Over and over I hear it from speakers, presenters and people in all kinds of professions. “I’m not really a creative person.”
I understand why so many people feel this way. There’s a popular myth in our culture, and the
media drums it into our heads everyday. Here’s the myth. There are two types of people in
There are the painters, the musicians, the dancers, the actors, the writers, the poets, the
inventors and the designers.
And there’s the rest of us.
Here’s the truth. We are all born creative. We all have incredible imaginations. Your everyday
life is filled with creative moments. Cooking dinner, planting a garden, helping your kids with
their homework or coming up with a budget at work are all acts of creativity. Creativity is not
some mysterious quality that only the “artist types” possess.
Research suggests that everyone is capable of tapping into his or her creative stream. But
where do you start? And why should speakers and presenters care about it?
Susan was one of my first coaching clients. She was terrified of public speaking.
As a new director in her organization, she had to give a presentation to an
audience of 100 professional women. She was paralyzed with fear. She wrote up a rough draft
of her speech and brought it to our first session. She delivered it in front of me. Her delivery was
lifeless. It felt like she had rolled all her life energy and creative force into a tiny ball and stuffed
it in a closet somewhere. She said, “This speech is so boring! Even I’m bored!”
I suggested we switch gears. I gave her these directions. “Come into the room and really make
an entrance. I want you to pretend you’re a speaker who is so enthusiastic and over the top that
it’s annoying. Deliver that same exact speech in the most outrageous way you possibly can.”
She was reluctant at first, but finally agreed. Wow! What a difference! She fully committed to her
annoying character, and she lite up the room! Suddenly she was confident, on fire, in her body
and totally authentic! When I asked her how it felt Susan said, “I felt free, it was so much fun
and so easy! I forgot all about my fear!”
Susan found her playful, spontaneous side (and forgot to be afraid) by taking a small, creative
risk in a safe environment. She connected the dots. She knew she would never deliver her speech
in that over-the-top style, but she figured out that trying something new and different would help her
rediscover her creative potential. She felt recharged,empowered and inspired. She ended up giving
a new speech that knocked her audience’s socks off!
One of the best ways to jumpstart creative energy is to try something new. Creativity thrives in
the new. When we take a risk and move away from our cautious, familiar and predictable ways
of doing things, then magic happens. An enormous river of power, passion and creativity lives
inside each of us. It just needs permission to flow!
Research shows that when we get outside of our comfort zone and try new things, we stimulate
different parts of our brain. This changes how we experience ourselves and the world around
us. That’s when new and exciting possibilities start to emerge.
If you consider yourself a “non-creative” or feel skeptical, then try this. Befriend your creativity!
Start small and keep it simple. Drive to work taking a new route. Tweek a recipe and add a new
ingredient. Try a new style of clothing. Talk to someone you normally wouldn’t. Eat with
chopsticks. If you usually eat lunch at your desk, go to a cafe and people watch. You get the
I’ll leave you with this suggestion. Do one thing different (or try something new) everyday for ten days and pay attention to what happens. Do you feel more awake? More alive? Just a little bit lighter?
Leave me a comment and let me know what happened for you!