If I asked you point blank, “Are you creative?”, what would your instinctive answer be?
Maybe you’d say something like: “Yes, of course, I’m as creative as anyone I know.”
Or: “Yeh, I can be, but not very often, and I’m not very talented and I don’t create much that’s any good when I do create.”
Or maybe: “Me? No, not all. I’ve never published a book or had a painting exhibition or recorded an album of music or anything like that.”
Maybe you’d say something else?
You first reaction reveals a lot about how creative you perceive yourself to be, as well as what you consider creativity to be in general.
You might acknowledge that yes you do create plenty yourself, but then dismiss it as not being “proper art”. Or you might even be overlooking all the creative acts and thoughts you do and have each and every day, because you don’t have a finished piece of art to show at the end of every one of them.
The first crucial point here is you’re more creative than you think you are. Way more.
Like the difference between a light dusting of snow and a great avalanche.
The second is that once you realise how creative you are, it naturally encourages you to be even more so.
Your avalanche grows and becomes invincible and unstoppable.
Try this simple two step technique to unlock your creative beliefs, beyond that initial question of “Are you creative?”:
Take a sheet of paper and write in the centre – “Being creative means…”. Then fill the page all around that central statement with everything you can think of.
Let your mind just flow with all the different ideas that come to you. You’ll build up a kind of identikit picture of exactly what being creative represents and means to you.
If to be creative means being internationally recognised as an groundbreaking artist, having sold a million records, or being an actor with a dozen movies and awards under his belt, and nothing less, then this gives you a great insight into your beliefs around creativity. Then you’ll be able to see how, when you compare your own creative work with these standards, it defines your assessment of your own creativity, how creative you “rate” yourself.
The second part of this exercise is to take another sheet of paper and write in the centre – “Some of the many ways I’m creative are…” and again fill the page with all you can think of.
Write whatever comes. Think beyond any traditional creative forms like writing, painting and so on, but include these too if you do them yourself.
At the end of this second part you’ll start to realise that being creative is not just a specific activity you do at set times, and it’s not just something a tiny select band of famous artists do. Creativity is something that seeps and flows and fills YOUR whole life, in the way that air fills your lungs, and blood fills your veins.
Come back to the same two sheets of paper a few days later, because you’re bound to have thought of more to add. Feel free to redo the exercise too, it will help you understand further, and again realise your true creativity.
So, let’s ask the original question again: “Are you creative?”
Oh but before you answer, let me brace myself for that avalanche of evidence that shows just how abundantly and diversely creative you are!
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