Opening the doors to creativity

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Are you creative? 

I’ve asked this question to individuals, small teams and conference rooms filled with people and time and again the response I receive is a small flurry of hands from those who identify themselves as creative.

Often these people are the ones who have job titles like ‘designer’ and ‘content creator’, a label that they feel qualifies them as creative. A label awarded by others and one nobody would argue that they wholeheartedly deserve.

Yet so many of us believe that we’ve got no chance of ever being creative, let alone being praised by others for our creative talents. We feel that we’re just not designed that way.

But, when asked to reflect back to our childhood, many of us feel that we had access to some form of creativity. When asked how this was possible then and not now many of us resign ourselves to being fooled into thinking we had it as a child and others think it mysteriously left us over time.

What we forget is that creativity is available to all of us, all of the time. Creativity and innovation are the act of having fresh thinking and new ideas, not the act of choosing to express them. Creativity is not what we do with the ideas, like paint a picture or write a book, but having new ideas coming to us in the first place.

With this confusion so widespread, it’s easy to think that it’s the artists, poets, writers, innovators, designers and the like that are exclusively the creative ones. But creativity is a natural state of mind for everyone when they’re not stuck in the rut of thinking about an existing way of doing something. When we’re bogged down in thoughts or lost in deadlines, pressures and expectations we all, without exception, have access to this fresh thinking in the moment.

Do you have the right conditions to be creative?

So many of us believe that we need to have the perfect conditions to feel creative. Maybe a great nights sleep, a meeting free day surrounded by stunning scenery, and eating beautiful food or the right essential oils and a gorgeous yoga session. Any of these sound familiar?

Whilst these things help us to slow our thinking and connect with our truest self, both deeply important when creating new ideas, we can do this without the shopping list of circumstances to make it happen. Our creative self is always accessible beneath our thinking.

So if you’re in the far from ideal circumstances and you’re looking for fresh thinking consider these reflections;

·      Be as interested in what you don’t know as what you do know

·      Drop your assumptions and tight grip on how things should look

·      Look beyond what exists today

·      Choose not to engage in any self-doubting thoughts like ‘I’m not creative’, ‘I can’t do this’. The life of a thought is only as long as you think it. If you deepen your thinking around it, inevitably it will hang around so choose to see it simply as a thought and let it pass without need to engage with it.

Creativity is innate within us all without exception. It is our birthright to access fresh ideas and, when we can loosen our attachment to our thinking patterns seeing them much like weather systems that come and go, a blue sky ripe for idea generation is within our reach.