Coaching for Creatives | Be A Lover


I used to hang out with lots of cynics, or for the lack of a better word haters. These friends, myself included, delighted in coming together and bonding over the things they don’t like. Gossip, venting, complaining, and commiserating can be addicting. Like a drug, the “high” of negativity can feel really fun and good – but the aftermath can leave you feeling gross and hungover. So these friendships I had were rooted in negativity – they were toxic and eventually fell apart.

Gossip can be addicting. I would find myself talking trash, complaining, and venting to my nearest and dearest. I was doing myself and the people I love a disservice by not giving them the side of me that shines. I finally realized I was both the problem and solution. It became clear that it is not only in my power but that it is my responsibility to be a lover. But it takes discipline, daily, to not fall into the easy routine of negativity. Being a lover takes way more courage and effort than being a hater. Here’s how I (try to) do it:

I’m not saying my friends and family can’t come to me when things are a total shit show and they need my support… but I’d rather more often bond over the things that delight and lift us up versus the things that make us miserable. That said, like a boomerang, what you put out there is what you’ll get back. So that takes us to the next point below.

Get this: it’s in your power to cultivate and attitude of love in your relationships, conversations, and interactions. This means you’re choosing to show up in the world as a lover. Here are a few ideas on how to be a lover:

1. Be explicit and enthusiastic about what you love.
Make it a point to verbalize, blog, or simply be mindful about what you love. Every day. Communicating what you love can feel vulnerable and doesn’t always come easy. Need help? Use your senses. What do you love to smell, hear, and taste? What do you love to read? What do you love to feel? Take notes of what delights you and tell someone about it.

2. A love script for the creative entrepreneur.
I love it when creatives tell me what they’re really good at. So here’s a lover’s script for introducing yourself as a professional creative: “Hi. My name is _____. I do ____(A)____ for ____(B)____, but what I really love is ____(C)____.” 
Blank A: This is what you do that you get paid for. So it could be graphic design, web coding, photography, etc.
Blank B: This is your dream customer. Think of your favorite client to date and use a few words to describe how your professional interaction felt.
Blank C: This is what you really love doing (even if it doesn’t quite pay the bills yet or is even a non-work-related hobby). Blank C is what makes you a lover instead of just a commodity.

3. Ask other people what they love. Ask your creative buddies what they love about their job or a project they’re working on. Ask your partner what they loved about their day. Ask your friends what makes them feel the most in love with life.

So to conclude this post – tell me what you really love in the comments.

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


Also, our most popular Braid ECourse, Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do is now open for registration and will be in-session February 21 – March 2. And Kathleen readers can take this course for $50 by using the discount code ANDKATHLEEN50 when you register.

  1. Kim

    “Hi! My name is Kim. I’m a professional web marketing consultant for passionate small businesses but what I really love is connecting people together.”

    That’s my statement! This is a good way to really help us identify ourselves. Thanks. I recently went through every single one of my twitter followers and tried to connect people I thought would like each other or who would like working together up. It was wonderful.

  2. Lynsie

    I love traveling, and just being outdoors. I love dogs and I love babies and I love good food. 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder, it is hard to get rid of negativity but I can see how much better life is since I started actively trying to last year!

  3. Hi, my name is Samantha. I’m a graphic designer for female entrepreneurs but what I really (really) love is screen printing my art in my studio. I could spend hours up there and it makes me unbelievably happy.

    Ahh, I love this. What a lovely way to introduce yourself to someone.

    I also totally agree with this post. I read this quote at the beginning of the year and have been trying to live it ever since “Act, so that if someone was to speak badly of you, no one would believe them”. xx

  4. Mo

    Hi, my name is Mo. I currently hold down a desk job for a wonderful community nonprofit, but what I really love is creating and discussing all forms of art. I don’t get to use my History of Art degree very often, and I miss losing myself in that world.

    I don’t think enough can be said about the power of positivity in all realms of life. It’s easy to pick out the haters, but I do think it’s harder to implement the gusto to kick them out of my life. Thanks to posts like this, I get the courage to focus on those people I love with each day.

  5. Kate

    I love traveling, fashion shows, exploring new places, FLOWERS, doodling, dogs, mountains, crafting and bring with happy people!

  6. Danielle

    Hi! I am currently bringing home the bacon as a Marketing manager for a large corporate company but what I LOVE is solitude, focus and being in my head creating!

    Talking about what I love makes me feel vulnerable in a world where cynicism seems to be what the cool kids are doing. But, vulnerable is good and I’m going to make an effort to bring that positivity wherever I go! Thanks. 🙂

  7. Alien Mind Girl

    I love all of my friends and family, even if they are “haters.” To me that is part of the definition of being a friend… loving them no matter what, for who they are. Even if they are negative.

