I have a confession to make… I am creative.
And since I’ve put that out there, I might as well confess this as well… I used to think I wasn’t creative — at all.
I believed that because I “couldn’t” draw or paint awesomely, I wasn’t creative.
I love writing, and even though it’s something I do a lot, I still didn’t think I was creative.
Even when I was dancing heaps (like more than 10 hours a week), I still didn’t believe I was creative.
I’ve said and thought “I’m not creative” so many times, that I truly believed it.
And I know that this is something I’m definetely not alone in, as I hear other people use the I’m not creative disclaimer all the time as well.
So what made me change my mind?
I read Liz Gilbert’s Big Magic, which has been revolutionary for me — and from what I’ve witnessed around the web, it has been for many others as well.
I can’t remember a time when I got so much out of a book, and it definetely has lit a fire within me to live a more creative life.
One of the most profound things I’ve taken away from reading Big Magic is this:
This realisation — that to be human is to be creative — has had a powerful and profound influence on me.
And has made me realise (and publically declare) that I am creative.
So why have I spend so long thinking I’m not creative?
I was one of those people who had opted out of thinking of themselves as creative.
I remember when I was young I would create stuff and make art, all the time, just because. I would spend hours upon hours colouring in, painting, drawing stuff, making collages and it was fun.
But somewhere along the way I let fear stop me from making stuff for fun and I decided that I wasn’t creative.
I remember on the rare occasion that I did making something (often for a gift for someone else) I would criticise it for not being “good enough” and it would refuel the belief that I’m not creative.
I was afraid of being creative. And many of my reasons are highlighted by Liz in Big Magic:
Fear really is a killer of creativity.
Fear is the reason I stopped making stuff, just because.
Fear is the reason that I abandoned being creative, and chose to hide behind the I’m-not-creative mask.
But after reading Big Magic, I now know (and believe) that I am creative, and since this realisation I’ve been devoted to exploring my creativity.
So what has this looked like?
∞ Colouring in mandalas in regularly.
∞ Taking more photos, and playing with photography.
∞ Curating playlists of music.
∞ Creating stuff, and making art, just because.
∞ Reflecting back on my childhood and what I loved doing for fun.
∞ Writing for the sake of writing. Some of it might not (ever) see the light of day, but I think there’s something special about that too.
∞ Bringing my awareness to the everyday things I was doing that are creative such as: writing, cooking food, decorating my space, getting dressed, trying different hairstyles, etc.
None of the things I’ve been doing to express my creativity serve an important purpose (other than making me feel good), but like Liz says “you’re not required to save the world with your creativity”.
So it doesn’t matter if your creativity isn’t important.
And it also doesn’t matter if you don’t think you paint, or draw, or write books…
You are creative.
And you have the right to be creative.
In whatever way you feel called to express your creativity, but I want you to know that it is within you.
And remember this: “you do not need anyone’s permission to live a creative life”.
But if you feel like you do, I highly recommend reading Big Magic.
And now I’d absolutely love to hear from you: What has your relationship with creativity been like? Like me, have you ever fallen down the trap of believing your not creative, or is it something you’ve always owned about yourself? I look forward to love hearing about your experience with creativity in the comments.
Here’s to owning that as humans we are creative (no matter what!)
Love & Gratitude,
PS. The artwork throughout this post was done by my 4 year old self.
Enter your details below to receive fortnightly newsletter-only updates, insights and inspiration – plus you will also receive a FREE copy of my super inspirational eBook Infinite: Take your life to the next level and beyond!