Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

David GoldsteinHow creative are you? How creative would you like to be? Sometimes there’s a gap between the two.  In my post, You CAN Do What You Couldn’t, I tell how my kindergarten teacher made fun of my paintings and told me I had no creative talent. That haunted me for years. I became a closet artist, not wanting anyone to see what I made since I thought I was terrible. Incidents like that can dampen your creativity. The good news is that you can connect with yours, no matter what happened in the past.

I do artwork all the time now and am definitely considered a creative person. You can be too! I’m happy to have David B. Goldstein, a management consultant; specializing in creativity and innovation, as my guest today. David is  also a researcher, artist, speaker, and author of Creative You: Using Your Personality Type To Thrive.

Finding the Creative You
by David B. Goldstein

At some point in early in your life, has a parent, teacher, friend, or total stranger said something to you that discouraged you from thinking of yourself as creative? If so, you are not alone. A recent study from Adobe found that only 1 in 4 people believe they are living up to their creative potential even though 8 out of 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic development.

I did my own informal study at my son’s preschool and found 10 out of 10 four-year olds think of themselves as creative. They see themselves as actors, dancers, chefs, painters, architects – they are explorers and creative story tellers and they write their own songs – so why does our confidence to be creative seem to vanish before we become adults? Why is it so difficult for us to hold onto our creativity as we are taught to fit into society? How can we get our creative confidence back?Creative You cover

Today, I have reclaimed my creative confidence. I’ve recently completed a commission for the Pan American Health Organization to produce a painting as their symbol for World Health Day, and I was invited to speak to a worldwide audience about health and human rights.  Now, as a writer, painter, and speaker I see myself as creative; however it wasn’t always like this.

While being busy with life, being a student and an entrepreneur, I didn’t have much time for doing any of the creative activities from my childhood and after many years away from the arts; I made a resolution to get back to painting. It wasn’t easy following through with my goal as I took one watercolor class after another – trying teacher after teacher with each instructor showing how to paint their way -but it wasn’t my way. The mismatch was discouraging and the many voices, directions, and criticisms were causing me to feel uncreative.

The way I’ve learned to gain confidence to be creative was to discover a connection between our natural creative style and our personality type and this is what I’ve spent years researching with bestselling  author and personality type expert Otto Kroeger. We found there are many different ways of being creative. For example creativity can be planned or spontaneous, it could be big picture and conceptual or it could be incremental and practical. We all have different preferences and we all can be creative in our own ways. Instead of making the mistake of some of my art teachers and showing you our ways to be creative, our aim is to help you find your way!

As we go through life, it’s so much easier when we just fit in, go with the flow, and follow the leader but in order to thrive today it’s our uniqueness that becomes our greatest strengths. If you’re experimenting with some new ingredients while cooking a meal for friends, wearing a new outfit you pieced together, or presenting a new proposal to your boss, you are doing something different and you are being creative – and creativity takes courage. So where do you get the courage?  Just like the lion in the wizard of oz, you get your courage from being who you are and by believing in yourself.  Those early critics in our lives were wrong, we are creative!
Check out David B. Goldstein‘s new book, Creative You: Using Your Personality Type To Thrive if you want to tap into and increase your creativity.

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