“Sometimes, you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” – Miles Davis

What do writers, comedians, designers, painters, musicians, artisans, builders, actors, architects, storytellers, and even entrepreneurs have in common? They are all artists.

So are you.

Every child believes they’re an artist until someone tells them they’re not. But regardless of what you may have been told, you have a buried treasure of creative energy within you that’s just waiting to be tapped into. And rediscovering it might just be the key to unlocking your potential and your calling.

When you’re playing in the sandbox of creativity, you will admire other artists. Eventually, your admiration becomes observation as you study what they do and how they do it. You find yourself doing the same thing to see if you have that kind of creative spark and talent within you. Before you know it, you’ve repainted a flea-market version of someone else’s masterpiece. And this realization can be terribly deflating to an artist.

Sound familiar?

If so, welcome to the world of creativity. You’ve just taken a step forward in your orientation.

This phase of a creative’s development is not arbitrary, it’s part of the learning process—and it’s normal. In fact, it’s a rite of passage. What a shame discouragement derails so many artists and tempts them to stop producing their work. All because they believe they’ll never be as good as someone else.

Here’s the deal: It’s true. You will never paint a better version of the Mona Lisa, write a better trilogy of The Lord of the Rings, or record a better rendition of “Who Let the Dogs Out?”  Why? Not because you lack talent, but because that’s not your masterpiece. It’s someone else’s. Yours has yet to emerge. But if you keep creating, it will.

The hard truth is it will take time, hard work, and grit, but your creation is there, just waiting for you to find your voice and bring it to life.

No one in God’s creation can create what you will. Why? Because there’s no one like you. While you may be inspired or influenced by others, you are an original.

Go, and create likewise.