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Awakening your creative side

WE are often told to be creative, either by our bosses or other well-meaning people in our lives. But what does it take to be creative? Every single human being possesses a flow of creative energy, including you.

Robert Mandeya

It is not even a question of whether you can be creative or not, since the answer is absolutely yes. The much more sensible question is how to learn to identify, nurture and express the creative energy that resides in you.

Whether you see yourself as a creative person or not, or you are terrified of expressing yourself or you are the boldest artist there is, after reading this article you will acquire many ideas for how to completely awaken the creative part of your personality and then leverage it to dealing with the many challenges or opportunities that you encounter in life.

Igniting your creative spark

First, as with anything that requires effort in life, you need a strong reason why you should even bother igniting your creative spark. Without a purpose or the “why”, you will not have the strength needed to start a new habit, project or learn a new skill. And creativity is exactly that — a combination of a habit, skills and little projects. Emotions drive attention. Emotions direct the creative juices.

Among many ways you can benefit from creativity, there are two major ones. The first one is that in the creative society, creativity is well-cherished. Brilliant ideas are the drivers of success. By being more creative, you can skyrocket your career, business or social life. It is that simple.

Having only brilliant ideas is, of course, rarely enough to succeed, but it is definitely the best start.

The second, even more important reason to develop your creativity is to give additional meaning to your life. You are here on this planet to grow, connect, enjoy and create.

Without creating in one way or another, it is hard to feel complete. Finding yourself in the creative flow is one of the most divine experiences you can have as a human being.

Creativity gives you a chance to shine bright, to express your true self and to transform raw energies into subtler ones.

With creativity, you can even leave a legacy if you manage to impact the people with your brilliant ideas. And there is more. Creativity can empower your growth, gives you new ways to connect with other people, and provides a unique way of enjoying life. What more could one ask for?

Developing your creative side

There are four completely different paths (based on two variables) to the development of your creative self. The first variable is about possessing obvious traditional artistic talent or, on the other extreme, considering yourself as not possessing a creative personality at all.

The second variable concerns your environment. Every personality trait (including creative talent) can be enhanced, decreased, woken up or eliminated by life experiences. Your creativity can be encouraged or stifled based on your functioning in a specific environment. An environment such as we are in today, full of challenges and difficulties including some induced by the Covid-19 crisis could either ignite or stifle creativity in some people. It could be a toxic work environment which is very discouraging.

Supportive environment

Some people are lucky to discover their medium for creating at a young age while their parents provide a supportive environment for their talents to be developed.

If a child shows drawing, singing, acting or any other kind of artistic capabilities that are constantly encouraged, we get “natural born artists”.
A combination of talent and the environment that enables at least 10 000 hours of practice is what creates outliers, the most successful people of humankind. There are rare exceptions, but this is the safest success formula when creative talents are involved. Then we have people with no obvious artistic talent, but being in a supportive environment helps them find a way to express their creativity. These are the individuals with a very strong growth mindset
The core of their belief system is that talent is overrated and that they can learn any skill (artistic or not) if they put in enough effort. They are hard workers who learn how to be creative with enough time and effort. They absolutely have to work much harder than the talented people to achieve the same level of mastery.

Non-supportive environment

Then there are two groups of people who do have challenges with expressing their creative self.

People that have traditional artistic talent and are in a very critical and non-supportive environment develop strong mistrust in themselves and life, together with severe feelings of shame, guilt, doubt and inferiority.

Their true self and creative talents get stifled and the desire to shine is suppressed. They know what their talents are, they have the urge to express themselves, but they are keeping themselves locked in an emotional cage.

The last group of people are the ones with no obvious artistic talent combined with a non-supportive environment.

These people most often see themselves as not creative at all and they are not particularly bothered by that fact.

They do not believe they can express themselves in a creative way, so they do not even try. But they are just letting parts of their personality go undiscovered, and the creative urge is buried deep in the unconscious mind.

In which quadrant do you fall?

Mandeya is a certified executive leadership coach, corporate education trainer and management consultant and founder of Leadership Institute of Research and Development (LiRD). — robert@lird.co.zw/ or info@lird.co.zw, Facebook: @lirdzim and Mobile/WhatsApp: +263 719 466 925.

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