You aren't creative are you?
Depending on how you read that question, it's either challenging, demeaning or confirming. So, how do you read it? Let me take these three possible perceptions, one at a time.
Let's assume you were challenged by this line. You read it as such: You aren't creative ARE you? Well, you would fall into line with the majority of people - most of whom believe they aren't creative at all. Poppycock! (I've always wanted to use that word). Please, if you remember just one thing from this blog, it's this: EVERYONE IS CREATIVE. If I've ever taken you on a tour of our office, you've heard me say this very thing. That's because creativity isn't a title, it's a state of mind. Creativity is your ability to address a problem with a unique solution. Since we are all built differently, genetics, experience etc, we all have the ability to see problems from a unique perspective. If you do fall into the camp of people who question their ability to be creative, then you need to think differently (Thanks Steve Jobs!). Solve a problem as only you can solve it! Don't be afraid that you might get laughed at or that you'll fail (happens to me ALL the time). Great ideas start with a little bravery. Get out of your comfort zone and be fearless! And here's the good news, you don't have to be able to write, draw or play an instrument to be creative. Artistry and creativity are not synonymous. Remember, creativity is based on your ability to see and solve a problem with innovation. Trust yourself and you'll be surprised. The more you do it, the better you'll be.
The second way you could've read that opening line: You aren't CREATIVE are you? Sounds a little insulting, doesn't it? It calls into question the confidence someone else might have in your abilities. Here's the thing, don't buy it! As I stated before, you are indeed creative! I've found that, when someone questions my ability or my creative sense, one of three things have happened: 1) I've done a poor job of articulating my innovative solution or 2) I've run into someone who's actually threatened by my solution or 3) they can't see my solution because it's TOO creative! In any case, you should never question your ability to generate creative ideas. And of course, always look at your newly birthed idea or solution with the eyes of a new parent. It can always be improved. It just might need a little time or a helping hand from someone else.
The third possible way to interpret that headline: You aren't creative, are YOU? This is a veiled compliment, almost as if someone was searching, even begging for a different refreshing perspective on a problem. Someone is asking you this, hoping that you'll say "Yes! Of course, I am!" If you start to view problems as opportunities to hone your innovative problem-solving skills, people will begin to look to you, depend on you for great insight. A little confidence goes a long way! And no matter your career or situation, a problem-solver is always valued.
So how about this for a real New Year’s resolution: make it your goal to stretch the right side of your brain this year. Be confident. Be innovative. Be creative.