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Creativity – let’s start with our mindset

Many people, when they think about creativity and what it means, think of art, music, dance, films, writing and more along those same lines. They may not see what they do on a daily basis as being creative from what they chose to wear,  how they make a meal or even how they do their job. Yet, I would like to suggest that all that we do requires creativity! It comes down to the way we see things and how we look at things.

One of the characteristics of a creative mindset is our self-belief in whether we can be creative or not. As a young child, like many others, I often colored outside the lines of the image that I was supposed to fill in. At some point, a teacher told me that it was wrong, that I was doing it incorrectly and proceeded to tell me to color inside the lines. Well, from that point forward, the seed that I could not be creative was planted.

Fast-forward to my early career when I was a procedure and planning analyst. In my mind, I was simply translating  technical specifications into a language that the end user would understand. I wrote the step-by-step actions the user would take to do something. In my mind, what I did was not creative, it was analytical and fact based. It was with the help of a friend that I was able to see what I was doing as being something creative. I had to take lots of information in, interpret it, understand it and then draft something in a simple manner. That takes some creativity to come up with the simple words to express a sometimes complex process.

This was the beginning of me seeing more of what I did as ‘creative’ and starting to have the self-belief that I could be creative, even if at times I did color outside the lines and got it wrong! As I starting seeing and believing in myself that I could be creative, I actually in turn became more creative! Ideas flowed more easily, new things came together effortless and I was able to tackle new challenges with ease because I knew I could figure out a way to find solutions.

So, if you want to help develop your creativity skills, a first good step is with your own self-belief in your abilities to be creative. As Denis Waitley has famously said If you believe you can, you probably can. If you believe you won’t, you most assuredly won’t. Belief is the ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad.” I would like to actually add to that by saying, “If you believe you can’t, you most assuredly can’t.”

Point to Ponder: Where is your life does your creativity shine? In what ways does your creativity express itself? How can you help yourself become even more creative, regardless of where you want to be creative?

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