I’m Not Creative
Sometime ago I was talking with a client who was writing a book. I was her Book Accountability Coach, meaning I was there to make sure we get any hurdles out of her way as she wrote her book.
She was very critical of her own work. She wanted to make sure that all content in the book is perfect. This expectation of her from herself was making her anxious and stressed. She was aware of this behaviour but was not able to break out of it. This kind of pattern is extremely hard to break out of by sheer determination. Brute force will-power approach can actually make matters worse. Luckily, that’s where a Book Accountability Coach comes handy.
So I asked her, “When would you know that the chapter you are writing is perfect?”
She took a long pause and replied, “I don’t know. I’m not very creative. I find it very hard to convince others.”
She looked sad as if she realised some sort of emptiness in herself. She felt inadequate for the task at hand. She felt that she doesn’t really have the right skills to make her book interesting and engaging because “she is not creative”. And even more painful was the realisation that “she can’t convince others”!
Poor Me. I’m so left-brain!
It is a common knowledge that our brain is largely divided in 2 sections. The left part of the brain is primarily associated with logical and analytical thinking. The right part of the brain is primarily associated with creative thinking. The most prevalent social stereotype is that “Creativity” means something to do with art or music or writing. When we think of Painters or Musicians, we think that they must use their right-brain all the time. When we think of Engineers or Accountants, we think that they must use their left-brain all the time.
Let me challenge this stereotype today. I would really appreciate if you allow me some room by playing along. Give this thought-process a chance and draw your own conclusion in the end.
Creativity means Resourcefulness. It’s not about what you have or don’t have but what you do with what you have. Painters play with colours. Some do an amazing job with them while some don’t. Musicians play with notes. Some do an amazing job with them and some don’t. Accountants play with numbers. Some come up with creative ways to help their clients save taxes. Lawyers play with words. Some come up with creative ways to help their clients to get out of trouble. Engineers play with data. Some come up with creative new ways to make our lives better with new appliances, gadgets and technologies. Everyone, regardless of what they do, have an opportunity to create something amazing from what they got. Creativity is not limited to painters, musicians and writers. It is a lie that we tell ourselves because the evidence is right in front of our eyes. Engineers, Accountants, Lawyers, Doctors, the so-called Non-Creatives of the world create amazing things every day. We don’t notice and acknowledge them because we don’t think of them as “creatives”.
And isn’t it amazing how we impact our self-esteem by reminding ourselves of this lie and then wondering why we can’t convince others of our magnificence. We can’t convince them that we have the right to think of ourselves as creative. We can’t convince them that everyone uses all of their brain regardless of which part they use more than the other. That’s right, nobody will believe in us because we don’t believe in us.
If you have right-brain then that’s your scientific evidence that you were made to-be-creative. It’s all there and you have been doing it without even acknowledging it. What do you need, to realise that you are creative already?Start believing in yourself and Stop convincing others. The world will catch-up with you very soon.
To learn more about yourself, about human behaviour, about patterns of thinking that block our path to success in life, take a look at my latest book BE. DO. HAVE. The Complete Guide to Create a Viable and Sustainable Business from Scratch