Over the years, I’ve heard many people tell me they weren’t creative. A high school art teacher even said to me I wasn’t a talented painter. And her statement kept me from doing something I enjoyed for over twenty years, which stunted my creativity.
Creativity is part of human nature. You create each day. Anything that you produce comes from your creative inner Spirit. So just because it isn’t considered art doesn’t mean it’s not imaginative. Instead, I believe when something new and valuable is formed, it results from creativity.
You have distinctive abilities and strengths, which are the foundation of your unique creative process. For example, the ability to see a solution to a problem is creative. Likewise, inventors are innovative in finding better ways of doing something. An inspired artist chooses a medium for their creative process to form a new piece of art. Finally, a writer puts words together differently to develop their one-of-a-kind story. Each example is a way for their authentic selves to serve the world with their gifts and talents.
So if you don’t think you’re creative, then it’s undoubtedly time for you to explore your innate creativity. It’s about taking your ideas and allowing them to take a form in the world.
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Remember, as a child gluing macaroni onto cardboard and making what you knew was a masterpiece? And it was because it came from your imagination. So likewise, anything you can imagine and form into reality is creativity in action.
What a child creates is inspired, artistic, and imaginative because no one else could have done it but them. Originality to macaroni art, the fine-tuning, and individual touches make it an unprecedented and authentic creation.
But then someone critiqued your masterpiece. Anything other than praise for the imagination you had for your art piece starts the stifling process. Why? Because the egoic mind will take what they said and use it against you. It uses their words to fuel the inner critic.
So, you now have a child or grandchild who shows you their macaroni art. What do you say? Do you critique them by telling them how you think it could be better? Or do you praise their uniqueness, their thought process of making their original piece?
My art teacher assessed my masterpiece to the point I began thinking I wasn’t a talented painter. She was trying to teach me what she thought art was instead of allowing me to determine on my own what I thought art could be. Your thoughts create or can stop you from creating. Can you see how a benign comment can squash creativity?
If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ~ Vincent Van Gogh
As a child, the right side of the brain is more active as it learns emotional expression, imagery, sound variations, colors, intuition, and creativity. But as the child grows and takes on responsibilities, it shifts away from the imaginative brain to the analytical brain.
The left side of the brain processes language, figures, rational thinking, and analysis. But that doesn’t mean the creative brain doesn’t function.
Like any muscle, you need to exercise creativity. It’s not about using it or losing it. It’s about not favoring one part of the brain over the other. Both hemispheres of the brain are essential, and they both have a vital role to play.
Your authenticity comes through when both sides of the brain can work together. Creativity can occur through any means and is used in every area of life. It’s an expression of your true self.
It promotes problem-solving by looking at the circumstances from a different perspective. From a health standpoint, creativity reduces stress, boosts cognitive activity, and supports overall wellness. When you are in the flow, your ability to explore and discover innovative results increases exponentially.
You have the ability within you to be creative. However, maybe you haven’t had the right atmosphere to allow your creativity to emerge. So what can you do to stimulate the dormant right side of your brain to help you rediscover your creative side?
Here Are Five Ways to Ignite Your Creativity
Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things. ~ Ray Bradbury
1. Explore the Unfamiliar
When you step out of your comfort zone, you grow and expand. Unfortunately, staying within your daily routine and habits doesn’t allow for exploration of the unknown. Each day, spend at least five minutes investigating something that interests you. Maybe you wanted to learn about gardening, join a local running club, study Spanish, or discover the area’s history. Whatever helps you get out of the familiar will aid you in igniting your creativity.
This unfamiliar could be as simple as listening to different music or watching a documentary versus a comedy. Maybe you need to turn off your phone and take a walk in nature. Listen to the natural world around you before the bustle of the day begins. Ground yourself in the peacefulness of prayer, journaling, or meditation. Explore those things you’ve always wanted to do.
To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. ~ Kurt Vonnegut
2. Find Your Creative Tribe
Surround yourself with people who are passionate about bringing to life their ideas. These types of individuals will help you explore different mediums and concepts. They will help you see that it’s not perfection you are seeking.
You will need people who can help you deal with the inner critic, which will rise and tell you what your creating isn’t good. If you enjoy the process, then that is the reward. I like to paint. I’m not trying to be anything but myself, and painting is a way to express my originality.
This tribe will help you be courageous and deal with the egoic mind, trying to avoid disappointment. As you ignite your passionate side, find your tribe of like-minded people to encourage you in this process.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it. They just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. ~ Steve Jobs
3. Seek Alone Time
As a recovering control freak, routines and habits are my friends. So throughout my life, the way the Universe has gotten my attention is to remove me from a portion of my life that no longer serves me. The last move caused me to rediscover my creative side.
My husband worked second shift, and since I didn’t have friends close by, I started doing things by myself, yes, all alone, just me. First, I went to dinner alone before the painting class each week for about six months. Then I started going to yoga class each week for another six months. Finally, I joined a book club that met each month. https://terrikozlowski.com/why-join-a-book-club/
As I explored each of these areas, I learned about myself. What I liked, what I didn’t like, as well as who I authentically was. Others didn’t influence me. It was just me discovering myself, my thoughts, and my passion. Finding a way to self-expression is creative.
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
4. Change Your Perspective
One of the best photographs I’ve ever taken was when I got the picture from an unexpected angle. Looking at the ordinary from a different viewpoint causes both sides of the brain to engage. The left side seeks to make sense of it, and the right side looks for the unexpected.
Sometimes looking at things sideways or upside down will help you shift from left-brain thinking to right-brain thinking. Logic works based on something you already know, understand, and believe is possible. Creativity works based on your imagination, what’s improbable. Look at ways to see from a different perspective to ignite your creative side.
Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way. ~ Edward de Bono
5. Let Curiosity Inspire Creativity
Humans are curious by nature. For example, look at a child following an ant to see what it will do with the food it’s carrying. But you are told by loving parents to place your attention on more important things. As a result, the child learns that curiosity is reprimanded instead of encouraged.
When you are curious, you are again using both hemispheres of the brain. Support this behavior in those around you. It enhances memory, sparks your desire to learn, and fuels your passions.
Also, encourage curiosity in yourself. Explore something that interests you. This internal inspiration enables your authenticity to rise as part of the Universal flow. The reward isn’t necessarily the end result, but also the creative process itself.
Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people. ~ Leo Burnett
Creatively Moving Forward
Pushing past your everyday thinking is being creative. Passion ignites your creativeness because it’s meaningful to you. Exciting your senses to use your imagination allows your brain to engage both hemispheres. This engagement is your complete self, exploring all possible and improbable ways of dealing with an issue.
Your creative abilities are a powerful resource you have within yourself. Therefore, you must explore this innate part of yourself. But, guess what, there are no rules for you to follow, no one you need to compare yourself to, and the possibilities are limitless. So, be inspired, original, excited, adventurous, and find your inner creative self.
Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything. ~ George Lois
Do you need help to explore your innate creative self? Do you want a strategy to help you overcome the ego’s limiting beliefs and live a successful life? If so, please reach out to me at TerriKozlowski.com, and we can put together an action plan for you to create the life you desire.