Saturday, April 10, 2010

Embracing Your Own Creativity

I have been musing a lot over the past few weeks on the concept of creativity, more specifically embracing personal creativity. I got started considering this idea after a friend of mine said to me, "I wish I could be as creative as you. I just know I could never do any of that stuff." My immediate response, "Of course you could. But there is a learning curve. Like with anything new, it does take time and practice." And then she responded sadly, "No. I'm just not creative."

This really bothered me. Because I just don't believe that. I refuse. I believe that we are all born with a sense of the creative. Creativity is akin to imagination. Everybody has it but not everybody knows how to use it.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of creativity is artistic or intellectual inventiveness. Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create or bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new.

 At its most basic form, creativity is birth, bringing something into existence. And we all have the power to do that.

Too often, creativity becomes synonymous with artistry or talent or genius. This does a disservice to all. Some of the world's most creative individuals, such as Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling or Marie Curie, had very little to do with art and very much to do with changing the world. It is less about talent and more about openness and a willingness to explore new things. It means continually looking at the world around us with fresh eyes and a new perspective. It is both vast and yet intimately personal. How creativity manifests in my life may be very different from how creativity is present in your lives.

I think that is why there so much resistance to creativity. It is powerful. It can be overwhelming. And it very often produces fear.

Fear is a natural enemy of creativity. So are self-doubt, insecurity, perfectionism, self-criticism, inflexibility and comparing one's self to others.

Conversely, there are many emotions available to you that will foster creativity: courage, acceptance, confidence, letting go, embracing imperfection, flexibility and focus.

I guess it is just a matter of choice. I have actively chosen to live my life creatively. And while I may not produce the kind of changes in the world as Albert Einstein, I certainly produce changes in my world that make me and those around me happy.
I wish you the same. Because you are creative, too.
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