31 Days to Build Creative Confidence – Day One

Today is Day One of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and I decided for this challenge, my fifth, that I wanted to focus on creativity and ways to help other adults build creative confidence. For the past year I have been focused on living a creative life. What does it mean to live a creative life? For me it means making time for creative practice as well as looking at my life from a more creative perspective, being open to new ideas and solutions to problems. But it has taken me time to rebuild creative confidence after years of squashing my creativity or channeling it into work, cooking or non-artsy projects.

Perhaps many of you shared the same experience of being told you couldn’t draw, or you couldn’t write well. You were told you weren’t very creative. It doesn’t matter who told you or what they said, it stopped you from being able to confidently access the creative part of your spirit that longs to color, to paint, to write, to explore.

What I have learned is that being creative is a spiritual practice for me. When I don’t make the time to create or I don’t create the opportunity to look at every aspect of my life with a creative eye, I become disconnected, apathetic even. An hour spent coloring, painting or doodling can refresh me more than a nap as well as inspire new thoughts or ideas related to growing my business or writing my next blog post. I am noticeably less stressed and more enjoyable to be around.

Over the next 31 days, I will share 31 ways to build your creative confidence. These will be fun activities designed to help you relax into the creative process and remind you how to be creative. Let me just say this now, we are all creative beings!! I guarantee that if you do even one of these creativity building activities each week, you will find yourself feeling differently and looking at the world with fresh eyes.

Why did we stop being creative?

There are 5 reasons we stopped being creative:

  1. We have a fear of judgement
  2. We were taught in school or at the office that there is only one answer to a problem
  3. We are convinced we have to follow the rules (color inside the lines)
  4. We learned that it’s not okay to be foolish/look silly
  5. We learned that it’s not okay to make mistakes.

Take a look at this list. What feels true for you? Which one of these do you struggle with most? We all have an inner critic that runs us. We will work with our inner critic and invite them to take a back seat during this process.

What are the benefits of a creative practice?

how to be creative

These are just some of the benefits of beginning a creative practice:

  1. Relaxation
  2. Stress-relief
  3. Problem solving
  4. Idea generation
  5. Feel better โ€“ physically, emotionally, spiritually
  6. Create community

Over the next few days I will talk about each of these more in depth, but let’s dive in to the lesson for day one of 31 ways to build creative confidence.

creative haven coloring book

Day One

Are you ready? It’s super simple! We are going to color!

Step One. Go buy a new box of crayons, markers or colored pencils (or raid your kids’ stash).

There is something truly exciting about a brand new box of crayons, all those sharp tips and the rainbow of colors… like a fresh box of endless possibilities. Your imagination can’t help itself, it will kick into high gear just like it did when you were in kindergarten.

Step Two. Either print out one of the coloring pages from the link below or purchase a coloring book from your local craft store. Michael’s carries a series by Creative Haven that are just gorgeous, they are also available on Amazon.com. The links are below.

Links to coloring pages:

http://www.colorpagesformom.com/

http://www.coloring-pages-for-all-ages.com/adult-coloring-pages.html

Links to coloring books on Amazon.com:

Creative Dreamscapes

Mosaic Masterpieces

Step Three. Set aside 30 minutes to color. Turn on your favorite music, turn off your telephone and computer. Allow yourself to enjoy the experience, remember what it felt like in kindergarten to make the sky green and the trees red. Enjoy the process.

I would love for you to share what you are creating during this challenge. Snap a photo and post it on my Facebook page here. Share your experience as you go.

As we start this challenge, I am working from my mom’s house in gorgeous Estes Park, Colorado. She has a huge cache of art supplies and I brought my coloring book with me, you can see the butterflies above that I colored. It’s not uncommon to find my mom, daughter, son and me all sitting around the kitchen table coloring and talking. It’s relaxing and something we all enjoy together. So if you want a bonus challenge, invite a friend to color with you. Do it at Starbucks over coffee! Creative play dates are so relaxing.