“I am just not creative” is a claim I often hear from people as they talk about themselves and every single time I know that this self-evaluation couldn’t be further from the truth. How do I know this? It is because we are human. And to be human, is to be creative.
Creativity is something inherent to our very existence and underpins our supreme adaptability, which has made us (for better or for worse) the dominant species on this planet. So, where does the creativity myth come from? These limiting beliefs are very much the consequence of traditional education that is more interested in standardised exams than it is with human growth and potential. The idea that being creative is something reserved for musicians, painters and people in the advertising industry has now become firmly embedded in our society today.
Music and the arts constitute just one aspect of creativity. Creativity encompasses much, much more. We are being creative all the time in so many different ways in our lives. We are being creative when we juggle those 10 things we need to get done and somehow manage to fit them into the day. We are being creative when deciding how to arrange our living rooms. We are being creative when we problem solve at work or tactfully diffuse an awkward situation on a night out.
It might be useful to define creativity at this stage. I believe creativity is about expressing individual uniqueness, which is born out of human intelligence and resourcefulness that is common to us all. While we may not all be Bach or Monet, we certainly all have the spark in us!
In addition to letting go of our limiting beliefs, what really nurtures creativity is allowing ourselves to ‘play‘ – by this I mean approaching life with an almost childlike curiosity, rather than with furrowed-brow seriousness. Giving ourselves permission to be curious and to play is the cradle of creativity – it kindles in us a zest that makes us engage more wholeheartedly with our worlds.
Many of us spend a large portion of our day at work. No matter how ‘uncreative’ our jobs may seem, there will always be ways to express who we are in what we do, be it when putting together a presentation, problem solving or sharing our views at a meeting. We each have our own unique style and approach and by valuing this and allowing it to shine through, we enable ourselves to be the naturally creative beings that we are.
Creativity is part of the human spirit and the more we recognise it in ourselves and encourage it in others, the more apparent it will become. What we have to be aware of is how our own limiting beliefs and conditioning can block us from embracing that which is truly innate!
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” – Pablo Picasso