What else do we stand to gain from making our creative ideas real and getting them out there in the world?

When we’re talking about this whole creativity deficiency thing, I really believe that part of the reason why our role is so jacked up is that people have some really amazing ideas. For businesses, for products, for programs, for schools. All of these different ideas that people have, but they never actually get brought to the front burner because of all the other things that they’re doing. And so the entire society actually suffers. And, you know, like when someone says, Oh my God, I have this great idea so that we can enhance greenery, you know, in public spaces or something. You know what I mean? Like they have these amazing ideas, but the ideas don’t come forward because of all the other things or because they don’t see it as a real viable thing that they could actually accomplish.

Right. And so literally our entire society is functioning at a lower level because the inspirations that we’re receiving as human beings are not being brought out. They’re going into the ground six feet into the ground. Like there are so many wonderful ideas that people have and they end up dying with those ideas because they never brought them out. And so I really believe that if people were able to bring forward just a small percentage of the inspired ideas that they have, that our entire society would be able to benefit. Our entire world.

You know, I have this concept called positive evolution. You know, everything is always changing. We learned this in science, right? Everything is in constant movement, nothing is static. Everything is moving. And when we’re looking at our society, we want our society to move and change, but we want it to change in positive ways. And I think that if more of us, you know, bring forward those creative ideas, that we can see that sort of positive evolution that we want to see in the world.

But also on the individual level, it can reduce anxiety. It can reduce depression, it can reduce all of those things that we’re dealing with now, you know, on astronomical levels, right? Like people are like Prozac, all those things people are getting, um, what are those medications that people are, are getting assigned to now? Like that’s not normal like that those things are not normal. We have to be able to find some other ways. And I truly believe that bringing forth more of the inspired ideas that we have, that we get called to do can be a big help with that on our individual level. And then also on a societal level. Does that make sense?

Oh, amen. 100%. Yes. So it helps us feel better in the moment, but then also those ideas that we bring forth can really contribute to stuff that’s going on. Like help move things along in a positive direction. I love it. I mean, you know, I always talk about being a better person, but it’s not just for your own benefit it’s so that you can make a difference in yourself, but also in the world. So it sounds like that’s what you’re saying creativity can do.
So tell us, you have a book coming out that helps people write their books. Right? So tell us just a little bit about it and when it’s coming out and where we can find it and all that good stuff.

It is Book Power. And so really it is a look at the complete system that I have been using for my clients and for my own self. You know, I’m an anthropologist, I have businesses, I have kids. And so I had to figure out a way that I could be able to organize my thoughts and ideas and get them out there into the world without hitting writer’s block. Without getting overwhelmed and stressed out. You know, like who wants that?

So this system is my system of self publishing. And the way my approach to it is not just to create like a lead generation book or something. That’s going to bring clients in alone. It’s a book that can build your business, build your legacy, your written legacy. All of us are going to pass at some point. We want to be able to create something that’s going to last beyond us.  And then also make our impact in the world. Do some of that good that we’re talking about.

So Book Power is, is coming out at the end of the year. And so it’s going to be on People can go there and get the entire book. But I also put together like a checklist now. So since the book is not out, I put together this checklist just to give people kind of the ability to wrap their heads around what goes into publishing. And I think that if people have had write a book on their list on their bucket list forever, this helps them to kind of see what are some of the steps that they need to do.

And so you can kind of just get a bigger feel for what goes into writing a good power book so they can get that for free at So anybody who’s listening that wants to write a book, go ahead, download that. It’s my free gift to you for being a part of Kate’s community and helping them bring forward their creative ideas in the form of a book out into the world.

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I loved that Zarinah gave us some really cool examples of different things that can serve as creativity. I mean, here’s someone who writes books and helps people write books. And she’s talking about how gardening changed her life. Or she’s going to restore that classic car that’s in her backyard.

So I just want you to take a minute and think about what are some of, kind of maybe even the harebrained ideas that have been calling to you lately that could fall under this broad umbrella of creativity. Is it gardening? Is it something to do with fabric? I don’t know. Have you been wanting to try out this new painting technique on the wall in your bathroom?

Just make a list of anything remotely creative that has been on your mind and write it down on a piece of paper. This way, when you’re wondering what you can do, that’s creative. You can look at something and be like, Oh right. I wanted to do that thing. I’m going to do this one, take this one little step. That’s going to move me towards that. Thanks. And I hope you’ll come back tomorrow.


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