Is creativity important to you? Do you struggle to give yourself permission to be creative? Are you your own worst critic?
Creativity can be defined as "the use of the imagination", "the ability to create" and one I really like is "turning new and imaginative ideas into reality."
For me, creativity has always been something that others possess. It's taken me way too long to accept that everyone is creative.
Some of you may be doubting me (or yourself). Creativity is often associated with arts and crafts or highly imaginative people. But what if you don't draw or paint or daydream? Does that mean you're not creative?
Far from it!
Do you enjoy cooking or baking?
Do you sew, knit or crochet?
Do you like solving problems? (Big or small, in any field)
Do you play an instrument or sing?
Do you enjoy dancing?
Is your passion writing?
Perhaps you're known for inventing silly sayings, songs, new words or rhymes?
Do you play with colors, design or fashion?
Do you enjoy building or making things from scratch?
Are you resourceful?
Do you like to dream, imagine or invent things?
And so on...
All of these activities are related to creativity.
However, creativity must be cultivated, and whatever you enjoy doing, must be practiced on a regular basis. It's like a muscle, it's strengthened through use. 💪
What Are the Biggest Obstacles to Creativity?
Our inner critic or perfectionist.
The need for external validation or approval from others.
Feeling we don't have time to pursue or exercise our creativity.
How to Remove Those Obstacles
There's no instant fix (if you know of one please share) but there are some small practical things we can do to create that mental shift to free our creative spirit.
Learn to hush the inner critical voice. When you're in creative mode tell yourself you're playing, this should kick the perfectionist in you to the curb (at least for a while).
Create simply for the pleasure of creating and do it for yourself. Forget about showing your creation to anyone else until much later in the process.
Everyone has the same amount of time. It comes down to how you use yours. Set priorities and simplify your life. Make time to play.
I'd like to share with you two of my favorite inspirational videos on creativity.
First is a soliloquy by Ethan Hawke which inspired me to write this post.
Here are some takeaway points from his video I love:
"We want to offer the world something of quality, something that the world considers good or important. But that's really the enemy. Because it's not up to us if what we do is any good.
"The world is an extremely unreliable critic."
"First, we have to survive and then we have to thrive."
"Kids don't have any habits and they don't care if they are any good or not."
"Art is not a luxury, it's sustenance. We need it."
"Play the fool!"
The second video is Marie Forleo interviewing Seth Godin. This video is 38 minutes long but is excellent and thought-provoking.
Here are some takeaway points from this interview I love:
"Before the Internet, we didn't spend a lot of time finding your passion. Work is work and work involves a promise, it involves showing up even if we don't feel like it."
"Creativity is an action, not a feeling."
"The best way to do the work we want to do is to have a practice."
"If you wait for perfect you're hiding."
"This is worth doing even if it doesn't work."
"You've got to do work you're not confident of. Trust the process."
Decide: "What's it for and who's it for?"
"The only way to make it better is to begin."
It's not always perfect & it doesn't always work, but it's important to keep at it!
Your Action items
Answer this question: What are you holding back from creating because of fear or not giving yourself permission to be creative?
Action: Get creating! Go play and do whatever it is you love and don't worry if it's good or not! Children are worthy of imitation in this area.
Don't forget to check out some other articles you might have missed...
The Truth about Racism (my 2nd most popular post)
Harsh Truths From Your Introverted Friends (my most popular post so far 😀)