Written by Marilyn Barefoot and originally published on LinkedIn April 5, 2021
Today I woke up angry!!
Angry at the world for not trying harder to rid our planet of COVID 19 and all its variants.
Angry at all the people who broke the rules over the long weekend and gathered to celebrate.
Angry at everyone who went to shopping malls on Saturday because a new pair of jeans was more important than the health and well-being of their friends and family.
I am struggling with how to manage the anger, so I am writing this blog in hopes it will help me to channel it. I am learning that writing helps!
Anger is viewed by the world as bad. There is too much of it around … even before the pandemic!
In history, it is not hard to find examples of the wild artist, flying into a rage, and creating in a whirlwind of activity. Anger and creativity seemed to go together.
My mother (who suffers from NPD) always described me as having an artistic temperament. It was not meant as a compliment!
Have we gone too far in repressing our anger? In not letting it find expression in our lives and in our work?
Anger is either repressed or expressed. Repression is denial of reality. Anything repressed goes inward where it turns to poison.
I believe we tend to reduce creativity when we are attracted to things; pretty things with very little real meaning to them.
But making art as a response to injustice; creating things to express ourselves and perhaps change the world; or making something as an expression of your identity, needs to be at the core of how we understand creativity.
Anger seems to do two helpful things to our mind. First, it is like a boost of energy, focusing our attention.
Second, it makes our thought process less structured, less logical, looser, and more able to see the wider scope of the problems we face.
As you give yourself permission to freely express anger through creativity, you begin to unlock your power.
You become potent and expressive, passionate and alive.
From a young age, girls have been taught that anger is not ‘feminine’ and that it is ‘ugly’. As a result, too many women today carry the burden of a legacy of repressed, disowned anger, which saps the potential of their power and leadership.
In fact, research has found that positive emotions actually constrain creative performance, whereas negative emotions can foster it.
Anger can literally catalyze innovation!
Many brilliant entrepreneurial ideas have been birthed from fury.
Shark Tank mainstay, Daymond John, created fashion label FUBU (“For Us By Us”) in reaction to some larger brands that had sidelined his community. After a well-known boot company was quoted saying “We don’t sell our boots to drug dealers”, John took matters into his own hands. He launched his own brand rooted in inclusivity and pride, and FUBU turned over $350 million a year at its peak.
So go on and feel your anger! Then, leverage it to feed your next creative pursuit. You might be surprised at what new ideas rise to the surface.
Don’t repress it. Express it … productively!
And thanks for indulging me in my blog rant … it helped me tremendously … I hoped it helped you too!