Do you have a creative mindset?
You are creative! In fact, creativity and in particular creative problem solving are what sets human beings apart from other species. What’s missing is your belief or mindset that you are creative. But it’s not your fault. There is a misconception in our culture that creativity is drawing, painting or other forms of art-making. While those forms of creative expression flow from having a creative mindset, so do other forms of innovation and expression like cooking, science experiments, innovations in technology.
The Dictionary.com definition of creativity states this clearly.
They define creativity as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.
In an IBM study of 1,500 CEOs, creativity was the number one most sought after trait in new hires. Does that surprise you? As an entrepreneur, I’m not generally concerned with what is happening in corporate America, but I do think this trend had an impact by increasing the visibility of creativity as something to be nurtured in our students, rather than something that often squashed, subject to budget cuts or seen as unimportant in education. Don’t get me started about how schools squash creativity in kids, that’s a topic for another day.
What does this have to do you with you and your creative mindset?
You might have been that kid who had her creativity squashed at an early age. Perhaps you heard comments like “You can’t draw. You can’t sing. You can’t dance or act.” It happens. It’s painful. So painful that often we stop giving voice to our innate creativity.
I can number off the times that this happened to me. One time where I was told to sit down and be quiet in front of a group of people who were all singing Christmas Carols together. Other times when I was told my art wasn’t any good or got a C on a high school poem. I began to believe that I wasn’t creative. I couldn’t sing, write poetry or make art. All things that as I young woman I loved to do. And stopped doing for decades.
I have spent the last ten years overcoming those limiting beliefs and stepping into a new creative mindset. One that says I am a writer and I am an artist. I still don’t know how to sing, though. Maybe that will happen in my next decade.
The shift happened when I began to create – write and make art – purely for the joy and delight of self-expression. I stopped looking to others for feedback, reward or praise. This was hard. When I did step out and start sharing my work on Facebook a few years ago, I felt very tender. I moved through the discomfort and kept sharing until suddenly people were asking to buy my art. What a crazy journey. That created the need for more inner work around visibility and vulnerability.
This being creative is a journey! At times it is a treacherous one.
How do you know if you have a creative mindset?
I found this great article on the Creativity Mindset that struck me as so insightful. You can see in the fun illustration below the different aspects of a creative mindset. I found this very affirming! I could say YES I am creative after reading this. Can you?
Here are the 5 signs you have a creative mindset:
- Believes in One’s Own Creativity
- Embraces Curiosity
- Suspends Judgement – Silences the Inner Critic
- Tolerates Ambiguity
- Persists Even When Confronted with Skepticism & Rejection
- Taps Into Childlike Imagination; a Child’s Sense of Wonder
When I reflect back over the past few years, I have tapped into each of these ways of being and know that is why I feel like I am more creative than ever at 53 years old. I especially relate to embracing curiosity and tapping into a childlike sense of wonder. I am delighted by the world around me and find creative inspiration everywhere.
So much so, that I it has impacted the direction of my business. I have been an entrepreneur for 17 years. I love owning my own business. For the past 6 years I have been helping other creatives to grow their business. Now I am also being called to help women ignite their creative fire. To find the lost joy and delight in their own creative expression. If you are longing to discover or reconnect to your creative genius, I invite you to reach out. Let’s have a virtual chat and see if I can support you on your journey towards cultivating a creative mindset.