I'm in a fabulous mentoring group called Created to Thrive. It's part of Matt Tommey Mentoring and I could market, promote, sell, testify about this group all day long.
But I totally chafe at marketing myself! Anyone? I KNOW I'm not alone on this, especially as a Christian who is expected to walk in humility.
Yet, today, as we were learning how to build a strong website, the step about a "call to action" always made me feel slightly sick to my stomach.
Why can't I ask for participation? Do I feel my work is not worth purchasing? Do I feel like I - as a person, as me - am not worth investing in? Do have have to get to pro level before I can justify selling my work? WHY CAN'T I ASK?
This morning, I got my answer! I actually half yelled, "That's it!" (Not normal for me.)
It's not that I doubt my worth. In the group, the foundation courses are about heart and mind. I experienced SO much breakthrough in identity, leaving perfectionism, accepting that God not only loves me but likes me... So my worth is a gift and I'm happy growing into that.
It's not that I doubt my work these days. Over the past couple of years painting live in the Dorsey Fine Art Studio, I have gradually found my song on canvas. The last 3-4 paintings have sold literally before the paint dried. And acrylic paint dries quickly. I've been completely and thoroughly blessed, amazing and sweetly shocked.
Should I not ask people to purchase or participate in workshops? We're getting warmer... Asking them to take action as if I had the answer they need.
As we went through the steps, I realized I was really uncomfortable about promoting myself as someone who can meet someone else's need.
There it is.
The meeting ended and I walked to the kitchen asking, "Lord, why is this such a hangup for me?"
And my thoughts went back immediately to my career days as an account executive for an advertising firm, being a marketing manager for a $30 million construction firm, working for the director of a professional theater house... All in a season where the marketing leaders were teaching us to create a need in the audience and then say that you've got the solution, but never let them be completely satisfied. Everything got tagged "sexy" and went from there. And more than once, I faced burn out. I worked harder than anyone I knew - all in search of affirmation.
Manipulation. Sales. They meant the same thing. But I was trying to market real value, real service. I was trying to actually be honest. I had a conscience and was trying to walk with Jesus. But that career was totally wrong for my personality!
I REFLECTED on what the Lord has been saying to me personally. To look at every command as an INVITATION to do something WITH my loving God, rather than a directive to go out and give my 120%, show up at his feet with my performance and hope He'll be pleased.
Standing in the kitchen, it hit me! THAT'S IT!!!!!
Because of my past experience, I've felt like I had to market with an element of telling people what to do, making them feel like they were "less than" and "lacking" and that Lydia C is an artist with answers. No wonder I felt sick to my stomach!
I can't do that anymore. I don't HAVE to do that anymore!
But I can joyfully INVITE them to my creative storehouse. THEY GET TO CHOOSE! And I get to TRUST Holy Spirit to bring those selected few that I might be able to encourage with art or creative living knowledge.
These are things I love!
These are things I'm passionate about and happy to share!
I can actually just be me and not try to be someone else. There's no need to compare myself to others speeding by me in my mentoring groups.
And as I let this go out in blog form, a song keeps replaying in my head. This song has anchored me when I've been so tempted to get on my hamster wheel, running hard just to look busy. So I'll offer it to you as I head to the studio with a renewed mind.
The song is called "Peace" by Anna Golden
©2020 Lydia D Crouch