To me, creativity means truly and wholeheartedly expressing oneself.
Creativity means going after your dreams – no matter how wild, unique, off-the-wall, or untraditional they may be.
It means that no matter how much we may fear the unknown, the rejection, the judgments, we still find a way to embrace and conquer our creative genius.
Creativity does not mean being able to paint the most beautiful piece of art or knit the most luxurious sweater. It doesn’t mean staying within the lines or playing by all the rules. It means being authentic, true, unique, and most of all, yourself!
While many might find it hard to believe, I was quite shy when I was a young child. However, despite my outward shyness, I was overflowing with thoughts, ideas, plans, inspiration, and endless dreams inside.
I always dreamed of creating something BIG – something that would stand out, be remembered, create a legacy, and truly make a difference in this world.
Early in middle school, I remember gathering a group of friends at my house but not telling them why we were getting together. When I unveiled the reason – which was to start a club (the purpose of which I can’t quite remember – but I do recall that it was to be something creative, fun, and fantastic!) – my friends proceeded to laugh at me, pick me up, carry me outside, and toss me into the pool.
Looking back on this, I know in my heart that I was expressing my creativity – even though it got shut down that day.
Today, I express and embrace my creativity in many ways – mostly by confidently going after EVERYTHING I want in life. Sure, sometimes I experience some hesitance, worry, and a few doses of fear, but that’s natural. I’m human!
Now, if people want to laugh at, shut down, or doubt my efforts to express myself while simultaneously creating a career for myself AND inspiring and helping others, then I say “let them laugh!”
But, all too often, people don’t even pursue their dreams and ideas (and sometimes even shy away from trying something that interests them or could truly benefit them) because they say they aren’t “_______ enough.”
Well, using THAT as your reason to not pursue something (whatever it may be) is definitely not going to make “it” any easier.
My favorite example is something I hear ALL the time, and it makes me want to SCREAM! When someone says to me, “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga,” I have to take a deep breath to avoid flipping out on them.
I always have the same comebacks to this silly little statement (I’ll clarify why I find it silly in just a bit):
- Well, you’re not going to become more flexible by NOT doing yoga.
- How are you going to become more flexible? And they always respond with the obvious answer, usually with their head down – “by coming to yoga.”
Then I proceed with my favorite analogies:
- Are you not going to go to that strength class because you’re not strong enough? Uhmmm…going to the class and lifting weights will make you stronger!
- Are you not going to go to that cooking class because you don’t know how to cook? Well you aren’t going to learn by NOT going!
The message usually comes through loud and clear.
It’s silly because it’s not a very intelligent comment. Every single person who has ever uttered that “I’m not flexible enough” phrase has either never even tried a yoga class or they tried it once or twice and didn’t like it (the teacher, the style, the difficulty, the fact that they couldn’t touch their toes, etc.). I always have a comeback for that one, too: “Can you master an entire language in one hour? No…well then how do you expect to master yoga in an hour?” And the truth is, there is no mastering of yoga because it’s over 6,000 years old and not meant to be mastered…it’s meant to be practiced. And guess what, most things in life are not meant to be mastered because most things are always changing and evolving and presenting opportunities to learn more!
So, what the heck does “enough” mean anyway? The dictionary defines it as “as much or as many as required.” But, it’s missing something very important. As much or as many as required BY WHOM?
YOU are the ultimate person who must determine what and how much is enough. And with the risk of sounding pretty morbid, most things are never really “enough” until we die.
The only way to become better, faster, stronger, more creative, more flexible, etc. is to practice…then practice again…and again…
When it comes to creativity, the only way to become more creative and more confident about your creativity is to – you guessed it – CREATE! Creativity is 100% unique to YOU. Sure, whatever it is you’re creating may not appeal to many people, but that doesn’t mean YOU are not creative. That means that the particular thing you created doesn’t appeal to a particular person. And that, my dear, has nothing to do with you!
Always know that you can’t please everyone; that becoming better at something takes time, practice, patience and lots of trial-and-error; that no one else can determine your “enough”; and that mastery is similar to the concept of perfection – it really doesn’t exist.
Do you find yourself NOT doing something because you feel you aren’t “______ enough”?
Tell me about it in the comments below.