(An excerpt from my new book You’re Not Creative… and Other Lies You Probably Believe About Creativity coming this Fall from AMOKBooks.)
Ultimately this is what it all comes down to. People start to believe they simply can’t be creative. They start to believe that creativity is for other people, at best they relegate themselves to the audience at worst they give up completely. Maybe you heard the person tell you that you don’t have talent or that you’re not good enough. These are some of the most painful destructive lies of all because these are the ones that make you give up. They say you don’t have the right look or the right style of the right whatever. It’s not your fault, you just weren’t born for this. It’s all a lie. First of all, remember what we’re about in this book. I’m not necessarily trying to make you an artist of any stripe, unless that’s what you want to be. I’m trying to help you to overcome the lies that stand between you and a fantastic creative life. Creativity is about so much more than the arts. It’s first and foremost about solving problems and creating better lives and for that, you are enough.
We’ve already touched on this numerous times in this volume, but you have what it takes to be creative. You have no doubt already come up with hundreds of creative solutions to many problems, but no one ever called it our as creativity so you went through life wrongly thinking that you’re not creative. SO let me say it again. You are creative. You have what it takes and you are enough at least to get started on your creative journey. To believe anything less is to deprive yourself of the kind of life you could have and to deprive the world of your genius and trust me when I say, you have genius too, but one step at a time.
If you’ve went beaten down by the creative process, the best thing you can do is start to create. For many people this is an artistic endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. If you decided to create artistically, please know your first attempts will rarely be stellar and you have to be okay with that. There is no substitute for practice and paying your dues. Take advantage of opportunities to create and if you don’t find any, make your own. This also applies to those who do not wish to be creative artistically. Every problem is an opportunity to be creative. Find a problem you think needs solving and work to solve it. Again, your first ideas may not be great. They may not work at all. That barely matters, as we’ll see int next chapter. What matters is that you started. You heard that voice that said “You’re not enough.” told it to go jump in a lake and did something. That is the first step in any creative process. You start creating, share your creations with the world, knowing not everyone will like it, telling the haters to go jump in a lake with that first voice, and finding the ones who resonate with what you do. You will touch them. You will bless them and you will find out that you have more than enough of what it takes to have an impact on someone else.
You are enough, so start!