We each have a default emotional state, which we return to at times of stress or confusion, according to an article I read recently.
Which got me thinking about our default state of creativity.
What would you say your default state is, when it comes to creating? The state that you spend most time in, that groove you always fall back into?
Maybe it isn’t a groove, more like a valley, or a ravine. Or maybe it’s like a endlessly rushing river, one you’re as familiar with feeling flow through you as you are feeling breath in your lungs.
Our default creative state is ultimately defined by what we believe about ourselves and how creative we are. We can put up a mask for the world to see, but when under pressure, or challenged, these masks will slip and you’ll revert to creating (or not creating) at your natural level.
But maybe it isn’t your natural level. Maybe there is a difference between your default state and your natural state.
The default state comes from what you’ve been told, what you believe to be true about yourself. It’s the amalgamation of inputs from parents, teachers, colleagues and peers, over years, even decades.
If they have been less than positive or enthusiastic, if you have survived on a diet of only discouragement and critical comments, then it’s highly likely your default creative state won’t involve much creating. And it will have a cacophonous soundtrack of voices telling you you’re not creative, you don’t have any talent, you never have any good ideas and so on.
You get the message loud and clear, and so your behaviour and level of creativity falls in line and matches those beliefs.
If however your creative evolution has been encouraged by people telling you that you can create, that you are talented and that you should follow your artistic dreams, then your default creative state is most likely one where you create freely, happily and abundantly.
It’s this kind of abundant creative state that I believe is in fact the natural state for all of us.
We just get sidetracked and hijacked along the way by beliefs that aren’t true, but we believe them to be true and no longer question otherwise.
Think for a moment about your own default state of creativity.
What’s it like? Write it down, describe it.
Consider also your beliefs around creativity, and your own creative ability. Again write them down, as many as you can think of. What do you really think about your own creative talents? What do you think about creative people in general?
From what you write you’ll quickly be able to see how your beliefs have influenced how creative you are.
If they are mostly positive, that’s great. Focus on those and keep creating!
If they are mostly negative and limiting, start by picking the one that you feel is more destructive than any other. Then turn it around into its positive equivalent.
So for example, “I never have any good ideas” might be turned around to something like: “I have an abundance of ideas that flow to me easily and constantly”.
Start with the most destructive one, and then pick one or two others. If these kind of thoughts have been engrained in your mind for years they won’t disappear overnight, but now you know about them, you can, thought by thought, and day by day, begin to replace them with ones that support your creative life so much better.
Your default creative state is not something that’s fixed, like your shoe size or nationality. You can change it, you can improve it, you can take it from non-existent to abundant, with just a little focus and determination.
What’s your default creative state? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, we’d love to from you.
If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, please use the buttons below to share with others who might too. Thank you.