We tend to confuse creativity with craftsmanship.
Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean you are a painter, a dancer, a writer, a baker. We assume that to be creative we must create something tangible: a story, a picture, a meal. Those are the most recognizable, visible manifestations, but they are not the only examples of creativity. We demonstrate creativity in the way we do things, the way we think, how we communicate with others. Creativity means challenging yourself, daily. It means breaking from routine and finding new ways to do things, to think about things. It means facing fears and taking risks and ignoring doubts. Which is sometimes easier said than done.
The first step is always the hardest. Understanding that by simply existing you are a glorious, creative, joyful being can be difficult. There is only one of you, there can only ever be one of you and to not express yourself, to deny your soul its creative outlet … it’ll be like you never existed. We get one opportunity to live this life. What a shame it would be not to live it!
When it comes to cultivating creativity our mind, which makes it possible to achieve so much, can be our biggest hurdle to overcome. When inspiration strikes we find ourselves trying to rationalize impulses, curtail flights of fancy, and think of a dozen reasons not to do what we want to do. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of success.
Fear is always triggered by creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome and fear hates uncertain outcome – Elizabeth Gilbert
We are all wired to be creative in uniquely, sometimes imperceptibly, glorious ways. Whether it’s writing, singing, cooking, puzzling, dog walking, gardening, problem solving, driving, communicating, there are always different (and most often better) ways of doing them. Just because your creativity isn’t considered conventional doesn’t make it any less creative. The catch is, we need to give ourselves opportunities to be creative, to be open to new possibilities. Necessity is the mother of invention. Unless given a reason to express creatively, our instinct for the most part is to keep doing what we’re doing.
Be open and aware. Practice mindfulness, be curious, try not to label people based on your expectations.
Become an expert. Whatever it is you are passionate about, become an expert on that topic. You don’t need a formal qualification to know more about something than everyone else.
Engage with people who are different from you. Immerse yourself in a different culture, language, environment. Spend time with people who are passionate about things that never crossed your mind to be passionate about. Learn something new.
Nourished in the right environment, where questions are asked and experimentation is revered, we are able to express ourselves without the fear of failure, success or rejection stopping us from trying something new. Your creativity doesn’t have to save the world, or change the world, or be original or even be good. That’s not the point. It’s getting it OUT of you, into the universe, to make your mark.
Be the you that only you can be.