Most people think they are either creative, or they are not. There are also some who are creative observers, that can appreciate and enjoy creativity, but lack the belief and confidence to create themselves. What they don’t realise is that we all have a creative side.
In this article, I want to touch on why people may think they are not creative, and look how we can adjust our mindset in order to encourage more creativity in our daily lives. This also applies to people who work in so-called creative industries yet feel confined by briefs and deadlines which has an impact on nurturing their raw, natural creative ability outside of work.
So where does this belief about being creative or not come from? It’s a well-known theory that at the end of our journey through education, we leave with a clear label attached to ourselves. We are pigeonholed into the “arty” category or the “academic” category. What tends to happen is that we take on that belief about ourselves and run with it into our adult lives. We also learn through society that the real, talented creatives gain validation by qualifications and professional titles. Those outside of the creative camp, and without the stamp of approval, tend to lose all creative confidence and can associate fear around the very word.
I believe, in fact, we all have immense creative capacity, whoever or whatever we do. If we start to look more closely into how and what we do in our lives we can identify many creative elements which may have gone unnoticed and subsequently, unexplored. The very word “creative” is enormously generic and can apply to lots of areas we wouldn’t normally attach such meaning to. For instance, that piece of paper you were doodling on during a board meeting, putting that pink skirt with the black top and yellow shoes, singing in the shower making up words to a song you sort of know, decorating a birthday cake, presenting dinner on a plate, the list goes on. In fact, we are creating all day, every day and have the opportunity of tuning into those things we already do and turning them into exciting creative adventures.
So how can we build on those interests and unseemingly already creative habits we possess. Their untapped possibility is endless. A good starting point is to really identify what you already enjoy observing and appreciating and go and try it. This may mean pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and going against your non-creative belief, but it’s vital to realise that this is a just a belief you have of yourself, not necessarily the reality. The way we grow is by trying new things, sometimes even things we don’t think we like, but end up loving.
Once you have tried new things, give your interests time to grow, give yourself time to flourish, or not. Creativity in some areas can take longer to become comfortable with, other pursuits can click immediately, or not, and that’s fine too. But be careful not to label your creativity as good or bad, that’s the old mindset creeping in again. If you have told yourself you can’t already, then you just won’t. Really the crux is to recognise this; it’s not what you create at the end, it’s how you feel when you’re creating it. By thinking in this way you alleviate any pressure on the end result which enables you to gradually, or even perhaps very quickly, build creative confidence. You’re now on the home-straight of resetting your thoughts and outcomes which can open up a world of opportunity and new direction.
So change your mindset and unlock your creativity, for good. Build your creative portfolio and encourage healthy freed up creativity into your everyday life, which, let’s face it, can only result in more happiness, health and contentment.
Written by Anna Williams from House Anna for Estila Magazine.