Have you ever been in a meeting, and have heard someone say, “I’m not creative…”? Or perhaps you’ve made this statement about yourself at some point in your career. We hear this time and time again from our clients as we work through a brainstorm or creative assignment together. And as we tell them, we will tell you: Yes, you are creative.
Society propagates the myth that creativity is destined only for the few. That in order to be creative, you need to be born a certain way, look a certain way, and think a certain way. But here’s the thing. Creativity is a mindset, a commitment and an intention above all else.
Think back to you as a child. Chances are, you smeared your fingers in paint, tried on outfits just for fun, play with your imaginary friends, danced and wiggled whenever you heard music, rolled around in the grass, climbed trees, made up songs, and daydreamed about parallel universes. It didn’t matter if you were “good” at it, you just did. And you laughed when things were funny and cried when you felt sad. You were curious, you asked WHY, and you marveled at the world that was in front of you.
In many ways, creativity is an exercise in connecting with your inner child. It’s about asking why. It’s about allowing yourself to feel, to dream, and to imagine an alternative outcome than what’s in front of you. As human beings, we are all born with this. We are all capable. It’s about believing that you ARE creative and knowing that you can concoct brilliant ideas. And it’s giving yourself the time and the judgment-free space to think and create.
Still dubious? Recent studies have examined the science behind creativity using MRI brain scans. In one study, experts at Harvard and Yale identified specific connections between different areas of the brain that lit up with activity when individuals engaged in creative tasks[i]. The more repetitive the creative tasks, the more routine these brain connections become. Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to change as a result of experience[ii], it means that we can all shape our brains by thinking and working creatively.
Additional studies “suggest that creativity is both a result of genetics and experience — the latter suggesting that everyone has the potential to become more creative and one does not trump the other.”[iii] In reality, the only thing holding us back from being creative is our mindset.
So say YES to embracing your own creativity. Our world
desperately needs new ideas to lift up our human existence and our planet. We
need new systems, new institutions, and new ideals to strive for. At Action
Mary, we believe that ideas and innovation will pave the way to a better world.
We see this in our work, and we see this in our clients’ inspiring initiatives.
With creativity, there’s hope for a brighter future. Join us.