Do you ever doubt your creativity? Do you ever think you just aren’t creative enough or you don’t have a creative bone in your body? If so, this episode is for you. Amy explains why the planet needs your creativity and reminds you of your creative potential. If you are doubting your creativity listen to this episode!
What You’ll Learn
- How the stories we heard at a young age impact our creative self-identity
- The role genetics play in your creativity
- Why we need you to be creative
- Book: A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
- Quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”~ From A RETURN TO LOVE by Marianne Williamson © 1992 (Paperback; pp 190-191)
The Weekly Challenge
Feel like reading instead of listening? Download the free PDF transcript or read it below. Enjoy!
Transcript for Episode #055: Your Creativity Pep Talk
Amy Climer: Welcome to The Deliberate Creative Podcast Episode 55. Today’s episode is a creativity pep talk. In this episode, I want to remind you how creative you are and how amazing you are. I have been thinking a lot about creativity lately. I know that is not going to surprise you at all because I do think about it a lot anyway, but I have not been podcasting that much lately. It has been somewhat of an intense summer. Over the summer, while I might have typically done say maybe twelve episodes, I only did five. Episode 50 was in May and it is now Episode 55 and it is early October.
I have had a lot going on in my life. You all already know this, but I finished my PhD in the last month, I moved from Wisconsin to Asheville, North Carolina. I am now living in Asheville, which I love. It is awesome! That whole process of moving was much more intense than I expected, in many ways, both physically and mentally transitioning, and even just emotionally leaving Wisconsin, a place that I have been for 15 years and moving to a new place, Asheville. Totally worth it, absolutely worth it. And in the process I have been thinking a lot about creativity because I have had a really hard time getting to the mic and doing a podcast, something that I typically really enjoy and I have been dragging.
I talked about this a couple of episodes ago, but just that need that when we do have something intense going on, we usually have to let something else go. And there is that balance that is so important and trying to figure out how much do I listen to myself and my body and maybe not engage in some project and then how much or when is that avoidance or me trying to procrastinate when really I want to do that project and I care a lot about it. I am still playing with that, still trying to sort that out. I think it is always an individual thing to figure out okay, what is going on here? So I have been doing a lot of reflection and I have also just been thinking about creativity and how we need a reminder so often that we are creative and we have this potential. But it requires us to sometimes sit down or get out or do whatever it is we need to do to be creative and to show the world we are creative and to produce and create something. So that is what this episode is about. I am just here to remind you that you are creative, you have incredible potential, you are amazing. If you are not feeling that way, trust me, you are.
I want to share with you a quote that I would say this is my favorite quote. It is a passage from a book by Marianne Williamson. The book is called A Return to Love. This quote had a pretty profound impact on me when I first read it and heard it. I will read it to you and then I will talk a little bit about it.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Thank you Marianne Williamson for your brilliance.
To me, this was a reminder that sometimes the reason that I do not think I am creative is because I do not want to stand out. I want to blend in. I want to be like everybody else because there is that sense of belonging and that feeling of camaraderie, if you will, and standing out is a risk. I do not know if I want that attention. At the end of the day I do tend to probably be a little bit more on the introverted side and I do not necessarily like when there is attention on me about me. I am fine giving a keynote in front of a whole room, but if I have to really talk about myself, then I get a bit nervous. So this quote was a reminder to me that actually sharing who you are and sharing your skills and your strengths is a service. It is a service to the world, it is a service to the people around you. And that when you are shrinking back and not sharing, you are not helping anyone. You are not helping someone else feel better. You are not doing them a favor by not shining your own light.
She mentions that who are you not to be? You are a child of God. And to me it is not so much about God. The point there is that we are all humans and while we were not all given the same opportunities, but we were all given this DNA that helps us be amazing. We are not all given the same opportunities. Some people do have a leg up, if you will. They have more things available to them from a very young age, but that does not mean we all cannot be amazing and creative.
How the Stories We Heard at a Young Age Impact Our Creativity [06:30]
I think one of the things that happens for us in our society is that we get a lot of messages that we are not creative. I am actually in the process of writing a talk. It is not specifically a TED Talk, but that kind of style where it is just this short ten-minute talk. And I have been thinking about this story, this experience that I had when I was a freshman in college. I do not think I have shared this on the podcast before, but what happened is I went to a small school my first year of college. I will not say the school because I hated it. It was a horrible fit for me. But I was really excited about taking this one class called Studio Art for Non-majors. It satisfied one of those general education requirements.
