Updated: Jan 18
You were born creative.
We all were. Sometimes it’s difficult to unleash our creativity because our creative genius is stifled early on. It actually starts as early as 5 years old.
I remember a story an educator once told me. A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom while the students drew pictures. Occasionally, she would walk around the room to see each child’s work. “What are you drawing?” she asked one little girl who was working diligently at her desk. The girl said, “I’m drawing God.” The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” The little girl said, “They will in a minute.”
Remember when you were five?
If you’re going to live up to your creative potential, you’re going to have to remember when you were like that 5-year-old and you believed in endless possibilities because you hadn’t lived long enough to place limits on yourself.
Do you remember when you believed in yourself because you hadn’t failed yet? Remember, when you trusted other people with your ideas because you hadn’t felt the pain of having an idea stolen from you…you have to go back to that because that’s where you create this place where your ideas are free to roam and become something great.
That’s where you take off the limits and you give it all you’ve got because you’re not operating out of fear, your operating with a child-like faith that says anything’s possible. Because it is.
Creativity is your choice
You are divinely creative, but you must choose to exercise creativity. Train your mind to see multiple possibilities. Challenge yourself to look at problems from a perspective that is not intuitive. You might say to yourself, “I’m an accountant” or “I’m a lawyer.” Who cares if I’m creative and why is this important? You should care because creativity translates into influence and power.
When we look at the systems of the world, truly the most creative people run these systems. A common misperception is that creativity is for artistic types. Not true.
“Sadly, creativity has been ghettoized and siloed in the arts. This is not fair to artists, and it isn’t beneficial to our society at large,” writes author Natalie Nixon, The Creativity Leap : Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work. “We are forgetting that creativity is the nonnegotiable ingredient in developing the most amazing tech app, healing the sick, and leading dynamic enterprises,” according to Nixon.
Is creativity important in the workplace? Creative genius is found everywhere: in business, politics, law, education, and in the arts. Since 2014, Fast Company, a business magazine that focuses on technology, business, and design tags The Most Creative People in Business.
From hospital directors to CEOs to audio engineers, these creatives are touted as individuals who “are moving their industries forward with ingenuity and purpose,” according to Fast Company.
Why is Creativity so Vital?
Creative people don’t just think of great ideas; they have the creative intelligence, ingenuity, and inspiration to turn their ideas into realities. A study from McKinsey revealed the most creative businesses performed better financially with 67% having above-average organic revenue growth.
In addition, according to the study, creative companies are 1.5 times more likely to have a greater market share than competitors. It’s no wonder that in 2020, LinkedIn ranked creativity the number #1 soft skill that employers need regardless of industry or country. This is mainly because every business, industry, or cause has complex challenges that require creative solutions.
4 Steps to Becoming More Creative
1. Make Time for Creativity
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google – one of the most creative companies in the world, wrote the following in their 2004 IPO letter: "We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google," they wrote. "This empowers them to be more creative and innovative.
You must be intentional about being creative. Set aside some time daily to work on a creative project. You could try to solve a problem, start a blog, invent a solution, or take up painting, or sculpting.
2. Get Started
Of all the elements of the creative process, getting started with your creative vision is the most important because unless and until you get started, you simply cannot create anything.
3. Don’t Fear Failure
One of the reasons we don’t get started is past failure. We remember where we came up just short in our creative endeavors. I don’t know anyone who has ever created anything who hasn’t failed. Don’t fret. If you fail, you’re in good company. “Fail’ is an action verb for a reason because all acts come to an end — even failing. So, if you could just take that first step toward your creative destiny, at some point, you will succeed.
4. Go Dark
Psychologists Anna Steidel and Lioba Werth report in the Journal of Environmental Psychology that the darker a room, the more creative we are. The researchers assert that dim lighting creates a visual message that nudges our minds into a more exploratory mode. We want to “sleep on it” for a reason. Sara Mednick, a sleep researcher, conducted a study that reveals deep sleep directly enhances creative processing.
Workplace Creativity Equals Influence
Creativity in the workplace is important if you want to increase your influence. Nurturing the immense creativity that you were born with is a giant step in the right direction. Just remember when you were a kid…