Saturday, February 8, 2014

Experimentation – The key to self-discovery

I am delighted to have my friend Joel Boggess provide a guest blog post today... enjoy.
He is a life coach and the author of “Finding Your Voice (”. You can follow his shows and updates on Facebook.

Experimentation – The key to self-discovery

Have you ever watched a creative cook in the kitchen? A dash of this, a dollop of that, a pinch of something else...and the next thing you know, you’re biting into a delicious concoction for which no recipe exists. Occasionally this kind of cook misses the mark: a cake flops or the sweet and sour sauce turns out a little too sour. In general though, experimental cooking works out just fine - and sometimes the combination of flavors blows your mind.

The same approach that can work wonders in the kitchen can also work wonders in your writing. Unfortunately, rather than experimenting and “taste testing” along the way many people approach every decision as if life and death hang in the balance. One wrong choice, and BAM! It’s over. The pressure to make the right decision becomes so intense, the tendency can be to do nothing rather than make a wrong decision.

Experimentation = Liberation

But what if you approached life differently and assumed that by and large, most things work out OK and the things that don’t generally aren’t major catastrophes? What if you chose to see each situation for what it really is? A chance to learn, grow, and develop your own writer’s voice.

By giving yourself permission to experiment and try-on new writing styles - from a different angle, viewpoint, or frame of reference, you free yourself from the fear of failure and the expectation of measuring-up. It’s OK if your experiment doesn’t work out the way you originally thought or follow a nice, neat, sequential order. Original ideas never do. Testing an idea’s merit alongside your own values and principles, and outside of any box, is far more valuable.

Circumstances can bring new ideas and opportunities

For my friend Deby, she had no choice but to try new things.

Two years ago, Deby’s voice began to tremble. As doctors searched for the cause and a cure, her voice weakened until it one day it was completely gone. Deby had been a singer and songwriter all her life and was just beginning a speaking and coaching career. She needed her voice to survive financially.

Through her pain and frustration, Deby heard a voice within that told her to paint.
‘This is play. This is a discovery.’” Her art teacher Dorsey’s instruction to the class was to remain unattached from the work – to be ready to rip it up and use it in another way. Dorsey removed all the stress from the learning process -something Deby desperately needed. During a time when she couldn’t speak, her art served as both a way to express herself and a source of healing. Over the next few months her voice slowly returned, but she knows that what she’s learned about her artistic expression will add value to the lives of those who read, listen to, and experience her work.

Ditch the grading system

Are you willing to give yourself permission to “rip up your work”? In other words, can you experiment without demanding perfection from yourself?

If no one were around to tell you not to, what other topics, events, and ideas would you write about?

What is your voice trying to tell you that you haven’t tuned into and started writing about?

Your best ideas will most likely come only after you learn to push your own creative envelope.

Experiment - the world is still a playground.

Practical takeaways

Experimentation without expectation opens doors of creativity.
God’s blessings are often dressed-up as challenges.
There is no report card attached to artistic expression.

Joel Boggess is a personal friend, life coach, and a syndicated radio host. He is also the author of “Finding Your Voice ( – sort through the clutter and discover clarity, confidence and direction”. The eBook edition is available for only $1.99 from Feb 5 – Feb 9.

 Did this post resonate with you? Check out Joel’s new book, Finding your Voice ( – sort through the clutter and discover clarity, confidence and direction. The eBook is on sale for only $1.99 through Feb 9.

Author bio: Joel Boggess and his wife Pei live in DFW area in Texas. With Master’s degrees in counseling and business, plus seven years of experience as a life and career coach, Boggess has the education, life experience and wisdom to help you tune into and fully express your unique voice.


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