I am not creative!!
I have heard this statement from so many people. I am just not creative. The problem with this mentality is too many people settle for less than they could be because they sell themselves short. Creativity comes in so many different forms; music, art, design, communication. The good news is you can become more creative.
The root of the creative issue.
You can basically summarize the creative issue to fear. We have been trained and conditioned to be afraid of being creative. The critics are everywhere and because of them we are programmed to sit back and not do anything creative. (more thoughts on overcoming fear here.)
- Fear of being judged
- Fear of failing
- Fear of not being good enough
- Fear of being uncomfortable
2. Lack of practice.
Because of fear we don’t do anything creative and because of that we have no practice. Creativity is a by product of continually practicing and doing. Many people believe creative people just come up with the ideas and run with it. That it happens easily for them. The truth is they just keep doing until it happens. You don’t see the hundreds of throw aways that happened before that masterpiece.
3. Lack of fundamentals.
As stated above, many people believe creative is like a jackpot it just hits you and you win. The reality is creativity is based off of being really good at the fundamentals. Many people aren’t creative because they don’t have a grasp of the fundamentals in their particular discipline.
Ways to become more creative.
1. Put yourself out there.
One of the easiest ways to become more creative is to just put yourself out there. Do things that can put your work out there. Write a blog post, write a song, paint a picture, write a speech.
2. Learn to love the critics.
The reality is the critics are there. The more you get judged the more you are doing it right. Critics are all bark and no bite. Critics are a sign of growth, a sign of movement, a sign of creating. If you have critics you should throw a party.
This may seem counterintuitive to creativity but to get to the masterpiece you have to go through many “first” drafts, and “second” drafts, and “fifty” drafts. If you fail it just gets you one more step closer to the masterpiece. You can’t skip this part. Every great artist has so many stories of mistakes, and broken pieces, and trash can products. This is an important part.
4. Forget about perfection.
The goal isn’t perfection the goal is to create. Perfection rarely happens but that doesn’t mean it isn’t ready. So many people settle for mediocrity because they have been taught perfection is the goal. The reality is if you look hard enough you can always find an error.
5. Learn the fundamentals.
We often want to skip the hard part of learning the fundamentals. We want to skip to the masterpiece without learning the foundation principles of our desired discipline. Don’t skip this step if you want to be creative. They are called fundamentals for a reason.