What’s the real difference between inconsistency and spontaneity?
We embrace spontaneity, as it allows for creative flow and insinuates an admirable degree of freedom. We’d like to emulate the lives of spontaneous individuals.
On the other hand, we’re likely to use the term “inconsistent” to describe a lousy ex-boyfriend, or a friend who’s let us down repeatedly.
As a creative worker, I’ve been self-conscious of the fact that I may be inconsistent. For days I write from sunrise until my eyes physically shut themselves. I can sometimes explain these periods of productivity through a particularly inspiring event, but often times they’re out of the blue. Perhaps they can be attributed to the position of the moon, my biorhythm, or a number of other reasons.
Regardless, I embrace the spontaneous occurrence. We all love these jolts of creative power, when we seem to be operating on a higher wavelength.
Of course, there’s the flipside of the coin, when I’m not feeling so inspired. I find it difficult to sit and produce authentic, creative content. At these times, I contemplate whether I should I force it or simply be okay with the fact that ups and downs are part of my creative process.
What happens here is particularly interesting to anyone who’s felt these ebbs and flows of energetic working power. When I reach a lull in my ability to produce as efficiently and creatively, my mind starts to play games—I become frustrated and quickly go from deeming myself spontaneous, to questioning whether or not I may just be inconsistent.
We know how powerful self-doubt can be on our performance, mental health and physical wellbeing. I observed this tendency of my mind to negatively judge myself as inconsistent, for the same reasons it once embraced the label of spontaneous.
But what if inconsistency and spontaneity are really two words for the same thing—neither one deserving of any criticism or self-doubt?
Does the duality exist?
Instead of working against my natural tendency to fluctuate in energy levels, I can let go of my false concept of control. Like all things in life, we ourselves are not consistent. The weatherman can predict the chances of rain tomorrow, but he’s not held accountable for the many times he’s wrong.
Nature can’t be fully anticipated, and we accept this by readjusting our plans around its fluctuations—so why don’t we draw the parallel to our own capabilities?
There’s so much emphasis placed on upholding a certain image of ourselves, 100% of the time. The pressure to produce on time and on the ball can feel suffocating.
When we feed into this pressure we must ask ourselves if our ambition is serving our true self or our ego. Caving into the addiction to achieve and be noticed can diminish the power of our authentic creativity from a deeper part of our being.
I discussed this duality with a friend who’s made a career out of teaching acro-yoga and releasing popular YouTube meditations. Should she trade authenticity for volume in efforts to retain traction with her followers? With a career focused on cultivating mindfulness, she’s decided to aim for a balance between being present to her clients and accepting the reality that some weeks she’ll produce three times more than others.
As creatives, we must recognize our lack of total control in our ability to produce. When it comes to the outside world, we often embrace unpredictability. Life becomes much more gentle when we accept that our own nature follows the same laws.
We need setbacks and challenges as fuel for inspiration.
Knowing that these ebbs and flows will come, we can prevent ourselves from self-doubt and negativity that’s harmful to our development. As more of us merge our passions with our careers, it’s essential that we embrace our inconsistency instead of rejecting it or allowing it to make us feel badly about ourselves.
What’d be the fun in anything if we faced the same world everyday?
Knowing that each morning we wake up with a new version of ourselves, we can begin to look at life with wide eyes into the unknown.
Author: Shoshanna Delventhal
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Courtesy of Author