This is #1 of 2 articles (along with many others) I’ve written on the mash-up of feeling behind in life, being creative in ways that are quirky, and struggles with self, career, and sometimes other aspects of life. I’ve worked with lots of uniquely creative individuals who have struggled to create a fulfilling, satisfying career path in which they can grow and personal life which feels enriching.

Does Any of This Sound Like You?

  • You don’t get encouragement or support on the job—and maybe some well-meaning (and some mean) people even try to discourage you. It’s led to lots of self-doubts.
  • You have jump-started a number of projects that could draw positive attention or bring value to your department or manager, but nothing has come to fruition. You’ve been overlooked; your attempts have gone unnoticed or unrewarded. So you don’t trust yourself.
  • You feel like a yo-yo with moments of clarity and enthusiasm followed by huge self-doubts and stagnation that makes going to work just a daily grind.
  • You’re tired of always going through another job transition—you’d really like to transform yourself, what you do and get on track with your purpose.
  • You have a lot of energy and passion for the things you are interested in, but have no place to meaningfully use your talents.
  • Knowing how to gain traction has become a mystery to you.
  • You just don’t fit in.
You feel like late bloomer. Or, another mindset, is that you may be what I’d call an “Unconventional-Creative.” Unconventionally creative people are often also late bloomers often because people comfortable in the middle portion of the bell curve may not know how to guide them, especially when they are young. They may give traditional advice which doesn’t match how they tick, or connect with their unusual qualities, gifts or interests. We all know that uniqueness is frequently misunderstood and therefore can be easily belittled or crushed. This can lead to self-doubt, looking outside oneself for answers, and even rebelliousness to the point of stubborn shutdown.
If any of this resonates with you, it’s not necessarily an easy route to change, however, here are some thoughts and tips that can exponentially move you onto a better path.

Three Unique Needs

Unconventional Creatives don’t live in the middle of the bell curve but inhabit further ends of the spectrum and therefore have unique needs in three areas:
  1. Developing self-awareness, self-acceptance and a deep understanding of the core values that drive their passions and life.
  2. Learning new skills to successfully connect with others that compliment work-related talents.
  3. Making choices about the right environments, the right relationships and partnering in ways so their unique talents,passions and drives can and will be celebrated.
You may share these needs.

The Upside and Downside to Being an Unconventional-Creative

The Upside. The wildly, wonderful upside is your unique talent, gifts and problem-solving approaches. The way you see the world is offbeat, surprising and refreshing. When channeled, harnessed and supported, this perspective is powerful and, when harnessed and channeled, Unconventional-Creatives contribute much to the world.
The Downside. The downside is you don’t always “fit in” and because of that, people along your path (parents, teachers, potential role models or mentors and others) may not have seen you clearly. As a result, they may not have provided you with the steps you need, the instruction book, formulas you need to bring your particular talents fully into the world. So you have gaps. And these may span across aspects such as emotional development, communication skills, steps to talent development, and so on.
People may not “get” you, unless you “get you.”
That’s called self-awareness.
Then you need to develop self-acceptance.
Both must come into play if you are going to get unstuck.
Finally, there is seeking guidance that is compatible with your unique needs.
  – Dr. Jan

Others have given you basic grounding in life skills, but that means you have to live in a conventional or traditional world that isn’t fully satisfying to you. Be glad if you have some of that basic grounding. It’s all a part of being an adult, or adulting. However if it stopped there, you’d feel dissatisfied. Some people become unhappy, even depressed. What’s missing is you learning skills to guide yourself through the steps you need to explore your world, your interests, your talents and how they contribute to the bigger world. Instead you look to traditional steps that don’t fulfill you and then feel like a failure.

No one’s at fault here.

Let’s say they did the best they could. And they love you. However, the result is you have some missing pieces. You lack some steps. Some info. No one showed you how to get from A to Z using your unique approach and talents. They didn’t know how.

Now it’s up to you. You can do this with the right kind of guidance. Please see the next article in this series here:

Feeling Out of Step? Tips For Unconventional Creatives to Get on Track #2/2

Dr. Jan Hoistad

Business/Career/Executive Coach, Relationship Expert, Blogger, Author

When a business partnership is going well, it’s great. There’s energy, creativity, productivity. Differences put partnership stability to the test. Coming together as business partners pools connections, spreads financial risk, may increase the employee base, and expand the marketplace. Difference can feel like something resolvable together. But when experienced as threatening, it creates disconnection. If there is out-and-out conflict, a business partnership can quickly deteriorate and spread negativity like a virus throughout a team or company. Having the mindset, tools, and skills to navigate together is a necessity for a smooth functioning business and long-lasting partnership.  https://drjanhoistadpartners.com