I want to start out this year by declaring that you are creative. You may not think so, which is why I’m writing this post. To help you find your creative side — because I promise it’s there! I have so many wonderful posts planned for this year, but they will do you no good if you don’t believe you’re creative. So I have to start at the foundation: You ARE Creative.
MEET YOUR CREATIVE SIDE…
You are creative. Yes, you. Don’t believe me? Let me prove it. See that thumbprint of God on you backside? It contains traces of the Master’s creativity He left behind when he made you. Yes, it’s in your DNA. If all it takes is faith as a mustard seed to move a mountain, then whatever residue of creativity God left behind when He created you, is enough to call yourself creative. God is creative, therefore we are creative because we are created in His image.
Believing the lie that you are not creative is exactly where the devil wants you. He doesn’t want you to associate with God’s power or creativity. The devil wants you to feel run down, trapped, stuck in a rut, or inadequate. His job is to rob your joy and, if he can, destroy your life. Don’t let the devil win! You are creative!
Still don’t believe me? Perhaps it’s your understanding of what creativity is. Maybe you think creativity is some illusively rare gift only reserved for artists, writers, or people already in some creative field. Not for you, not someone in your field, you’re not an artist… You don’t even draw. Artistic expression is not the only evidence of creativity. There is hope for you.
(Ok, maybe you are an artist, and you know you’re creative… this blog is still for you. Hang tight)
I want to suggest that everyone is creative. Yes, EVERYONE. Creativity presents itself in different ways, not just as artists creating art. My husband is super creative and he cannot draw worth squat. He can draw one snoopy line drawing, and it’s pretty bad. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a creative person. In fact, he is extremely creative in organizing, problem solving, and surprisingly, interior decorating. Within the framework of business, my husband is a creative genius. He can arrange a workflow, solve business problems, create a personnel organization that makes sense, and increase revenue like nobody’s business. I cannot do those things even in my dreams. …but I can draw LOL XD
Drawing and being an artist is not the qualification for being creative. Artists can do what they do because they are creative. Likewise, you can do more of what you do best by developing more creativity, or at least allowing yourself to be more creative. Creativity is an amazing gift that can help in any and every area of life. It helps with brainstorming, problem solving, coming up with new ideas, solutions, ways to make money, how to overcome an obstacle, how to build something, how to break something down, how to communicate more effectively, better thinking ability, better understanding of concepts, visualization of goals. There is no way more creativity could hurt.
Think about the job you’re in right now. Creativity could free you up to do better work, enjoy what you do more … or if you hate your job, creativity can help you figure out options for change. Creativity could even pave a way for you to become an entrepreneur. With God, and His gift of creativity in your life, there are no limits. (And I love working without limits. It’s way more fun :D)
I realize this might be a foreign concept to you, and it might require a good amount of trust and bravery on your part to follow me down this road. But believe me, no matter where you are on the creativity spectrum, you can be more creative.
The first step to being more creative is believing that you CAN be creative. You have to change your mindset about creativity — if you’re one who believes the lie that your are not, or cannot, be creative. Begin to pray about being creative and allow God to open your eyes. I can’t make you believe it’s possible, but hopefully I can inspire you to come a little closer to the fire.
Once you begin to see the possibility of more creativity in your life, there are a few things you can do to loosen up the creative gears in your brain.
Here are some tips on turning on the creativity switch in your brain. (yes, it’s there, it’s likely covered in dust from being out of practice. But just like exercise helps improve your muscles, creativity is a muscle that must be exercised to stay sharp.)
- Believe you can be creative. I said it before, but if you don’t believe it, there is nothing you can do to change it. Mark 9:23 says that anything is possible to one who believes! And the Word does not lie. Believe it.
- Practice creative exercises until it gets easy. Eventually, it will become second nature and you’ll live a more creative life naturally. Here are some creative exercises:
- Take an object (any object) and begin brainstorming other uses for that object. Anything other than it’s original intended use. For example, a paper lunch sack can be: a parachute, a house for a small animal, clothing or costume for dolls, crinkle it up and flatten it out and it’s a pirate map, a ball, a lantern, a hat, roll down the sides and it’s a candy dish, an emergency shoe, an envelope for a greeting card, cut a hole in the end and stick your phone in it — it’s a speaker! I could go on, but I need to get to the next tip… you get the idea.
- Change your routine. When you get stuck, do something different! An excellent book which you should read, is called A Whack on the Side of the Head. Each page is another way you can whack your head out of the rut and get more creative. Some of the things it suggests for this “do something different” category is to eat out of order — eat ice cream or spaghetti for breakfast. When you do something outside of your expected routine, your brain responds differently.
- Change your perspective. Get upside down or lay on the floor, and pretend the ceiling is the floor. How does your house look now? What if you could walk on the ceiling?
- Get outside. Nature is pure inspiration and the unending declaration of the glory of God. Go get inspired by what God created.
- Start asking “what if?” What if is a great question because it takes the limits off and lets your brain solve problems with no restrictions. What if giraffes ran your office? What if you had a switch that could control gravity? What if you didn’t need money — what would you work on? Ask what if questions and let your brain play around in imaginary scenarios.
- Doodle. You don’t have to be an artist — and especially if you’re not an artist, drawing uses a different part of your brain than you may be used to using — which is why it’s an excellent exercise to get your right brain pumping. Draw anything, scribble, make marks, get messy! There are no rules, just free-draw for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Exercise creativity a little bit every day, and you’ll start to see results when you least expect it. Even though it seems like you’re playing around and not being realistic, you are doing something in your brain. The result of which will be an answer (or maybe lots of answers) the next time you’re brainstorming on a situation at work. When you do something outside of your normal routine to exercise creativity, creativity will begin to emerge inside your normal routine.
These are just a few ideas. Obviously, there are infinitely more ideas, because creativity is infinite and unlimited because it’s a facet of God’s personality. I really hope you’ll consider trying some of these ideas to knock some more creativity into your brain. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know if you try some of these things, and what happens! Also, what have you tried that works for you? Let me know in the comments below.
You might also be interested in a post I wrote a while back about discovering the gifts God gave you… “What is Your Gift?”
photo of the painting, in the background of the above image:(license)