PROBLEM: ‘I’m Not Creative’
SOLUTION: Believe You Can Be
Creativity isn’t just being artistic. Creativity encompasses innovation, problem solving, vision, initiation and imagination. Imagination is the difference between the problems plaguing our every day and the future solutions to those issues. Imagination is the first step toward effective answers.
We can choose to see problems in life as annoyances, or we can view them as amazing opportunities. Most difficulties we face in our daily lives are blank canvases awaiting innovative answers. We then can see these struggles as amazing because of the innovative and creative solutions that often follow.
The hurdle, though, that typically hobbles problem-solving, is the “I can’t” mindset, which we all suffer from to an extent. But if we can get past “I can’t,” we enable wonder, curiosity, creativity and, sometimes, groundbreaking innovation. How do we overcome the “I can’t” mindset? Here a few suggestions for you to consider:
- Believe you can or, if needed, get unstuck. If you believe that you are creative, good. You’re going to need that creativity, so just trust yourself. If you don’t, trust in a process that begins with “Why?” If you’re stuck in doubt and “I can’t,” then attack it with “Why?” – “Why do I feel stuck?” It’s a great device for questioning and can help you understand the root cause of an issue. The question “Why?” sheds light on a usually irrational belief of “I can’t” and begins to liberate your mindset. The factor causing self-doubt gets put into perspective, enabling you to move on.
- Shift the way you see “The Problem.” The shift is deceptively simple and is similar to how we can get unstuck. Problems are usually perceived to be much bigger than they really are, causing intimidation and avoidance. Be sensitive to this intimidation, and train yourself: rather than allowing anxiety to take root, allow yourself to see problems as an invitation, or challenge, to keep asking questions. See problems as an opportunity to change your mind about what you think is possible.
- Ask, “What if?” There’s a technique to asking the question, “What if?” Creativity is like a muscle. A well-designed workout matters. Think of this workout as high intensity interval training. Is it the only way to access the muscle? Of course not. But it works. The workout starts with a silent warm-up for three minutes. Write down as many “What if?” or open questions as possible. Then, share your ideas with someone – a friend, family member, teacher or youth pastor. They’ll help you see flaws in your solutions, but more importantly provide support and accountability as you move forward with your creative venture. Repeat this process as often as necessary – or at least until you find an effective solution to your problem.
- Manage the creative momentum. Having too many ideas can be its own problem, so it’s important to deduce and connect the best ones.
- Remember the Truth. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). So, even though you aren’t the most artistic, you are incredibly creative. Rely on your creator to guide you through your problems and He’ll provide you with solutions as well as peace and confidence. He won’t let you down, so don’t let yourself down.
By now, “I can’t” looks pretty ridiculous and unnecessary. This is a lesson that not only yields creative solutions for one problem, but a general principle with which to address all problems … or, rather, opportunities.