Do you know that if you think you are creative, you are more likely to be? Does that mean if you don’t see yourself as creative you are actually less creative?
I used to be one of those people who did not see myself as creative. I loved organic chemistry and was sure my calling was in the sciences. For many years I busied myself with unimaginative pursuits and did not take time to ask provocative questions or explore doing things differently.
I learned relatively late in life that anyone can innovate if they choose to. I often hear people say, “I’m just not creative”. Many people believe they do not have natural talent and therefore are not creative. Natural talent is actually only a small part of the equation. Curiosity and effort are far more important characteristics of creative people and fortunately these are traits we can control. Time is also a factor; asking questions, developing ideas and making them happen require time not required in your usual routine.
The truth is, if you don’t believe yourself to be creative, you probably are not. But you can become more creative by changing your mind-set. Creative people simply mix together things that are not usually mixed. They are willing to think outside the box, take risks which might lead to failure, and realize that daily life provides opportunities from which to learn. As a result, creative people are able to connect dots others might not think to connect.
In the words of Steve Jobs: “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
Break the “I’m not creative barrier” by acting more innovative on a daily basis. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are probably right. By believing you are a creative person, you will become one, and in the process will develop the confidence to take risks. Acting and thinking differently actually make us different, which sounds deceptively simple, but really does work.
Ways to become creative:
1) Do something creative every day. It does not need to be a masterpiece. Keep your creative headspace by taking pictures (on a cell phone works), pairing red shoes with a black outfit, taking a class. Creativity shows up in many different forms – writing, ceramics, interior design, problem solving – not everyone can draw! Find your passion.
2) Moderate your expectations. Do not judge your work every day. Sometimes your creativity is on fire, sometimes it’s just not.
3) Stir up your routine when feeling blocked. Drive home a different way, have pancakes for dinner, start a new type of exercise program.
4) Make time and space in your routine to fully experience life. Observe everything. Ask questions and seek interesting answers.
5) Most importantly, believe you are creative. Know that you are.
DO YOU STILL BELIEVE YOU ARE NOT CREATIVE?