“Creativity is intelligence having fun” -Albert Einstein
Encouraging creativity in others brings me great joy. I’d like to spend this time discussing what I see as an enormous impediment to the creative process. As a creator and seller of handmade items, it is refreshing to see an increasing interest in handmade. I see a growing appreciation for crafters of all sorts that invest massive amounts of time learning a skill and producing high-quality items. Handmade items carry with them so much love of craft, attention to customers, and yes, even flawed work. Nothing we do as makers is “perfect.” There is freedom in knowing that there will always be mistakes. Sometimes this means redoing hard work, sometimes it means doing it over yet again, and sometimes it means letting go and accepting these small flaws. It also means that we constantly look for new ways to sharpen our skills, improve, grow in our learning, and expand our knowledge and abilities.
The true beauty comes in being kind to ourselves as we grow and learn. Knowing we have more to learn does not equal beating ourselves up for what we have yet to achieve. Frustration is the enemy of creative problem solving and if directed at yourself can paralyze you. When faced with a challenge of growing and expanding because what you are currently doing is not exactly what you are looking for, the fastest way to stall your progress is to become critical of yourself. It is actually quite biological in nature. Frustration and other negative emotions will take hold of your brain and blind you from logical problem solving.
Negative attitudes will effectively entomb your ability to navigate an improved skill set.
So, if beating ourselves up gridlocks our efforts to move forward, won’t accepting where we are in our journey cause complacency or stagnation? In reality, it is the opposite. Accepting where we are in the journey does not mean we stay there. Being gentle with how we treat ourselves along the way does not come at the price of sacrificing improvement, growth, or developing our skill set. In fact, this kindness fuels ideas, supercharges problem-solving, and sets our creativity free. When I am tender with myself and kind to the reality of where I am and my current skills I know I have at least one cheerleader on my side. Being kind to myself regarding where I am right now provides safety in taking risky steps forward. Take some steps toward expressing your creative side and as you try new things, remember to be nice to yourself along the way, you will go much farther than you thought possible!
About Tracy Martin
Tracy is a wife and mother of three. She stays busy educating her children at home and expresses her creativity through sewing and quilting handmade items. Follow Tracy on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/
What keeps you gridlocked vs. fueled?
Do you ever get trapped in self-criticalness believing that it actually will help?
What are some ways you can be more gentle and kind to yourself when something you do doesn’t happen exactly as you wanted?
Experiment and see what happens.