Being creative is a part of being human. When we express ourselves, we are able to honor our creative selves.
Some people are more creative than others simply because they've practiced it. The truth, though, is that we're all creative, we just express it in different ways. Creativity isn't always painting, photography, writing or art. It can be updating your bucket list, reading an article that inspires you and applying the lessons or researching new ways to solve old problems.
Creativity is an essential life force. When we don't express ourselves, there's a piece of us closed off.
I spent 10 years in advertising, working as a creative art director and copy writer. I left the corporate life to follow my heart and become a writer, teacher and life coach, and I can say creativity is what the human heart thrives on.
You don't have to have a job as an art director, painter or writer to be creative. Creativity is as core to the human experience as breathing.
The reason we have dreams and goals is because they're creative ways to express ourselves. When we don't allow ourselves to dream or to go for what we want, we become bored with life. We may fall into depression, sadness or guilt.
In my life coaching practice, I've discovered that one of the main side effects of not expressing your creative side is guilt. The guilt most of us feel is because we aren't being true to ourselves, and we aren't allowing ourselves to express our creative tendencies.
The most happy and successful people I know honor their creative nudges and act on them daily.
People who identify with being creative are usually confident, enjoy exploring and stepping outside of their comfort zones. Here are other common characteristics of creative people.
1. They ask what might be.
Instead of asking what is or why something is happening to you, they ask what might be. Creative folks put their faith in a better future and focus on what they want, even if it doesn't exist today.
2. They forgive themselves.
People who are in the creative industry have learned to develop thick skins and not to take things personally. They train themselves to take bigger risks and forgive themselves often. What can you forgive yourself for today?
3. They know rejection is protection.
Successful creative people know the power of NO and that rejection is really protection. Thirty literary agents and 25 publishers turned down my next book. But with enough focus, determination and faith, I landed the best agent for me, and my book found a home at one of the largest publishers. When a door closes, keep going. The right one will open and it will be glorious.
4. They are yes people.
Creative people take risks and explore the unknown. They say yes to opportunities that will expand their soul. They enjoy learning and trying new things. For them, it is not about perfection but the act of exploring and being in the journey.
5. They resist routine.
Creative people thrive on spontaneity and often get bored or anxious with a regular routine. If you feel like you are in a rut, it could be your regular routine. I thrive when I mix things up. How can you mix things up and break away from the routine?
6. They aren't afraid to be vulnerable.
Many creative people express themselves by being vulnerable. Think of the most creative person you know and ask yourself how often they show their vulnerable side. Chances are it's often. Vulnerability is the key to releasing creative energy. Allow yourself to go there.
7. They know everything is connected.
Everything is part of a bigger plan. Whether it is the job you had seven years ago now coming back into play, or an ex coming back into your life, everything comes back around. Creative people know all of their life experiences matter.
8. They get out of their heads.
The average person has 50,000 thoughts a day. For most, 80% of those are negative or self-deprecating. Getting out of your head by socializing, spending time in nature or reading a new book can help you get out of your own way.
9. They use setbacks as motivation to move forward.
Creative people look at all of life's situations and use them as fuel for their self-expression. To truly be happy and find inner peace, look at all the situations in your life as opportunities to grow and learn.
10. They don't hold on to anything too tightly.
People who use creativity to their advantage understand life is a balancing act of holding on and letting go. They don't hold on to anything too tightly. They trust new opportunities will come in when they let go of what no longer works. What can you let go of?
It is not that you're either creative or you aren't. To be human means you have the potential to express yourself fully, which is the ultimate form of creativity. Allow yourself to be true to you and watch your creative sparks fly.
If you want to make your own creative life list, grab this FREE guide.
By Shannon Kaiser
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is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers