You know how people say, "I am SO not creative," or "I don't have a creative bone in my body"? This is what is happening:
- They are not aware of how to combine their ball bearings for creative ignition.
- They have an unrealistic expectation of creativity. They compare themselves to others who have spent years on their craft and feel inferior because they cannot be immediately like them.
- They are afraid someone will ask them to be creative and they will try to meet unrealistic expectations and feel foolish.
- They are afraid they won't be perfect and they equate being perfect with being valued as a person.
- They are afraid... period. It is normal for creativity to bring up a swarm of fears.
- Someone once said something discouraging to them that felt really bad and they believed them.
- They tried for five minutes to be creative and it didn’t take. (They are adverse or oblivious to the perseverance, practice it takes to be creative).
- They have created a belief that works against the belief that they are creative.
- They think either you’re born with creativity or you’re not.
The last one is especially popular.
Many people are indeed born with an innate talent. When they cultivate that talent through many, many hours of practice - amazing works of art, literature, music, what-have-you are brought into existence. But really, do you need to BE that person in order to discover the bliss, benefits, and rewards of creativity?
Those people are not necessarily happy.
Those who know they can also create the feeling within themselves of joy ARE happy.
Thinking there's only one way to be creative, well, that's not a very creative way to think at all.
If we all were born with the same innate talents, the art would look the same, all the music would sound the same, all the words - same, same and same.
This would be an interesting plot for a science fiction film but it would be a society that didn't last very long because many needs would be unmet, plus people who didn't like what was created might become homicidal, suicidal, or bored to death.
There would not be the other creative works that come from passion, interest, curiosity, healing, need, problem-solving, angst, joy, amusement, and divine mistakes. These are ALSO drives that result in creativity. Everyone has the ability to be creative in these ways. Creativity's definition includes the act of bringing something into the world of value.
- Close your eyes. See a cat. Now change the look of that cat in three ways, place the cat someplace unexpected. Add some kind of activity for the cat to do. Now have the cat do something a little less obvious than what you just chose. Now add a different scenic backdrop. Now add a disco ball. Now have the cat tell you something unexpected. If you weren't able to do that little short exercise, you are simply resistant. Resistance is a creative block, it does not mean you are not creative. If you were able to do the cat exercise.. you are creative. The more you practice little exercises like this, the more creative you will become in the way that YOU can be creative, which is different from other people's ways.
- Take a breath in. As you breathe out relax your shoulders. You just created relaxation.
- Listen to all the voices that judge, worry, belittle, and protect you. Now imagine those voices are not you. You are the self inside of you that they are talking to. Imagine that self is a pure kid-like creative soul ready to combine, associate, invent, modify, shift, amuse, or stick pipe cleaners into Jello. You just created peace, amusement or maybe delight and eager anticipation.
This kind of creativity comes from the same mechanism that makes art, writing and music. It's just that those avenues may require some instruction, practice, self-esteem, focus, little dedicated five minute periods to begin, willingness to be a beginner over and over, and perseverance.
Those are the ball bearings of creativity.
If you don't have them, you can get them, a little at a time, imperfectly at the beginning but even in imperfection and sometimes because of it, creative discovery is possible.
Everybody gets to be creative.
(c) 2011 Jill Badonsky. www.themuseisin.com