“Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” – Albert Einstein, quoted in Creativity, Design and Business Performance
Where did we get the idea that certain people are ‘creative’ and others aren’t?
Here’s a news flash for you: we are ALL creative. We are actually taught to be UN-creative.
See, a few yesterdays ago, some teacher told you that the tree you drew was ‘wrong’ or a well-meaning parent admonished you to colour or paint inside the lines. Or was it a friend who laughed when you danced? Some other authority figure who told you to sit over there quietly and “be good”?
We all have a creative fire inside of us. Sadly, some of us have had that fire doused at an early age. In fact, most of us have. The good news is, the spark is still in you and firing it up is simple and easy and will benefit you no matter what you do to earn a living.
Developing your creativity isn’t just a good idea for aspiring artists. Creative activities foster creative thinking, and creative thinking is a valuable asset in every professional arena, not just in the artist’s studio. Creative thinking finds new ways to wow customers and make your business practices more efficient. Creative thinking allows our brain to make connections in a non-linear way and thereby find solutions to stubborn problems.
How can you be more creative? All it takes is for you to decide to (1) embrace failure; (2) put aside your fear of being judged by others; and (3) quiet your own inner judgmental voice. In other words: give yourself permission to go beyond seeing what everyone else sees, and allow yourself to step off the line of conformity and dare to think what no one else has thought.
When you allow yourself to be creative you begin a journey of self-discovery. Creativity requires a sense of bold self-acceptance. It takes a deliberate decision to let go and do something that YOU like, even if nobody else does. To be fully open to your own creative genius, you have to let go of the notion that you can’t bear the thought of failure, the notion of being different, or of having someone tell you that “your tree is wrong.”
Paint your own tree. Write your own story. Dance your own dance.
Do you like to doodle? Buy a notebook and doodle more. Like to write? Start today. And write again tomorrow. And the day after that.
Paint, sing, dance, cook, sew, whatever it is, the key is: START. Don’t demand perfection of yourself. Just decide that today is the day you will give birth to that great idea that you have been too afraid to begin.
Remember, creating is like giving birth. When you were born, your parents weren’t disappointed that it took you quite some time to learn how to walk and talk. And when you did start talking, I doubt it was in full sentences.
So don’t demand perfection of your creative endeavors the moment you begin. Realize instead that you will need to nurture and tweak your creative spark in order to develop it continually.