How To Finally Get Permission To Be Your Most Creative

It’s pretty likely by the fact you’re reading this that you’re not as creative as you’d like to be, or know you can be.

You can try all the different creativity boosting techniques in the world, and they will have a limited effect – if any effect at all – all the time you don’t actually have that crucial permission to be creative.

image: Compound Eye

What do we mean by “permission” here? You have to ask for permission to be creative?

The answer is yes. Ultimately from no-one else but you.

It’s not as simple as saying “Right, go ahead, be creative, you have my complete permission to be as creative as you can possibly be”. Because this permission is tied up with not just what you casually say, but what you believe at a fundamental level.

If your beliefs contradict your creative ambitions, it will always compromise how creative you’ll be.

It’s like a dog on a short leash in your back yard. However excited or energetic that dog feels, it can never run further than the length of its leash. However hard it tries, it will always collapse in a heap exhausted and wondering why it can never break free into the next garden and beyond.

In this case, it’s your beliefs that are the leash, and they’re in two specific areas that we can take a closer look at to give you the permission you need to create.

1. Your beliefs about creating and creativity in general.
When you hear that someone is an artist or a writer or a photographer, what are the first thoughts that come to your mind? However you might try not to, you will instantly have preconceptions and make judgements about that person, on that single fact alone.

If you think creative people are curious, inventive, exciting, inspiring and generous, then it’s likely you’ll aspire to be like this yourself. In other words, being an artist is something you have positive connotations with, so you’ll be happy to let yourself be an artist and you’ll easily give yourself permission to be creative.

If the opposite is true, if you believe that artists are difficult, moody, flaky, self-centered and anti-social, then it’s far more likely that this is something you’ll try to avoid being like, because of those unattractive traits. Again, in other words, you’ll deny yourself permission to be creative.

2. Your beliefs about your own creativity. What do you truly believe about your own creativity and creative talents? Be completely honest with yourself.

Write down all the things that come to mind when you ask yourself this question.

If you fundamentally believe that you’re not really that creative, that others are way more talented than you, or that you don’t deserve to have creative success, then all of these beliefs will influence how freely you let yourself be creative. They will seriously limit the extent to which you give yourself permission to be creative.

How to turn the negative beliefs around.

If you find after a little honest self-questioning that you have a few less than positive and empowering beliefs around being creative and your own creativity, then that’s great, because that you’re now aware of them.

The next step is to start turning them around. In essence this means take each belief and replace it with a positive alternative.

For example: “I don’t believe I am a real artist” could be turned around to a statement like: “My artwork is as valid as anyone’s and I have the right to express myself in my own unique way.” Or: “I have created many pieces of great artwork in the past and will do again. I am prolific creative artist.”

Try your own versions for each statement, and see what works best for you, which feels the most powerful and resonant alternative.

For a more in depth version of turning around negative beliefs, you might like to check out The Work of Byron Katie.

Only you can give yourself permission to be creative.

It starts with having in place those fundamental beliefs that support and nurture your creativity and allow you to be your most creative.

Take a look at your beliefs today, and take a step towards finally giving yourself permission to be as incredibly creative as you know you can be.

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