What is Creativity Anyway?
Surely we are all capable of imagination and ideas
On Instagram we seem to talk a lot about creativity, about being creative and about getting more creative. I often have people tell me I’m creative or comment how creative my posts are, sometimes I agree with their comments and sometimes I wonder what they are talking about. There are many courses on creativity and even creativity coaches, but what is creativity?
I have to say that I’ve never really seen myself as creative. I would say I have a creative job, I live creatively I even refer to myself as creative, on good days at least, but am I?
It’s a question that I struggle with a lot, often unsure what creativity means, unsure if I’m creative and tying myself in knots about what is really a first-world problem.
But what I do see is elitism about creativity, an idea that some people have it and some don’t, the idea that it is given to some and others have no chance ever of getting it and all sorts of rules and conditions being put on being creative.
People often tell me that they are not creative or that they couldn’t do what I do because they don’t have the creativity gene, whatever that is. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy this.
Let’s look at the dictionary definition.
Surely we are all capable of imagination and ideas. Now there is an ability called Idea Productivity, which is linked with creative minds and true, some people are higher in it than others. However, it just measures how quickly you can come up with new ideas, not how great they are. So yes, some people are idea machines, but that doesn’t make their output any better.
So that got me thinking, perhaps when people say they aren’t creative what they really mean is that they don’t value their ideas or imagination.
I’m no more creative than the next person, but I value my ideas and imagination and have the confidence to attempt to put those ideas into place. That is perhaps what people see and admire in me.
Language is important, it has control over us and when we say we aren’t creative we end up believing our own hype, thus making us less confident that our ideas have any value.
I recently asked my followers for their definition of creativity and I can tell you out of all the responses none of them were the same. Some of the same words came up, like expressing and freedom, but each reply was different, which makes me wonder what we really mean when we talk about creativity and being creative - who knows?
What I do know is that it’s a personal journey for everyone; there are no rules, no formulas and no rights or wrongs.
For me, creativity is simply thinking differently. It’s about trusting my ideas and imagination and attempting - often failing - to bring those ideas into some kind of tangible form.
For others I’m sure it’s completely different, but I know we all have it, I know no one is left out and I know we all have the right to claim creativity in our own way.
So perhaps when you are next telling yourself that you’re not creative, you should stop, check yourself and tell yourself that it’s not true. Remind yourself that you are in the process of discovering the confidence to believe in your ideas and imagination.