I was with a group of ladies this past week, and like most times when we're together, we have a craft! The organizer planned a fun, easy craft which involved turning paint swatches into Valentine's themed bookmarks! As we were leisurely standing around tables cutting the swatches, hole-punching hearts and tying ribbons, I overheard this phrase a few different times: "I am not creative!"
It bothered me. And I had so many thoughts flood my mind as I tried to figure out why.
I hear this phrase a lot among women and I'm sure if you and I were talking about this face-to-face, you'd be nodding your head in agreement!
I know that many of you will be surprised at this next confession:
I used to say this phrase ALL the time about myself!
I know, I know! You're shocked,
Me- who sews and crafts, has a handmade shop, who is always trying new things in my home, and blogs DIY posts...
I used to say this phrase! And I believed it too! For a long time...
Here's are 3 reasons why I believe that statement is untrue for me, and for you to think:
1. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy! Sometimes just believing something about yourself, makes it become true. Then you stop trying to do new things, or exercise creativity! You also stop believing in yourself and rather than having confidence when an opportunity to be creative comes along, you become uncomfortable or unwilling because of what you believe about yourself.
And that leads to my second point...
2. It's based on fear! We become unwilling to try something new, or we try it with very little effort because we have such low expectations of ourselves! And of course all this is rooted in our fear of failure! But what most creative people know, is that there is no such thing as failure when it comes to the creative process. We may not always get the desired outcome, but we try again and do it a little differently! And if it doesn't turn out at all, we ask for help, appreciate the "art" that we produced as it is, or we move on to something else! But the biggest trap that we can get ourselves into is to compare our creativity to someone else's. Which leads to my final point...
3. We are created in God's image! Look around this world- it's an awesomely created world! God is so creative- I mean, c'mon! He's the Creator. And by that I mean, He's THE Creator! He is the most creative Being in the universe and because we are all made in His image, He's given us a part of his creativity! We're all creative! When we say we aren't creative, we are refusing to acknowledge a part of God in us, a gift he's given to us. It also shows how ungrateful we are to Him and even how disappointed we are with how God has made us! You see, God has also given us all special talents and abilities, along with a capacity to LEARN! We need to foster a desire to learn by trying new things, and deepening our knowledge of previously learned things! Skills have to sharpened and we can only grow in knowledge and creativity if we exercise our brains by learning! When we meet a really talented lady, we don't often think about the fact that it took her a lot of time and practice and trial & error for her to reach this level of skill, confidence and creativity!
When we say we aren't creative, we usually do it as a response to someone else who seems more creative than us! I find there is a difference in saying, "I can't do this" and "I won't do this."
Usually we say the first out loud but the latter is what we really mean. We think to ourselves, (probably not consciously), "I don't know if I can do this, so I'm not going to try, or at least put much effort into this."
You see, we aren't all gifted in the same ways, and that's okay! We aren't all creative in the same ways and we all have different interests. I know there are some people who simply are more creative than others! But that doesn't mean you aren't, just because it may not be at the same level or in the same way. I believe they have worked on and developed their creativity. They've embraced it and exercised it and grown in it!
And at times you or I simply won't enjoy doing certain creative things we women associate the word "creativity" with, and that's okay!
Each of us is creative, but in different ways! And we all need to find the ways that we are creative in!
I finally overcame this false belief about myself because I decided to try something new and pursue a hobby that seemed totally foreign to me. I was all thumbs at first, my brain felt muddled, and I felt silly and stupid. But with time and practice, I got better and my confidence grew! Then I realized I enjoyed it, and it was no longer practice, it was the real thing! I decided to push the limits of who I was, or thought I was! And though this creativity discovery, I've also discovered a lot about myself along the way!