by Kristin Kuiper, LMSW, MSW
Do you consider yourself to be creative? For a lot of people, just being asked this question brings up feelings of inadequacy. Maybe you’ve always thought of yourself as the “non creative type.” Maybe you used to have time to express your creativity but now you are busy with children, with your job, with accomplishing day to day tasks, so collapsing on the couch at 9 pm is more where it’s at for you.
There are a lot of myths that we often associate with creativity that keep us from being creative . For one, we believe that creativity is a rare find. The truth is, research shows that everyone has creative abilities. Despite what you’ve read or have been told, scientific research shows that creativity is not located in one particular area of the brain. So, claiming that we’re “just not right brained” doesn’t cut it anymore!
So, if we all have creative potential and abilities, what gets in the way of nurturing our creativity? The risk of social disapproval is a major deterent to creativity. We’re scared of being made fun of, of looking silly, of messing up. Nurturing our own creativity involves taking a risk and being vulnerable and also being open to making mistakes.
One of the main ways you can access your inner creative spirit is to let go of comparing yourself to others. The comparison game doesn’t really get us anywhere. In fact, it paralyzes most of us. There have been many times when I have thought about taking risks and have been stopped dead in my tracks when thinking of someone else who took a bigger or better form of the risk I am considering…the thoughts of “I’m not good enough” start to creep in and my creativity crawls right under the covers.
Another way of growing creativity is to challenge yourself and to broaden your exposure to new areas of interest and knowledge.
When you think about yourself as a creative person, what thoughts arise for you? What gets in the way of your nurturing your creativity? How might growth in this area be helpful for you and for your roles and relationships in your life? What will be the first step that you take towards growth in this way?
For more information on this topic and similar issues mentioned in this blog entry, check out The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. It’s a wonderful resource!