I love that I just pressed a button that says, “Create,” to record this episode. Because that’s what this is all about. Are you a creator or a consumer?
Paulo Coelho said, “Everybody has creative potential. And from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.”
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
Hola, my friends. How’s it going? I wish you could see what I’m looking at right now. I’m facing out and looking at the ocean, the Caribbean. I’m in Puerto Rico and I arrived a few days ago. My business manager lives here and I have some other friends who are here on the island. And I’ve never been.
I’m like, how am I just now experiencing this place for the first time? I’m so just in love with the people and the food and the culture and the music and just the whole vibe here. It’s such a gem. I’m still upset with myself that it’s taken me this long to get here. But I’m here now.
And let me share with you why I’m here right now, in the big scheme of things. It’s because I am a creator. I create things. I get an idea and I take action. I make decisions. And that’s what I want to talk with you about in this episode. Because I know so many of you want to experience new things. You want to reach your goals. And it’s going to require that you become more of a creator versus a consumer.
So, let’s take a look at the definition of a creator. It is one that creates, usually by bringing something new or original into being, a person who invents, produces, or makes things. On the other hand, a consumer is a person who eats or uses something, someone who purchases or uses goods or services for personal use.
Now, I will tell you, I’m both of these. I am both a creator and a consumer. But I create way more than I consume. In fact, when I was preparing for this episode, I became very curious about how much of my energy goes towards consuming, taking things in, and creating, putting things out.
So, to be clear, consuming is things like eating, watching TV, reading books, getting on social media, reading other people’s posts. That is consuming. You’re taking information and things into your body and into your life.
Creating is putting things out. It’s writing new content. It’s taking action towards your goals. It’s expending your energy outward into your life. So, when I looked at my life over the course of 72 hours, I realized that my personal ratio recently has been 70:30, so 70% of my time is creating. 30% is consumption.
And I find this actually to be the sweet spot for me because I need to consume to maintain my energy. You think about, if you never eat, you’re not going to have enough energy. But it’s when we are doing a lot of consumption that we can just feel heavy and burdened. Because energy is meant to flow in and out of our lives.
So, we’re meant to consume and then take what we’re consuming and then expend it in a way that serves us. So, for me, I need to read books. I start to feel really, really off if I’m not getting that inspiration, that wisdom, that knowledge, that education. I value learning and growing.
And so, I do need to read books. I need to watch films. I love documentaries. I love a great series. I need to be around other people and take in some of their ideas, to expand my own perspective, to expand my own mind.
But if I’m always doing that and never taking what it is that I’m consuming and using it to progress my life and to reach my goals, I feel stagnant. I feel stuck. And I see this with so many of you. And here’s how it shows up.
You buy a diet book, you sign up for a course, you go to a weekend workshop, and then you do nothing with what you’re learning. And let me tell you, there’s a high to consuming. It feels good to learn new things. It feels good to be around new people and hear their ideas. It’s easy to consume. It’s easy to sit at the table and eat way too much of a food that tastes really good.
And these days, what makes it even harder is that there’s so much to consume; intellectually, physically. I think back in the day, my grandmother didn’t have the luxury of having the ability to overconsume. There was no internet. There wasn’t an overabundance of food. Do you know what my grandmother had to do just to survive? She had to create. She had to get out into the fields and she had to work the land and grow things and take care of her family.
There was no time to just sit around and consume. It’s almost like our ancestors were forced to evolve because they didn’t have the false pleasures that they could overindulge in that felt so good in the moment. They didn’t have the luxury of having immediate gratification. They were having to plan way ahead of time. They had to think about, “How am I going to survive the winter and start working on that?” way before winter came along.
But now, the problem is we have so much abundance of things to consume. We have forgotten that we are here to be creators. So, what ends up happening is we get sucked into the comfortable state of consuming, of sitting around, scrolling through Instagram, looking at everyone else’s lives, consuming other people’s lives.
We’ve become very comfortable with sitting around and eating way more than our bodies need. We’ve become way comfortable with sitting around and living in our fantasy land while we’re watching Game of Thrones or whatever your series of choice is.
And listen, you all, I love a good show. I love good food. I enjoy getting on social media and connecting with people. But I know that if my ratio starts to be like 50:50, I’m not doing it right. And I can feel it. And that’s how you’ll know.
If you’re feeling restless, if you’re feeling frustrated, if you’re feeling disappointed in yourself, if you’re feeling stuck, stagnant, look at how much you’re consuming versus how much you’re creating and get busy at creating.
Every morning, I wake up and whoever is with me I say, “What are we going to create today?” Or sometimes I’ll say, “What are you going to produce today?” And I love that question. Do you know why? Because it gets me really clear on what I need to tell my brain to go out there and do.
I never say, “Oh, I’m going to work on a program. I’m going to work on a podcast. I’m going to work on some business stuff. I’m going to exercise.” I don’t say that. Do you know what I say? “Today, I’m going to create one podcast. Today, I’m going to go and create a really great leg workout.” I’m very specific with the result that I want to create.
