This post originally appeared in the Hollywood Journal.
Why are we so afraid of silence? We surround ourselves with sound wherever we are. We get in the car and the first thing we do is turn on the radio… we have the TV on in the background while we cook… we listen to music while we exercise… we put music on when having guests or a party.
There’s something very confronting about silence. Being alone with your thoughts lets your brain start becoming introspective and asking questions. Questions that can be uncomfortable to ask. Questions we might not like the answers to.
Am I adequate as an creator? Is my artistic output any good? What makes my work unique? What is my voice? Am I producing work that is better than I was producing six months ago, or just more of the same?
These questions can be paralyzing and lead to feelings of inadequacy, but they can also be a springboard to push yourself out of a rut. To energize yourself out of a state of mediocrity and artistic complacency. To lead you to make changes in your life that will make you a better creator.
So the next time you find yourself listening to the radio, music, or watching TV, switch it off and listen… what is your silence asking?