But I’m Not Creative (and Why This is a Lie)

But I’m Not Creative (and Why This is a Lie)

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It’s something I hear said in passing, posted within online groups as a sidenote, or even discussed in direct conversations. It’s often said like it’s a factual statement or a proven hypothesis.

“I’m not creative.”

My work as a writer, musician, and graphic designer has revolved around creativity, so many times I’ve heard something to the effect of: “You’re creative; I’m not.”

There are ALL KINDS of untruths in that statement.

Like the assumption that one person is inherently creative and another is not. Or the idea that creativity just appears out of thin air — that it doesn’t have to be refined and worked on.

We are all incredibly capable of creativity.

lightbulb on a colored background

I believe:

  • It’s a mindset you can choose.
  • It’s a skill, like any other, that can be learned.
  • We all start out in life with huge creative potential. (Interacting with many different kids, including my own, has proven this to me time and again.)

Maybe the problem is our definition of the word creativity.

The dictionary tells me it’s:

the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination

This definition is wide open to a lot of possibility. (I go into detail about my own personal definition of creativity in this post.)

We naturally associate creativity with the arts — music, painting, dance, etc. But when we limit our idea of who can possess creativity to only a select few, then we miss out on so many opportunities for growth, innovation, and even joy.

As I said earlier, creativity as a mindset. It’s an element of our brain’s inner workings that can be applied to any task, any career.

When we can insert creativity into science, medicine, technology and so on, we are able to solve problems and achieve forward momentum in exciting ways. And this isn’t just about careers and jobs.

This is about life.

This is about parenting and the way we connect with our kids. It’s about our relationships and how we deal with change, experience failure, or even organize our desks.

I imagine creativity as a thread that runs through my life. Yes, I tap into more when I’m writing a song than when I’m doing my taxes. But as a general rule, it keeps my eyes open to the beauty around me and allows me to engage with my kids more fully. It lets me be more compassionate towards others and experience more joy in the little things.

The one thing I want you to take away from this?

You. are. creative.

And to reinforce that truth?

Imagine the creative mindset as looking at life with the wonder and possibility of a child. My son took a few bites of pizza once and then held up his slice and said, “Look! A pizza fish!” It was indeed in the shape of a fish. I love the way that 2-year-old brain saw a shape and made a joyful connection.

If you have young kids, listen to the (sometimes nonsensical yet completely unfiltered) things they say. Instead of rushing to correct them, make an effort to see what they see.

mom and daughter in a field with flower crowns

If you have no kids or older kids, just start with something small. What’s one way you can crack open the window to creativity?

Here are a handful of ideas:

  • Take a drawing class
  • Do one of those wine and paint nights that are so popular these days
  • Add some color or new art to your walls (something that inspires you)
  • Start journaling
  • Listen to more music
  • Hang out with a creative friend more often
  • Go to a museum or gallery

And lastly, something anyone desiring more creativity should do:

Stop telling yourself and others that you AREN’T creative.

Share this post with a friend who needs to tap into her own creativity! And then dive more into the topic of creativity and how to increase it in The Ultimate Guide to Creativity for Moms.

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Cyndi Harvell Lee

Musician, writer, mother, and lover of the outdoors. I equally love getting silly and getting real. And my goal is to connect, support and inspire moms everywhere to follow their passion, find their peace, and realize that "amazing" is already there inside of them.

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