Posted on 5/1/2017 by Mark Hutchinson
- Steve Jobs
"Creativity is contagious, pass it on."
- Albert Einstein
Many people don’t think of themselves as creative. It is certainly easy to point to individuals that create amazing things and say “Wow, that is a really creative person!” Yet many of us, when we do create things, still don’t consider that we are actually being “creative.” Why?
I think Steve Job’s quote above highlights one aspect of that hesitancy to claim ourselves to be creative. Many times the creative results doesn’t compare, in our own minds, to other greater leaps that we’ve seen or experienced. But where does it say that creativity is one and the same as uniqueness? A blade of grass growing in the spring sun is still a creation but certainly not unique when compared to its zillion siblings. The obvious result of the next step is still a creative process that produces something new. Connecting existing dots doesn’t diminish the resulting invention. We should recognize and celebrate all creative efforts because, as Einstein suggests, it is contagious. Creating leads to others creating around you. Sometimes because of you!
I suggest that another part of the hesitancy to own our creativity is that it leads directly to judgement. Not many folks like to be judged harshly and adding judgement by proxy – someone not liking you’re creative work, can exacerbate the problem and the feelings of exposure. Do you want to stand in front of the crowd and take the mic?
Look at the creative nature of children. They create wildly, freely and without fear… for a while. Somewhere along the line someone doesn’t like the drawing, the clay figure, or the treehouse they built out of your brand-new fencing. Those less pleasant moments start to create a pervasive disincentive to create boldly, or at all. It doesn’t take long for a young person to decide not to put their ideas out in the world in any form for fear of judgement and ridicule.
Of course, that’s not everyone, but as adults we can see the challenge and our own desire to avoid those negative situations. It takes some inner strength to put yourself out there.
I propose that developing your own general creativity is one of the fastest paths to building a strong self-worth, and increasing your capabilities to live a full and happy life. Expressing creativity of any sort, is also creating the person from the inside out. And when you put yourself out in to the world, caustic as it may be, you discover that you are stronger than you knew, that other’s judgement doesn’t diminish the person you are, that you can live a life full of energy, and make a positive impact wherever you go.
Create something, anything, and then go ask three people what they think of it. You will grow quickly!
Have a great week!