My life completely changed when I let myself be creative. Regardless of how “bad” I thought I was or how many other things I could be doing, I finally allowed myself to create without excuses. (Now, I am writing this article about it.)
Creativity flows naturally when we ask questions, explore possibilities, and create without imposing rigid expectations on ourselves. We expand our creativity when we savor the process of creation, freeing ourselves from the bondage of rigid expectations.
The Two Killers of Creativity
The two killers of creativity are rigid expectations and searching for validation.
Rigid expectations and deadlines will restrict your flow of creativity, but the restriction has nothing to do with the expectations or deadlines. Your creativity is destroyed when you perceive those expectations and deadlines as “rigid”. By rigid, I mean, creating unnecessary stress for yourself.
Your boss (which is also you) may tell you that they need a project done by next Friday.
What about the other project I have to finish, what about my family, what about my hobbies? I’ll have no time to do this! (or at-least I believe I don’t.)
Let go of that tension are creating. You are trying to force a piece into the puzzle where it doesn’t fit.
Unlock your creativity by being creative with your schedule. Make time for your priorities. When you know that you will not miss out on anything or anyone, make time for creative expression. Make time where you let yourself create and make progress on your project in whatever way you can. The deadline and expectation will no longer be rigid. Instead, it will act as a shelter that you can fit your creative expression into.
Now that you made the time for creative expression, ask yourself why you are creating what you want to create. Are you doing it for validation?
Validation feels good temporarily, like your favorite desert. It feels good until the source of the validation is gone and you feel hungry for more. An illusive hunger that is never satiated, even when you get the specific reaction that you were craving. Searching for validation is will always leave you feeling underwill make you feel like what you did was good enough and that you are good enough. You may be able to elicit the specific response that you want, but at what cost? Are you stressing yourself to fit the mold of others? are you doing whatever it takes just for validation from others?
No matter what you do, they may not be impressed, even when you show them your best work. They may not be impressed simply because they are not impressed with themselves. When you don’t feel good about yourself, it is difficult to feel good about others. For this reason, you may never be validated by the person that you are looking to be validated by, and it has nothing to do with your work.
To break our need for validation we must consistently create without expectation. Create because you want to create, not because you want validation. Creating to create is when the magic happens. You will have access to an abundance of ideas and the energy to transform those ideas into reality.