I hear this phrase all the time from family and friends: “I wish I was creative.” or “I wish I was crafty.” or “I wish I could do…[art/craft related skill/task]”
These phrases are probably equally as frustrating and inspiring for me. Mostly because I have a firm and deep belief that every person is creative. You heard me! Everyone. No one who walks this earth isn’t a creative person. We are born with a deep intrinsic need to express ourselves through a creative format. Too often we categorize creativity as art, crafts, music, dance, etc. Something in the arts categories. And while these are at their core creative endeavors, it doesn’t mean these are the only ways to express creativity. There are often two things holding us back from living a creative life:
1. Not knowing what our creative outlet is.
2. Fear of failure.
The first point is a real struggle for some people because they have seen the world in black and white, and if they can’t dance/sing/paint/draw/etc then they are not creative. This just isn’t true at all. Do you know what the actual definition of create is?
bring (something) into existence.
The core idea of creativity is simply creating. And there are no rules on what creating can be. My husband is a very creative person, but has never picked up a paint brush or taken a dance class. His creative expression is through his love of mechanical design and working on engines. He takes great joy in designing a blueprint for an idea in a computer program, building calculations for gear ratios in his truck, or taking apart an engine and rebuilding another one. These are all things that at the surface level don’t seem inherently creative, however, when you look at the driving need behind them it becomes clear that it is his inner need to bring something into existence.
Do you like to bake? Compile wedding images? Test out life hacks around the home? Enjoy aspects of your job that are less mundane, and more free? DIY projects? Creating an organization system? Decorating your home? Finding the perfect gift for loved ones? Collect art? Design photo books online? Like collecting music? Love buying new outfits, coordinating them just right? Enjoy growing a garden?
These and more are all creative. We are all seeking to find a way to express ourselves, and these can be found in so many aspects of our lives. It’s just a matter of finding the outlet that works for us. Maybe you already have a hobby or interest that is secretly creative. Maybe you’ve been wishing that you could paint or craft or draw or play piano. You can do these things if you give yourself the freedom to try them.
Which brings me the second point that holds us back: our fear of failure. We are afraid of trying and not being good at x, y or z. I know that feeling so, so well, as I am constantly worried and concerned about trying new things and not being good at it. I just did an Amazing Race event last weekend for my SIL’s birthday and it was completely out of my comfort range. I went and was nervous the entire time leading up to it. I ended up having the most fun I could imagine even though we didn’t win, and I was sore for 3 days after.
Our fear of failing or not being good is what is holding us back from new experiences, new creative outlets and leading a life that allows us to express ourselves fully. I stopped painting and creating art for a few years because I was convinced I’d “lost it” and it wasn’t worth trying to get it back because I was no longer “good” at it. What a waste of 3 years. I decided 2 years ago to stop being afraid of failure, but instead to embrace it. I relish in a painting gone wrong now.
We are human, we make errors, we learn, we grow, we are always changing. Trying a new activity, like art journaling, and not being an instant success at it is kind of a lame reason not to try at all, y’know? No one is great at the start. And you might try it, and totally hate it! Everyone finds a creative outlet that is unique to them. You just simply need to start saying YES, instead of saying no.
Art journaling is one of the ways I express my creativity, and it can be incredibly freeing to anyone who has wanted to dabble in art but is too afraid to try. I would have never be where I am in my creative journey if I hadn’t said YES to a new outlet. What activity/outlet do you want to try, but have been too afraid to do?
So, again, what activity/outlet do you want to try, but have been too afraid to do? Let me know in the comments! <3
“Everyone is creative, but we are only as creative as we allow ourselves to be.”
– Martellus Bennett