As a kid, I was always told I was creative. My Kindergarden teacher told my parents I was a talented artist, so my parents bought me art supplies and encouraged me to draw. Throughout my education, my teachers helped me explore different areas and my parents described me to their friends as their “little artist”. I always considered myself a “creative person”.
When I entered the “real world” as an adult, something happened. My ideas started getting shut down. My projects were judged. Soon, I had trouble expressing myself because I thought my ideas wouldn’t be good enough. Then one day, I realized I didn’t consider myself a “creative person” anymore.
Sadly, this happens to a lot of adults. You lose your creative confidence and just start being defined as “practical”. You start accepting the fact that some people are just creative and you aren’t. But this isn’t true. There aren’t just a few, lucky individuals that are born with this special prize. Everyone has the ability to create.
Sir Ken Robinson, an international advisor on education and the arts, says “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” This is why children are so creative. They’re never worried about being wrong. You have to share your ideas, even if some people might not like them. You never know when one of them might just be brilliant.
You also have to be willing to explore new things. As a child, Gillian Lynne– the choreographer of the musicals Cats and The Phantom of the Opera– didn’t perform well in school. She was always fidgeting and couldn’t concentrate on her lessons. Her parents took her to see a specialist to discuss some of these problems. After talking, the specialist left Gillian alone in the room with the radio on. She instantly got up on her feet and was dancing to the music. The specialist told her mother, “Gillian doesn’t have a learning disability, she’s a dancer. Take her to a dance school.”
If your school or workplace is divided into “creatives” and “not creatives”, share the idea that everyone is naturally creative. Robinson says, “Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they’re not just lying around on the surface.” Be willing to see value and talent in others, even if it’s not what you expect.
So channel your inner child. Be brave. Create.
For more creative talk, check out some people that inspired me to post this: