Resistance to starting something new or something that seems interesting to you can show up in a variety of ways. Procrastination on getting started is certainly a big one. Another common one is long-held beliefs or ideas running through your mind, telling you that what you want just can’t happen or that it isn’t feasible. Society perpetuates certain beliefs around creativity, and it’s time that you know the truth, if you don’t already. Let’s take a look at five myths about creativity that prevent people from diving in and getting started.
Creativity is only for right brained people. I’ve written more and more lately about creativity and to a degree, how it relates not only right brained people but also to left brained people. The bottom line is that creativity isn’t limited to one thinking type. It’s available to anyone who has the desire to express him/herself creatively. All one must do is take action. Even if you’re more comfortable with a spreadsheet than a paint brush (like me!), creativity is still 100% an option for you. Choose it and it’s yours!
Creativity is only for the artistically inclined. This one used to trip me up, big time: the myth creativity is limited to those who are overtly artistically inclined: the fine artist, the musician, the uber creative-type. So wrong. What most people don’t realize that creativity is simply the creation of something new and unique to them. It’s not necessarily some grand artistic gesture. It’s simply about creating and self-expression, whatever that looks like for you. Not someone else — YOU! Trash the notion that creativity is for “someone else, not me.” Rid your mind of thoughts like “I could never be good at creating things.” Those are limiting beliefs, and they don’t serve you or increase your happiness. If you want to be creative, you can be. Remember: you need only to take action in your creative pursuit and you are being creative! It really is that easy.
Creativity is limited to the arts like drawing, painting, or music. What most people associate creativity with is fine art or music, but creativity is so much more than that. It can be as simple as creating a recipe or working on a new make-up technique. You can be creative if you’re devising a new way of doing something or developing a new dance routine for your daily exercise. If you get satisfaction from the act of expression, then it’s probably creativity at work. Believe it or not, writing is creative. Not just creative writing either like poems or fiction. Just the practice of putting pen to paper and writing what’s on your mind or in your heart, that’s creativity too!
Creativity is takes lots of time. There’s no rule that says creativity has to take a long time. Sure, you can spend years developing a masterpiece of art, but that’s not the only thing that’s creativity (as we’ve talked about before!). Time is irrelevant to creativity. Just because you can’t devote your life to it, doesn’t mean that it’s not worthy of pursuit. Spend a few minutes a day working on that crocheting project. Use a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon to plant new flowers and plants in your yard. You can spend as much or as little time as you’d like on your creative pursuits. It doesn’t need to take up all your time. Give it what feels good and what you can do with an open heart. When you’re done, put it aside until next time. Keep it joyful and easy, and you may even find yourself wanting to make more time for your creative endeavor.
Creativity is a luxury for a select few. Finally, let’s bust the myth that creativity is a luxury. Okay, sure, some creative pursuits are luxuries, but that doesn’t preclude you from expressing yourself creatively. Start with the minimum amount of supplies necessary to begin. If you find fulfillment in painting with a basic set of brushes and colors on an art pad, then that’s all it takes. Invest slowly and then graduate up to “better” or more expensive supplies, as you’re able to. But please don’t let the fact that you can’t afford the top of the line supplies stop you. It’s not about being great or having it all. Creativity is about expressing yourself. It’s about getting that energy out of your body and into the world. No amount of fancy supplies or equipment can “make” you want to be creative. You’ll need to find the desire inside and then unleash it into your work. That’s available to everyone. All you need to do is claim it.
I hope that busting these five myths has been helpful for you. Next time that inner voice of resistance tells you that you’re not good enough, you don’t have the time, or you don’t have the talent to be creative, you’ll know better. Remind yourself that creativity is simply about expressing yourself. It’s also about using expression as a means to feeling more satisfied and alive in your daily life. Don’t let anyone (even the voice in your head) tell you otherwise!