Unleashing the Energy of Creativity
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
~ Sophia Loren
When I ask people what the energy of creativity means to them, I usually hear something like the following:
• I don’t have a creative bone in my body.
• I was never taught to be creative.
• I’m no Michelangelo. I’ll leave creativity to the artists.
What if you discovered that everyone has creative genius? We all have gifts and talents that get unleashed when we are engaged with goals and dreams that we love.
But here’s the interesting part about this: we often undervalue our creative abilities because they come so easily to us. We don’t realize that we are being ingenious or innovative because it seems so natural.
For example, has anyone ever acknowledged you for something that you do well-like preparing a delicious meal, designing a beautiful brochure, or organizing a really fun party-and the first thing you hear yourself saying is, “It’s nothing!”? On the other hand, do you ever look at someone else’s talent and compare yourself to them to your own disadvantage?
I’ve worked with so many people who thought they weren’t creative because they overlooked their natural aptitude in favor of someone else’s ability. It’s time to put this all to rest: you are creative! You have a fountain of resourcefulness. It’s in your DNA.
How do you discover your creativity so that you can unleash it?
One hint comes from this Earl Nightingale quote:
“Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.”
In other words, look toward what brings you joy-what warms your heart and nourishes your spirit. What you naturally do well. Where your enthusiasm overshadows your doubts. In that direction lies your unique creative genius.
What if it were this simple and easy? That all you need to do is find out what you do well and then use those talents to help you advance toward your goals and dreams as well as contribute to the lives of others? You can find out all about your gifts if you’re willing to do something that’s courageous and, well, creative.
Here goes: ask a friend or two, your family, or a close colleague what it is that they’ve seen you do unusually well. It may be something that they admire about you. Don’t disregard or downplay what they answer. Give them the pleasure of you accepting what they’re saying.
You could ask them questions like the following:
• What are three things that you think I do well?
• Think of a time when you acknowledged me about something I had done and I made light of it. What had I been doing?
• If someone else asked you to describe two of my talents or skills, what would you list?
No matter what you think about what they’re saying, take notes. Look for similarities in how they describe what you’re good at. Don’t minimize or say, “It’s nothing.”
I know this is a vulnerable thing to do, but I promise you that you’ll see something that is surprising. You’re using other people’s viewing points to take you outside of the typical ways you see yourself.
I asked some friends and family the above questions. Among the talents they pointed to is my ability to improvise. I never thought of it as anything special since it’s something that comes naturally to me. I improvise when I cook, or plan an event, or deal with something unexpected.
Knowing I’m good at improvising gives me a tool. When confronted with a difficulty or hurdle, like the time when some audiovisual equipment didn’t work at a seminar event, I can ask myself:
“What would someone who is good at improvising do right now?”
It’s a way to access that talent. And almost always I hear an answer that works. A way opens and I go forward in a way that works for everyone.
So, discover your own “fountain of youth.” See what creativity you bring to life. Use this energy consciously. Be your own, unique Michelangelo.
Maria Nemeth, PhD, MCC