So many of us fear that we’re not creative, or that if we are it is buried deep inside us, secretly tucked away.
Have you ever watched kids play? There’s always elements of creativity in their games, whether it’s with toy trucks or splattering paint onto paper. As children we all played, we all got involved in games, it just shifts through our young adult years.
Most of us are in such a rush to grow up and be adults we forget that we leave behind play time and our own innate creativity.
Shining a Light of Fears
The best thing about fear is that when you shine a light on it we get to see it for what it is, a shallow, shadowy thing with no real substance.
When we start looking at the fear that we aren’t creative we get to see that we’ve probably put a really narrow definition of what is creativity, that possessing this mysterious creature is beyond our grasp, we’ve listened to messages about us being crap at it and creativity is something that automatically creates the most amazing things.
Shining light onto this lets us see that there are as many different types of creativity as there are people in the world.
Creativity is in everything, from maths to science to gardening to cooking to problem solving to craft and art to understanding each other and everything in-between.
We’re all good and great at somethings and crap at other things.
Being crap at something doesn’t mean that you don’t love it. I’m new to painting, most of the ideas I try to express simply come out as crap paintings. The ones I’m happy with emerge after I’ve had loads of practice goes. And that’s fine, I can be crap while I slowly develop the skills, understanding and techniques I need – it’s called experience.
Creativity doesn’t instantly produce something fabulous, experience mixed with skill and imagination with a chunk of creativity can sometimes produce something fabulous but often it results in something of real value – potential.
So if you’re like me you value creativity and want more of it in your life, you just get stuck with figuring out how to get there. Try these five ideas for getting there.
5 Tips for Finding Your Secret Creativity
Here are five ways to access your own secret creativity:
1. Let yourself play like a child, not worrying what the result is, just the experience of playing.
This can be a lot easier when you have children in the family or social circle you can get the lego or paints out with but it doesn’t have to be the only way. What about getting out some of your favourite games and toys from your own childhood and just enjoy them again?
Last night I had a lovely time playing with my art supplies, I reorganised my paint box, sorted through my sketch books, tidied my painting palettes and basically just played with the things I love.
And you know what started happening after that? Ideas started to flow. I got out my design notebook and started drawing and writing them down.
By playing I’d opened up the paths, I’d shifted the blocks and the thoughts and ideas could move more easily.
2. Creativity is first in your thoughts, then in your doings.
Just as the playing opens up the old headspace for ideas so do the thoughts create paths to creativity.
To get the thoughts happening try coming up with five different solutions to a problem (they don’t have to be brilliant or even particularly realistic), look at a street directory to figure out a route to a new cafe or park, or create a dream board for your next holiday by going through some magazines for images and text.
For me the key is in figuring things out. It’s fine to start with the comfortable and known but then work into newer areas that require some brain power. From here solutions come to the surface for you to test out.
3. Practice makes perfect.
Just as going to netball and tennis practice made a huge difference to how well I could throw a ball through a hoop or hit a ball, the more you practice finding creative solutions to problems, alternative ways of doing things the easier it will be for your brain to come up with ideas.
From the ideas come actions.
4. Try different things that seem interesting.
Get experimenting and testing out ideas. It can be as simple as trying out a new route to work as to signing up and going to a term of classes.
When my dad was in hospital for over a month and mum stayed with me I thought it was a good chance to test out a few new recipes. I thought it could be a good thing for us to talk about, a good distraction, and we might even come up with a new family recipe. The whole process of exploring ideas, going through cook books and then trying something new turned out be good for us.
To me cooking is a creative process, finding recipes, putting ingredients together (usually having to figure out a substitute ingredient for some reason), figuring out the cooking sequences and all that’s involved engages the creative part of brain.
Figuring out anything involves creative skills and thoughts, even if it does involve following instructions. So stretch that brain of yours and do something different.
So what about gardening, building a bench, trying a pottery class, getting stuck into family research, signing up for that class, or joining a Meetup group?
5. Be kind to yourself about Creativity and it will be easier.
I kept preventing myself from painting because I feared I’d be crap at it. Once I accepted that I would be crap at it and that it was the doing that mattered a great big weight came off my heart and shoulders. All the great painters in the world only got that way through years of experience. How was I to be instantly fabulous at it without experience, skills, understanding how paints, brushes and papers work? I’m human, not a magician.
Once I understood that and started being kinder to myself it was a heap easier and much more fun.
Loving something doesn’t mean you have to be good at it. It’s the doing that matters, in thoughts and deeds.