be more creative

How to be more creative (even if it’s not your thing.)

They say that everyone has the ability to create, that we are all creative beings. 

I didn’t always believe this to be true because I always thought of creatitiy as being artisitc , emphasis on “art.” Definitely not my thing.

In fact, I’m one of the few people I know who stresses out at Painting With a Twist. And crafting projects, those “easy” ones designed to re-purpose every day household items into some beautiful, functional object, tend to put me in a bad mood. 

When it comes to being innovative and creative, I always thought:

  • It’s not my thing. 
  • I don’t know what I’m doing. 
  • It’s never going to look right. 

Words have power.

I didn’t think about how that negative mindset further inhibited my already tentative creativity. 

My creativity was listening to that negative self-talk!

To get past the negative self-talk enough to be able to own my creative capabilites, I had to let go of 2 things:

Expectations, for the outcome, the experience, and the response to it

Self-judgement, which doesn’t allow for compassion, understanding, and kindness

Letting go of expectations and self-judgement have allowed me to explore my creativity and stop comparing myself an my abilities to others.

It was hard at first.

When I started to crochet, my practice swatches never looked like the swatches the YouTube crocheters made. But I kept at it.

Now, after a year of lots of trial and error, I’ve learned that I can start with the intention of making one thing and end up making something totally different, like when I started making a vest and it turned into a bag.

Crocheted bag that started off as a vest.
A bag I crocheted that started off as a top. When that plan didn’t work out I made it a bag.

I’m not sure if we’re born with different levels of creativity or if we all have enormous potential for it, but I now believe creativity and the ability to create has less to do with talent and more to do with mindset.

Here are some things to think about to help you get past the self judgement and start flexing your creative muscles. 

It’s for you. 

Creativity is as individual as you are. What would you want to create? Do you feel drawn toward writing, painting, woodworking, interior design, gardening, photography, paper making, pottery, soap making, cooking, music…? Dabble in it. Try it out.

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do and think, I could never do that, then ask yourself, Why not? What you create is for you and doesn’t need to be shared with anyone unless you decide to share it.

Do it for the sake of the experience. 

Failure is part of the process. 

Your first attempt may not come out as you expected or as you envisioned. That’s okay! Don’t let that stop you from continuing if you enjoy doing it. You’ll get better if you stick with it. 

For more on this idea, read Embrace the Beginner’s Mindset

Start small. 

Especially if you’re dabbling into something you think you might like but don’t know for sure, start small. It can be very discouraging to pour money and effort into a project you’re not ready for. 

Baby steps. Start with the basics and then build on those to the next level. 

Do it your way.

There are helpful kits, patterns, and about a gazillion instructional videos about “How To” do almost anything. Use them to help you get started. Or you can hire a coach, take a class, read a book, phone a friend. Whichever way helps you get started and/or to the next level. 

We are all creative beings, even if we don’t really think creativity is our thing.

Letting go of expectations and self-judgement allows each of us to engage in the creative process more fully. Being more creative could mean taking an innovative approach to a problem or actually creating something.

Sometimes the first step is letting go of the limiting beliefs that tell us we are not the creative type.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject! What helps you get past expectations and be more creative?