Friday, December 17, 2010

5 Reasons to Be Absurdly Proud of Your Creativity

By Angie Dixon

If you live in the same world I do, I'd wager that you hear people saying "I'm not creative," and you say it yourself. To which I say, codswallop, for two major reasons. The first reason is that I love to say codswallop and I take every opportunity to do so.

The other reason is that creativity is important-it's what I call a primary source-and it is absolutely vital not only to your well-being and prosperity, but to the world's prosperity, that you take pride in what you can do.

However, I know that sounds pretty vague, so I'm going to lay out five concrete reasons you should be proud of your creativity and embrace it.

1. Creativity is important and valuable. You recognize this in other people-for example, Steve Jobs and the iPhone. You understand this intuitively, but you don't always apply it to yourself. Start saying to yourself, when you have a creative idea or do something creative, "That's cool." Just say it. You don't have to say it out loud, even. Or believe it. But remember that creativity matters.

2 Creativity brings career advantages. Even if you are not in a "creative" job, you can use your creativity to complete your work better and faster, to move up, and to accomplish your goals. Or, if you're either brave or stupid, like me (the brave part, not the stupid part), you can start your own business and take a chance on your creativity.

3. The people you love, love your creativity. Sometimes I fall back on the idea that the people I love, who love me, are not stupid. If they think my creativity is something to cherish, they might be right and I might be wrong. They agree with me on this.

4. You deserve the same acclaim you would give someone else. This is similar to "the people who love me are not stupid." The fact is, if my best friend did some of the creative things I do on a regular basis, I'd be throwing parties and calling everyone we know to tell them about her amazing feats. Instead, I invented a board game and once said, "Oh, yeah, I invented a board game." Understandably, the person on the other end of the phone didn't think this was an "oh yeah" kind of thing. Remember that.

5. Creativity grows when it's nurtured. If you are creative, if you want to continue to be creative, then one of the most important things you can do is to let your creative mind know that. Nurture and cherish and be proud of your creativity, and your mind will just keep pushing the creative limits. It's like a child, trying to please you. Let your mind know your creativity pleases you.

I hope my little pep talk has given you something to think about and gotten your mind working toward not just being creative, but being absurdly proud of your creativity. I will add that taking pride in my creativity literally transformed my life, from one I was relatively happy with, to a life that I would not trade for anything. I hope it does the same for you.