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Am I Creative?

We were all given a box of crayons.

We all have a unique story worth telling.

We all have created something which we were proud of in our lives.

Our creative side may not have been tapped into for a while but it's still there.

Where is my creativity hiding?

Life and society have covered up our creativity with fear.

It taught us that safety is in following rules, in playing it safe, in keeping our heads down.

It has also taught us that to stand out, to be ourselves and to create something will mean rejection.

As social beings one of our biggest fears is being kicked out of our tribe, it represents rejection on the greatest scale and tells a story of not fitting in, of not belonging.

As social beings one of our biggest fears is being kicked out of our tribe, it represents rejection on the greatest scale.

It tells us a story of not fitting in, of not belonging.

External Resistance

Many of us have experienced this rejection on some level, when we spoke up, shared something personal or tried something new.

We got put back in our box, ignored, told to shut up or laughed at.

A lot of people want us to stay in our box, talk the way we always talked, act the way we always acted, remaining the same.

It allows them to justify not making that change they want in their own lives.

Their criticisms are often rooted in something they either consciously or unconsciously crave, jealousy and an attempt to bring us back to their way of life.

They are resenting change in others but wanting it themselves.

This external resistance feeds into the hardest battle of all we face, the internal resistance.

Internal Resistance

This is the voice in our head, what voice, yes that one.

What does this voice tell us:

  • You are not creative

  • Don’t even think about trying

  • It’s not worth the effort

  • You are not good enough

  • You are a loser

  • Shut up and keep your head down

  • You are pathetic

  • This will never work

  • Wait until the time is right

This voice is relentless, it kills more creativity and self-expression than anything else.

It’s resistance that is one of the most draining and destructive things we experience.

It serves to keep things the same, to not challenge our assumptions, to stop us from standing out, from working on that idea, from doing anything meaningful because meaningful means change.

The good thing about it is that it never goes away and always shows up when we are being brave and curious, the bad thing about it is that it never goes away and always shows up when we are being brave and curious.

What do I mean?

If it’s not going anywhere then we can use this to our advantage.

We can note that this voice is not us, it’s something which we cannot control which will kill us slowly if we associate with it, if we believe it to be our own voice, we don’t sound like that.

This voice shows up the moment before we do something that changes us, artists use it as feedback that they are onto something that is worth doing.

It causes us to feel afraid that also tells us that we anything worth doing in life will bring this resistance and it’s worth it to push through and do it anyway, despite the fear.

So who is creative, what do they look like, talk like and act like?

Creative people are different and embrace being different despite the external resistance they endure.

They understand there is far more opportunity and freedom from embracing their creativity than fitting in and conforming to rules and others.

Characteristics of Creative People:

  • Curious

  • Sensitive

  • Imaginative

  • Nonconformist

  • Playful

  • Honest

What they like to do:

  • Solve Problems

  • Ask Questions

  • Seek out new experiences

  • Take risks

  • Express themselves

  • Spend time alone or in nature

  • Observe everything

  • Think a lot

  • Have personal freedom

  • Help other people

How do we become Creative?

Creativity is subtraction, taking away what we are supposed to do, should be doing and what society wants us to do so that we can get to our creativity.

It’s peeling back the layers of fear and allowing whatever exists underneath to come out.

It’s not just in making something physical, it’s in creating connections between things, executing on ideas and connecting with other people.

It’s our unique interaction with the world, combining our experiences, stories and the observations and telling them in our voice.

“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.” Steve Jobs

How do we create better work?

We are all creative, so why are some people more successful than others in their endeavours?

Feeling afraid will always exist around creation as it brings change.

Once we create something the world changes a little, the more we can use fear as a creative tool to highlight when we are on the right path the better work we can do.

Creativity is a skill, we exercise it through action and build that muscle so that we become more efficient and peel back one more layer to getting to our best work, at the core of our being.

Essentially we need to get out of our own way and allow the creativity that resides under the fear to express itself, anything else is selfish.

Seth Godin’s Blog:

The enemy of creativity...

is fear.

We're all born creative, it takes a little while to become afraid.

A surprising insight: an enemy of fear is creativity. Acting in a creative way generates action, and action persuades the fear to lighten up.

What happens when we become creative and exercise the creativity muscle?

  • We strengthen the muscle.

  • To be creative is to express ourselves through our unique voice, telling our story.

  • We all have a story and one worth telling.

  • When we make the leap and commit to being a creative we will open doors that we never knew existed, we will learn more about ourselves and we will discover people like us who we belong to.

  • “You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” - Maya Angelou

In summary and like most of my writing it's for me first:

The work of being a creative, a professional who turns up and offers their best work to the world is not an easy one but it is always worth it.

Being at the start a new project has me feeling scared but on a deeper level I know this is worthwhile, that not creating and sharing my best work is selfish, that the work is not me but it is my job to peel back layers of fear to uncover that voice, that work that might help change another person for the better.


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