I want you waking up every morning and saying, “Hey, what am I going to create today? What am I going to produce? What am I going to have created that I don’t yet have right now?”
Now, when it comes to creating, it feels amazing. There is nothing like going to bed at the end of the day feeling like you’ve been productive, that you’ve created something that didn’t exist 24 hours before. You get to feel proud of yourself. It builds your confidence.
But the other half of creating is it feels awful. You have to experience the discomfort of stepping into something new. You have to experience maybe the discomfort of rejection if people don’t like your creation. You have to experience the dear of stepping into that unknown, of trying something and potentially failing. You have to experience maybe the discomfort of doing something that you haven’t done in years or breaking a habit, getting to the gym, eating less, writing more, putting your work out there more.
All of that feels awful sometimes. But if you think about it, everything you want is in that awful feeling. And it’s also amazing at the same time. But the same goes for consumption. It feels good to consume, you all. It requires very little of us. We can just sit around, take it all in. But then it begins to feel awful, feeling disappointed in ourselves, feeling like we’re not getting anywhere, we’re not reaching our goals, we’re not creating results.
So, both of them come with their amazingness and their awfulness. You just get to decide which one you want, which one’s going to lead you to where you want to go. Again, I’m sitting here in Puerto Rico looking at the ocean and it has been awful and amazing getting here. I chose to be more of a creator than a consumer.
And this is why my clients get incredible results, because talk about this. I’m like, ‘Hey, listen, when you come into my membership, this is not a place for you just to consume more information.”
I give them challenges. I give them exercises in which they will take what they’re learning and go out there and create something with it, create a new self-image which will then change their entire lives. And if you think about it, I have developed a self-image that I am a woman who creates. And because now that’s how I see myself, it feels very awkward just to sit around and consume. I have to be in action. I have to be doing stuff and creating stuff because that’s now how I see myself.
Some of you have a self-image of being a consumer. And you’re feeling really disappointed in yourself. And the way this shows up is women will say to me, “Well I never finish things. I always start and I never finish.” I’m like, “So what? Why are we talking about your past? Look into your future. Tell me about that woman. Tell me about how she shows up.”
And always, they will give me some version of that woman is a creator. She’s showing up for herself. She’s showing up for her calendar, her goals, and she’s making things happen. She’s creating herself and her life and achieving results.
So, again, everything I talk about always comes back to self-image, like how you see yourself. Do you want to see yourself as more of a creator or as more of a consumer? And I’m not saying you should give up consumption. It’s impossible. You need to consume just to maintain life. You need to consume foods. You need to consume things that inspire you and give you energy.
But if you don’t start taking that consumption and burning it to create something new, you’re going to be very frustrated. And I know, y’all, because I spent many years being a majority consumer. I would create when I had to. When I had to get up and go to work, when I had to clean the house. But that’s not a life. That’s just getting by.
If you want to live an extraordinary life, start creating and accept the discomfort that comes with that, knowing that, again, consuming and creating, both are sort of 50:50. Half will be uncomfortable, feels awful. And the other half is amazing and fun and exciting. It’s just which one are you going to choose more often? Are you going to choose to create more often or consume more often?
And you have to play around with your ratios too. Again, for me, 70:30 is like my sweet spot. When my ratio hits like 80:20, 90:10, I start to become tired and lack energy. Because again, we need to consume. I need the inspiration. I need the sustenance. And so, play around with what is your sweet spot in terms of how much you want to consume and how much you want to create.
But I want to see you creating way more than you’re consuming. And it’s going to require discipline. It’s going to require that you become a woman that tells her brain what to create every day. And then you show up for that.
It’s going to require that you choose discomfort on purpose, that you choose the unfamiliar discomfort, not the one that’s familiar from consuming, but the discomfort of creating. Because I promise you, anything that you don’t yet have is going to require you to feel discomfort to create it.
So, let me ask you, as you’re listening to this episode, what are you going to create today? Get specific. Are you going to create a 30-minute walk? Are you going to create a podcast episode? Are you going to create a clean closet? Are you going to create an amazing outfit? Are you going to create a beautiful dinner?
Tell your brain what you want it to help you do. And when you’re tempted to consume, I want you to get honest with yourself of what it’s costing you. Let’s be women that create and consume on purpose. A lot of our consumption is because we’re trying to avoid our lives. We don’t want to feel our feelings. We want to escape our lives. It’s very reactive consumption.
I want you to consume on purpose, meaning decide ahead of time how much you’re going to eat, what you’re going to eat. Decide ahead of time, how much TV am I going to watch this week? What days am I going to watch it? And then equally, I want you to create on purpose.
Decide ahead of time, what am I going to create today? What am I going to create this week? What am I going to create in this lifetime?
So, let me ask you, are you a creator or a consumer? And do you like your answer? And if you don’t, change it. All the power is within you, my friend. Have a beautiful week. Cheers.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.