    Just because I hang out with negative people doesn’t mean I have to be one. Some people just have a hard time being happy. So I do it for them. And if I don’t have the energy to be happy for both of us, I just don’t hang out with them that day, and we still get to be friends.

    I have learned that it’s kind of hard for people to talk bad around you when you don’t play along. And if they persist when I don’t play along, I figure they probably need to vent. Which is ok by me. I need that once in a while too. But I always answer “Can you believe that person!” with “I think they’re nice.” It usually changes the conversation.

    • Well said! I think it reiterates the fact that we can have control over the direction of the conversation … And who knows, probably turn haters into lovers by good influence.

      • Alien Mind Girl

        Right! If nothing else, I’d like to think that I at least remind them that life isn’t THAT bad.

  8. yes! it took me way too long to realize that life is WAY too short to surround yourself with negativity – even in the disguise of people needing help or advice… you said it well – ‘but I’d rather more often bond over the things that delight and lift us up versus the things that make us miserable’. working through problems and tough times can be an opportunity to round up reasons to be grateful, and remind people of the good in themselves and in their lives… not to simply sit and wallow. i’ll say it again – life is too short!!!

    p.s. i’m stacey, and i love music and making things!

  9. Carrie

    Commiserating in negativity can have very real consequences! Before I went freelance, I was working in a small company of primarily women with big personalities. There were lots of clashes and the gossip behind everyone’s back was over the top. All the negativity just kept compounding until it resulted in a failed mutiny/buy-out where 1/3 of the employees quit. TOXIC. Shortly after all that I made my exit as well….

    I love that I am finding my way as a freelancer, that I have an awesome studio space to spend my days in, and a husband that loves and supports me 200%.

    I love that I have found an amazing community of positive, helpful, and encouraging people online to spend my workdays with. 🙂

  10. Tara

    I made a conscious decision a few years ago to stop complaining and bitching about other people. It took practice, but like breaking any “habit”, it got easier with time.

    I initially did this for self-interest reasons – because I didn’t like the double-sided complain cycle that I felt was leading to negative things being said about me behind my own back. If I don’t say anything mean about anyone, then they couldn’t really say anything mean about me. Such goes the theory anyways. (I’m sure I still do things occasionally that warrant complaints!)

    Like Alien Mind Girl said above, I also really enjoy responding to people coming to me to complain about other people with “I think they’re nice”. It always changes the trajectory of the conversation and stops the slippery downhill slide into meanness.

  11. Lisa

    I love this post. I realized that a lot of times, it does feel more vulnerable and scary to be sincerely excited and positive about something. Negativity acts as a sort of shield sometimes. I’m just making this up as I go right now, but maybe that’s because being enthusiastic opens you up to being disappointed… and if you’re openly enthusiastic about something people will know you’re disappointed. If you pretend to not be as excited about life in general, it’s easier to shield yourself from public disappointment. Hmm. Also, if you’re sincerely loving something and sharing it, it feels more vulnerable than being snarky. Snark aids in being condescending, but also protects from being criticized for poor taste or whatever else. It’s easier to minimize those things to save face.

    But I don’t want to draw people who are so interested in protecting themselves like that. I’d much rather draw people who are excited about the work they’re doing and the experiences they’re having. It’s infectious in the very best way!

  12. Megan

    I love positive women, like yourself and those who comment on this blog.
    I love to cook food for the ones I love. I love to smile at strangers. I love to have a workout kick my ass but leave me sweaty and feeling powerful. I love when friends are truly happy for your success.

  13. Erin

    I don’t think it should be a “but,” it should be an “and”! Saying “and” allows you to make connections between what you do for a living and what you really love to do, rather than seeing them as mutually exclusive. I’m all about the “and”!

    • Kathleen

      Most excellent point! I’m all about making a living doing what you love. And obviously I love “and”. 😉

  14. LR


  15. staci

    I really love science. I went back to school in my mid-twenties and took a chemistry class as kind of a fluke and fell in love. Now I’m studying biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Davis and I’m so excited every day just to learn about our world and our bodies and hope to do research and change the world!

    It’s funny because I recently broke up with someone because his negativity was so draining that it was affecting my mental health. And I realized recently that despite always thinking I was fairly negative, I’m actually very optimistic. Just optimistic in the face of all the crap life has given me hahah.

  16. Melanie

    I really love making things—hats, jewelry, dresses, cakes, cookies. What I love is when I’m knee-deep in making something, figuring out how to make it better, how to get it closer to what I see in my head. It feels a bit like I’m underwater, but in a good way. Everything around me is muted and it’s just me doing what I love.

    I also love your blog, and this post. Thank you for the encouragement to spread love. It sounds so easy! But it’s a million different intentioned decisions a day. Thanks for spreading your own love here.

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