Ep 139: Placing HANDCUFFS on your creativity - RANT
I have a list of things that really make me mad. That really, pardon my french..."Piss me off". And whenever those things come up in conversation, I get super passionate. And I get passionate for good reason. They're all things that inhibit the gifts and talents of others from flowing freely. So, in an attempt to help rid the world of these things, let's talk about them. I've decided to do a series of rants devoted to these things and navigating away from them. Today, let's start with shackled creativity.
In this episode, we'll talk about...
What it looks and feels like to be handcuffed
How creativity may manifest itself for you, that's disruptive for others
How you can safely remove creativity shackles placed on you
I was having lunch with my manager one day before he was going to be leaving for good, he had already put in his notice. And so on the day before he was going to leave, we went out to lunch and there's no better time to go out to lunch than just before you're about to leave the company because then, you get all the real things that people want to say but feel like they can't say while they're employed there. I remember one of the things that he said to me was, "Candace, you are a super creative person and that can be a good thing and that can be a bad thing. But you know, if you ever want to do something different, let me know." And the part that stopped me was the "bad thing" part because in my head I'm thinking, "Really? You're super creative. That can be a good thing. That can be a bad thing? What in the world? What does that even mean?" And so I understood what he was saying in the context that he was saying it in, but what it sparked for me, and as I'm thinking about it now, is that's horrendous that our creativity can be seen as a negative attribute.
So for me, when I thought about this and I thought about the context, he was using it and I said, "Okay, so I'm a super creative person, I'm always coming up with ideas. I'm always coming up with new ways of doing things and I understood that what he meant was the fact that I'm always coming up with new ways of doing things can sometimes be disruptive to the way that people normally operate or people may need to change quite often." Then that's not necessarily a good thing. So I understood that, especially in a very structured corporate environment.
Now I want you to look deeper and think about what that felt like for me as a creative person to have one say that there is a positive side to your creativity and a negative side. For me and being in that corporate culture, it made me very mindful of how far can I go. Or maybe I should dial my creativity down a notch or this great idea I have. Maybe I should hold onto it, maybe even bury it for a little bit because it may be more than other people can handle. Those are handcuffs. That is not a great feeling. Anytime you have to suppress that gift of creativity, it's horrible. And not only is it horrible for the individual that is creative, but it is also unfortunate for the people that can be on the receiving side of those ideas and those creativities because now you don't have access to it because the creative person has decided to suppress it. So it doesn't look great to have handcuffs on your creativity at all. And I think the thing that we should realize as creative people (if you consider yourself creative) I do think it's important, however, to realize that your creativity may be perceived as disruptive for others and there is some validity to that.
"It's important to realize that your creativity may be perceived as disruptive for others and there is some validity to that." (Click to tweet)
So if you're in a structured environment like I am currently in my 9-to-5, that creativity may be more than can be handled. Too much change happening. Too many ideas. We can't execute everything. Of course, that is the corporate structure for you. So when you have to deal with that and you have to be cognizant of what that means for other people. Now when it comes to saying, "All right, that's great and I'm going to be cognizant of it, but how do I let my creativity explode?" There's a couple of things I want you to think about. First, I want you to think about in terms of your creativity, if you don't have an outlet for this creativity, if the business that you are building outside of your 9-to-5 doesn't give you that creative interest, I want you to look really hard at the business that you're building and the life that you're building and say, "All right, am I going to be completely fulfilled on this journey?" Because if you don't see some type of outlet in what you're building on the side and you expect that to be part of your bigger impact journey and creativity is in you, then you might be missing something. So that's the first thing.
"How do I let my creativity explode?" (Click to tweet)
The second thing is, look for places to interject creativity where there are also people who are receptive to change and open to new ideas. So if in your 9-to5, that creativity is bursting out of you, but you want to be mindful of being disruptive, but you don't want to feel handcuffed, surround yourself with those people who are like, "Yeah, let's throw ideas on the wall or let's talk about this new thing, or how do we solve this problem? How do we solve that problem?" Find a way to get some of your energy out into that space as well.
"Look for places to interject creativity where there are also people who are receptive to change and open to new ideas." (Click to tweet)
So when it comes to getting those handcuffs off of you, you absolutely have the ability to do something about it. And if your business isn't giving you enough creative fulfillment, really think hard about what you're doing in your business because that creativity is a part of you. Now, for those of you that happened to be listening (or reading) and you are "creativity killers", I want you to stop. From the bottom of my heart, stop. And I say that because you are not only handcuffing and robbing the joy of the creator, the person who was being creative, but you are also robbing others of the opportunity to experience new ideas and new ways of doing things. And those are the things that we need in this world. So wherever you stand on the spectrum, if you're creative, if you're not creative, just know that handcuffing creativity should be a no-no. So take everything that you've heard and take action, don't just hold onto it.