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Getting Outside the Box: How to Find Your Inner Creative

“While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
-Steve Jobs

I love this quote because of the way Steve Jobs talks about the people who end up changing the world. He says that those people are special not because they can work within a system better than others, but because they dare to think outside it. In other words, they have tapped into their crazy. I think he means that those of us who are able to get free from societal constraints and staying within our comfort zones will be the ones who change the world. 

So how do we tap into our inner “crazy” and be the change we want to see in the world? I firmly believe that we do this via our capacity to create.

Creativity is simply the ability to apply imagination to intellect. Now, many of us tend to think of creativity like red hair or left-handedness: you’ve either got it or you don’t. But famously innovative people Leonardo, Beethoven, Matisse, and Einstein aren’t the only people who should come to mind when we think about creative people. In fact, we all have the capacity to create. We aren’t just capable of making masterpieces; we are the masterpieces. Which is why it is vital that you and I both wake up to our own creativity and harness it to make the world a better place.

We too are creatives with gifts that will either remain asleep or awaken to their full potential.

The first step to waking up to your own creativity? Get curious.

All creators draw from the work of others, and are influenced both consciously and subconsciously by what is around them. Practically, this is why I strive to have diversity represented in front-and-center things such as my Instagram feed (following many people from other cultures and interests), textiles in my wardrobe, travel destinations, book selections, and so forth. As you become curious, the goal is not to find something that makes you feel comfortable; it is to find something that makes you even more curious.

The next step to waking up to your own creativity is to challenge yourself to learn something new.

Recently I have attended a llama cake decorating workshop, an intro to embroidery class and a beginner’s watercolor class. These were all things I attended in order to gain a new skill-set and be inspired by the people around me. I wasn’t looking to have my own Etsy embroidery shop, nor was my goal to start making my childrens’ birthday cakes in 2019 (that would be four cakes too many, y’all!!!). I used my intense curiosity of these creative arts to unleash my own creative side. I am always surprised at what I can do, but even more so, I am surprised at how another person’s creativity pushes me deeper into my own creative process.

Once you’ve awakened your curiosity, let your mind wander.

Crucial to the creative process, that space in your mind where daydreaming and mindfulness meet is where the “magic” happens. For me, I find this space to be most fruitful when I am resting my body, using my eye mask to block out light and have turned on some white noise. That is when the ideas begin to flow. In fact, I keep a stash of colored pencils and a drawing pad, along with a journal, at my bedside so that I can record any ideas as they come!

For Christmas, my husband gifted me with the book Into The Silent Land: The Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird. Reading the book has made me even more keenly aware that meditation and mindfulness practices bring focus to my wandering mind. This can be a very productive process in terms of bringing those creative ideas to the surface.

Want to take that creativity to the next level? Learn to fail fantastically.

Another important thing to keep in mind, once you’ve started tapping into your creativity and acting on it? Remembering that failure is actually the key to realizing your full potential. Without it, there can be no new ideas. The imperfect outcomes that we so desperately try to avoid are actually so vital to developing our newfound creativity. If you struggle with perfectionism in your creative endeavors, let me suggest that you actively strive for imperfection. Jessica Honegger’s recent book Imperfect Courage is a great read to help you learn to trade perfectionism for purpose.

I hope you feel inspired to pick up that paintbrush, open that blank notebook, tune that instrument, or pursue whatever creative endeavor you feel calling to you. Deep down, we all have the capacity to create–and it’s be getting out of our comfort zones and waking up to that creativity that, like the inimitable Steve Jobs once said, we can change the world.

Meet Erin Abbott

Erin Abbott has been a part of the Noonday Collection community since November 2014. Since then she has hosted and gathered many women in her small Texas community. As a woman who deeply values the stories behind imperfection, Erin enjoys raising her four imperfect children, alongside her not quite perfect husband, while modeling a beautifully imperfect life.