“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 hides a false belief — a myth about creativity. 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 is behind our supreme adaptability. It is what has made us (for better or for worse) the dominant species on this planet. So, where does the myth about creativity come from?
It is very much the result of popular culture in modernity, exemplified through dry, traditional education. Education that is more interested in standardised exams than it is with human potential. So, the idea that being creative is something reserved for musicians, painters and people in the advertising industry has sadly become embedded in how we think.
Busting the myth about creativity
The arts are just one avenue, out of many, to express creativity. Creativity is about much, much more. Humans are 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 we problem solve at work or manage an awkward situation on a night out. I mean, we are even being creative when we organise our living rooms! In short, we are being creative much of the time. It is just that we don’t see it.
It might be useful to define creativity at this stage. I believe creativity is about expressing individuality in different domains — individuality that is supported by a basic human 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 play, 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 fully with life.
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. For example, be it when putting together a presentation, problem solving or sharing our views at a meeting. Then, there is the path of seeking more fulfilling work too, where you are freer to express yourself.
Beyond the myth about creativity
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 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