I go to class the first day and the teacher says to everybody, “You are not going to do well in this class if you don’t have some artistic talent.” I almost started laughing because I thought it was a joke, because this is a class for non-art majors so clearly none of us had the talent or desire to be a true art major, that is why we were taking this class. But anyway, I thought to myself I have got some skills, I did some drawing and painting all through elementary, middle school, high school, so I felt like I am fine. I am going to take this class. So I stuck it out.
The class was divided into two parts; the first half was drawing, the second half was ceramics, and it was so painful. I watched this professor for an entire semester berate and put down everybody in the class. There was one student in the class who I do not know that he had ever had any drawing experience. He did not quite understand the sketching where you are making these light short strokes. His line, every time he drew, was just really heavy and dark and the teacher would come over and just rip him apart. I have got to give that guy a lot of credit because he stuck it out the whole semester and he did not drop that class. I do not think he did very well. I think he ended up getting a D, which just makes me cringe. But the experience of that class was so negative that I did not do anything artistic for at least four years, definitely not till I got out of college. I do not even think I doodled on my notebooks.
I have shared this story in lectures to groups before and every time I share it, somebody, if not multiple people, come to me and say, “I have a story just like that.” “My story happened in third grade.” “My story happened in eighth grade.” “I had that same experience from a teacher or from a parent.” Everybody has had some experience where at some point somebody that they trusted or looked up to or expected to have some authority or experience said to them you are not creative. And it is crushing. It certainly was for me. It took me a long time to move past that and realize no, actually that guy was just a jerk and he did not know what he was talking about and I have a lot of potential here.
So I encourage you to figure out what was that story for you. Maybe it came to you right away, maybe you have to think about it, but why don’t you think you are creative? What messages have you gotten? And then reclaim those because chances are those people did not know what they were talking about. Typically, I would say give them the benefit of the doubt that they meant well. Especially if it was coming from a parent or a teacher, usually they meant well. They were not trying to hurt you, but it does not always work out that way.
The Role Genetics Play in Your Creativity [10:24]
I recently read a study about twins and creativity and they were looking at how much of creativity is generic, how much of this is the classic sort of nature/nurture scenario. And what they found out is that creativity is only about 22% based on our DNA. If you are creative, 22% of that is based on your DNA. That means 78% of it is based on what you do and your development of your creativity and practicing it and getting better at it. I would bet on somebody who had zero DNA for creativity, which probably nobody has zero, but who had worked really hard at it and had gotten really good at being more creative versus somebody who had full DNA, 22% with creativity and never developed it or practiced it. Yeah, I am going to go with the person with less DNA and more hard work and more effort. That is the person that is going to be more creative.
The cool thing is we all have that ability. We can all develop our creativity. It takes practice, it takes time, it takes being willing to let go of some of those negative messages and those demons in our head and in our heart and our body and just let them go and remembering what Marianne Williamson said. I love the end of this, “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Letting go of that fear of creativity can help you and can help others so much.
The Weekly Challenge [12:08]
Your challenge this week is, if you have those negative messages on yourself around creativity, try to identify where did those come from? Did you have an experience like I had where you got the message that you were not creative? Usually those messages come in the form of you cannot draw. And if you have listened to this podcast, you know that I believe creativity is not about your ability to draw. You can be a horrible drawer. You could be like that guy in my class who had these really thick, heavy lines and you could be highly creative in other areas. Creativity is not about your ability to draw, creativity is about your ability to generate and develop unique ideas and solutions to problems.
So spend some time this week, figure out where those negative messages came from and then how can you turn those around? What do you want to say to those people? Maybe you write in your journal a letter to them or think about the messages you have gotten that are positive around creativity and why do we tend to ignore those so much. I am giving you one of those messages right now; you have incredible creative potential. Even though I do not know you and you might be thinking, “Wait, you do not know me. How do you know if I have creative potential?” Because everybody does. You are human, you have creative potential. Get out and use it. Make us proud. We need your creativity. We need your insights and your power and your intelligence. We need you.
Have a wonderful week. See you next time. Bye.
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