Are you putting creativity in a box and making it sad?
If there's one thing I have learned about creativity on this journey of self-discovery, it is that creativity has no limits. And if you think that sounds like a very wish-washy statement with not much meaning - then you're absolutely right!
So I will explain what this means as I take you through 4 ways that society puts creativity in a box and how this can be problematic in terms of how we view ourselves and creativity as a concept.
1. Believing that creativity = arty
Here's what I like to call "the classic" creativity myth.
Let me ask you this first of all. Do you know someone who doesn't think they are creative, and when you ask them why - they say it's because they weren't good at art in school? (Or maybe this is you?)
Over the years I've been thinking long and hard about the labels we attach to ourselves from way way back when we were at school. And I think it can be really problematic with the way that we view ourselves as adults!
When we succeed in Maths, but not so well in Art or other traditional "creative" subjects, we are deemed more "logical-minded" by teachers - the box is ticked! This typically ends up being the belief that we repeat to ourselves and others as we go into our adult years.
It's ironic really because this approach of ticking boxes to categorise someone so early in life is in my opinion quite... wrong.
These beliefs can hold us back because we then start to associate being creative as a very narrow concept, therefore putting it in a box and not thinking outside of it. Such experiences at school can also result in putting ourselves into a box too in terms of how we define ourselves (but that's a whole 'nother conversation for another day!).
So creativity actually goes FAR beyond the realms of being "arty" and can be a whole range of things, depending on the person! We all have our own version and we can have creative minds without being arty at the same time. An example of a more unusual version of creativity is that of home/office organisation - this is creative because it requires creative thinking to maximise space and store with ease.
But equally, we can be creative and arty!! It's just not a one-size-fits-all situation.
I truly believe that we all have some form of creativity sitting inside of us, that is trying to get out! We just have to be willing to explore a little and think outside the box 🧭
Does this resonate with you? Maybe for a long time you thought you weren’t creative? Let me know if you had any "aha" moments from this.
2. Believing that a creative identity is only assumed early in life
One of the things I am super passionate about when it comes to creativity, is that everyone has the opportunity to tap into their creativity at any time. And I really do mean ANY time.
I have had the opportunity to chat with incredible female entrepreneurs who, like me, did not realise they had creative passions until later in life. This is an important point that I must emphasise - sometimes you have to experience a certain part of life in order to realise what you really want.
From my experience, major events that have led women to realise they crave a more creative life are, for example: the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, a life-threatening diagnosis, working in a soul-sucking job, becoming a Mum etc.
For me, this was taking a career path that was not well suited to my skill set, or at all fulfilling. When I discovered my passion for blogging about travel in 2019, I realised that this brought so much more joy into my life and helped to ease my work-related anxiety. It also helped to realise that my day job did not define me as a person, and I had many more skills inside waiting to be unleashed.
However, you don't need to experience trauma or a seismic life event to experience a desire to get the creative juices "flowing". If, one day, you simply decide that now is the time to explore something a little different that you can call your own - absolutely go for it!
There is no timeline that we must follow as creatives; the beauty of creativity is that it can flow to us at just the right time in our lives when we need it the most.
Have you had a creative inkling of late? But perhaps you haven't given yourself permission to explore it because you thought it was "too late"? Let me know if this has helped you!
3. Believing that Creativity can only be a hobby (i.e. does not = 💰)
I won't bore you with the all the examples of women I know who are totally owning their creative brilliance and working full time for themselves doing what they love... but I just want to tell you that IS by all means within your reach.
And no, you don't have to quit your job! I feel like there's a lot of emphasis on jobs being the devil with disregard for those who are content in their jobs and feel a sense of purpose. But you don't have to choose one or the other, you can have both!
In this world of growing numbers of income streams and "side hustles", many happily create an income-producing creative hobby that sits nicely alongside their full time job.
At school, I believed everyone those who told me that if I pursued a creative subject, it would be "hard" to make good money or even get a job. But in this online world today, it has never been easier to set up shop and reach people far and wide with your amazing creations. Start a blog, create a productivity planner and sell as a printable... or even print on demand in paperback through Amazon KDP!
Enjoy reading this blog post about common misconceptions about creativity?
I hope this blog post has sparked some ideas and "aha" moments that will help you to go forth connecting with your creativity! Which point resonated with you the most? Let me know!
And if you are keen to discover more about what has perhaps been holding you back from following your creative curiosity, be sure to check out my 5-episode podcast series below on common myths about creativity!!
Need some help figuring out what your creative passion actually is??
Book your free "virtual cuppa" session with me below and I'd love to find out more about your creative desires. If you are unable to find a slot that works for you, drop me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange an alternative.