77% of adults think they’ve lost their creativity. They accept that they were once creative…but now have lost it. That is a staggering and sad statistic, isn’t it?
As young people we were more fearless, excited and so open to the possibilities of imagination and make believe. One of my early memories was around 5 years old, searching the garden for birds, then going home and finding them in my bird book, then having great joy drawing and painting these birds. I never once thought that they did not ‘look’ like the birds….to me they were perfect.
With my friends we would create make believe games , describe our wildest dreams in detail, dress up as characters, play out scenarios; we tried and tested and experimented and just did everything we could under the sun. So what happened to change us between that time and adulthood?
When we reach a certain age, we start to hear things like “you’ve either got it or you don’t” when it comes to creativity. You either are the artsy friend, or you aren’t. You either can draw a picture or you can’t. These polarizing ideas of what it means to be creative are stifling and limiting. The truth is, we are all born creative. We are all born with wild imaginations and an insatiable desire to try. No one is born without that creative spark because that piece of ourselves is our innate curiosity. And for that, we are all creative.
How can we re-ignite the childhood wonder.
So why are most adults afraid that they’ve lost their creativity? Well, in some environments, the practice of creativity is deeply discouraged. Our immediate situations growing up can have a huge impact on how we foster our inspirational habits. Negative settings or comments, reprimands about exploratory behavior, and judgments on unfinished or imperfect work can have a life altering effect on how we view ourselves as artists. Those things stay with us.
We are all artists from the moment we use those pencils and paints to replicate the birds in the garden, or the sky, flower, animals, not matter how long legged and disproportionate as they were drawn. We disregarded the rules of making pretty pictures and coloring inside the lines because we made our own rules.
If we were all born with the potential to create beautiful, meaningful, truth telling things, we must abandon the jaded adult lenses in which we see the world. We must return to our childlike wonder. And slow down, feel, listen, touch. We must put faith in ourselves again, be willing to risk despite the fear of failure, we must be open to change. Because when we do our black and white thinking, and way of seeing the world because a kaleidoscope of colour with limitless potential.