Many of us don’t think of ourselves as creative. We have bought into the myth that creativity is an inherent quality – that we are either creative or not. Research by Brené Brown shows this to be false and she says that “our only unique contribution that we will ever make in the world will be born out of creativity.” When we are able to tap into this part of ourselves, we often feel more fulfilled and happy. There is also data to suggest that people who engage in activities where they feel a sense of “flow” report being happier.
Why then aren’t we making more time for this? If you’ve been disconnected from your creativity for long enough you may feel like you don’t know how to be creative. I know that feeling firsthand.
That being said, learning to cultivate creativity has saved my life. After having two kids I reached a point where I didn’t know myself anymore. If I was left with time where I had nothing to do (which was extremely rare and it actually still is) – I would be at a loss of what to do. Even the scrapbooking I had been doing was feeling more like a chore than a creative outlet. I remember sitting alone at home once and almost crying because I was so disconnected with myself – I didn’t know what I even liked anymore. To top it off, I was also struggling with postpartum depression and wondering what the point of life even was.
It was at this time that I started working with a coach to move forward with my business and personal life. It was a terrifyingly expensive investment, but I knew something needed to change. She challenged me to think about what I was doing for me – just for me – that was fun and that tapped into my innate creativity. I shared with her that I didn’t know anymore and she suggested I look all the way back to my childhood. I was an extremely creative kid who was into singing, acting, writing, art, journaling, piano, crafting, etc. It was then that I realized that I had not drawn something or done an art project since high school. Let’s just say I went on Amazon that evening and ordered some art supplies and a journal.
There was also a local crafting store that offered classes that I begin frequenting. I quickly became a regular and I was coming home with all kinds of completed projects – paintings, a farmhouse step-stool, scrapbooking cards, you name it. I also realized the power of scheduling out time for these activities. For me, I need to do most of them outside of the house or else they never happen. You should see my sad “crafting closet” full of crafting supplies I almost never use.
I encourage you to take a look at what you do or used to do for fun. See what parts of that tap into your creativity and schedule them out. The research finds that we often come up with profound ideas when we allow ourselves time to get into “flow” and relax. Sometimes tapping into creativity can push us out of our comfort zones but please realize that this is FOR YOU. Not for anyone else. This is where we need to work on letting go of comparison. Your cake may not look like the one on Pinterest but that is okay – you dared to try it and tapped into your creative side during the process.