Is it something you lost along the way? Or maybe you never had it. Maybe creativity is something reserved only for a select few and you feel like you just never have any luck.
I have news for you. We are creative beings – all of us – whether you believe it or not. Your creativity has always been within waiting to be expressed.
I'm sure you can remember at least once in your life where you exhibited a certain level of creativity. And for you, quite possibly, that moment might seem lost in the distant past. Seemingly inaccessible. And you create even more distance as you shrug off your accomplishments because you think they aren't worthy.
We've been trained to think that unless we have some unquestionable talent we shouldn't even persevere.
You might think you live a mundane life with no opportunity to display any level of creativity. You're busy. You have kids. A job. Maybe you have anxiety. You manage to find some respite once in a while and in those moments you prefer to completely zone out because your body and your mind are spent.
Who cares about creativity you might say. Yet, you read this text. There is curiosity in you.
I know you know you have it because something brought you here. Yet you refuse to acknowledge all the little instances of creativity you display throughout the day. You believe your crumbs of creativity are of too little significance. You believe they can't amount to much.
You've been trained like a flea. You allow yourself a certain level of creativity but will never go beyond what's reasonable by society's standards.
School probably hasn't helped you unless you lucked out. Maybe you had a teacher that helped you see beyond the curriculum. Unfortunately most of don't luck out and are told to quiet down, listen and follow the beaten path.
Maybe your parents taught you to keep up appearances in school but to never stop dreaming. You might have been lucky there but most of us have parents that prefer to lay low and teach us to do the same.
Life at work doesn't help either because we must do as we're told. Keep your head down and get things done. No dreaming allowed.
Can we agree on one thing? You have creativity. We all have creativity. But our creativity has been confined. We believe we must all follow the same path. Stray too far and you will get called out. Hey you get back in line.
Before you go blaming your parents, let's get something straight: we do this to ourselves. Nobody does this to us. People say things but we are always free to take the words into consideration or not.
But how can a child choose to believe or not believe? Children are influenceable by design.
We learn great values from our parents but we don't always learn to push reality. We don't learn to play with the possibilities life has offered. What we learn is to do the exact opposite: we learn to follow the rules and then we think of ourselves as uncreative.
Les Brown was labelled Educable Mentally Retarded in childhood. As a child, of course, he let that define who he was. That label defined his whole being. But one day a teacher told him not to let others' opinions of him define his reality. He grew to be one of the best motivational speakers the world has known. How's that for creativity?
Like most of us Les Brown didn't know what he wanted to do in life and motivational speaking isn't something we teach in school. Eventually, he clearly knew where he was heading but before he reached that point Les Brown had to fight with his own limiting beliefs. He fought with them and told himself never to be influenced by anybody's opinions of him. He played with the possibilities life offered. He was creative. He put his spaceship into warp speed and dodged the asteroids as best he could.
But you might not think of his accomplishments as inherently creative and therein lies the problem. Creativity is anything that comes from you. Everyday you imagine creative solutions to problems you are faced with but continue to believe you aren't creative because it doesn't fit the classical definition of creativity.
Like the flea you don't realize you have the capacity to jump out of the jar. Your jar is your list of limiting beliefs. You have imposed them on yourself. Life presented you with paradigms and you chose to jump in and close the door behind you.
Are you still that influenceable child? At some point you stopped being the child and yet continued to identify with your past but it never dawned on you that you could define a new reality. You did it once you can do it again.
You are not your past and you are not your thoughts.
We learn to form opinions. We go through life looking around and labelling things as good or bad. This is your ego.
Bu any form of judgement will confine you. Judgement of a person or a thing, whether good or bad, is judgement of yourself. It comes back to you.
When you judge someone, you are, in effect, judging yourself. You are saying that you aren't that but you are something else.
If you allow yourself to judge others you will allow yourself to judge yourself and it will prevent you from moving forward.
Is a bear chasing you? Unless there is: fear is not fear. It's judgement. Are you afraid to try something new? The only thing you're afraid of is your own judgement.
Teach yourself to approach life with a neutral perspective. This won't be easy as long as you are surrounded by people who continually judge. If you are surrounded by judgement it will be harder for you to stop. We are designed to do like others, aren't we?
Creativity is the act of creation. As long as you aren't moving forward with any of your projects you obviously aren't being creative.
You must allow yourself to create or you have forever sealed your fate. Stop judging and start creating. Doesn't matter what comes of it. Just move forward.
The ego does its thing all day long. It's always chatting about and it can boost the urge to judge.
Have you ever watched someone fail and laughed judgingly? Maybe you were polite and didn't let it show. Nonetheless, now you'll never dare try whatever it is you witnessed. You've limited yourself.
The ego reminds us of moments in the past. Especially the failures. Yet the ego is also the agency of creativity. You can use it as a tool but when you are done you must set it down.
When you create you must keep thinking to a minimum because thought can keep you from progressing.
The ego will remind you that you are taking risks as you create. It will tell you no one gave you permission to do what it is you are doing and it will suggest safer options. As long as you identify with the ego you will not progress.
The ego isn't you. The thoughts running through your mind aren't you either. If your desire is to create the best thing you can do is to disidentify with the ego. Be the observer of thought. The thoughts that run through your mind, especially the negative ones, should have no power over you.
Tell your thoughts to fuck off and be the creative Self you know yourself to be.
Any thought that hinders the essence of your ideas must be identified and ignored. Even trying to stay organised will interfere with what you are trying to express. No energy must be spent considering those thoughts.
Do not seek to find an idea to create, create and the idea will come. Let all the ideas pour out. Do not judge.
You should allow yourself to be extreme in the suppression of thought. When we start things we immediately start critiquing and correcting because we want to do things right from the start. But this will keep you from your potential.
Seek to quiet the mind. A quiet mind can create more freely.
We are accustomed to seeking approval from others. Sometimes it's by design like at work when something needs to go out to a client. And sometimes it's just because we want to be liked. In both scenarios if we believe the resulting critique is an assault on the essence of our being then we will always err on the side of caution. We will never dare to make a difference.
We play chess with ourselves all day long. Our decisions are often based on avoiding all possible negative outcomes. We're fixated on the negative.
I can understand why. Our ability to survive in the wild is now being used to survive in the corporate world. But it's holding you back. If your desire to create is strong you must realise you have been holding back.
Your creativity is right there waiting for you. Quiet the mind and you will see it.
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