Usually, guest posts happen because someone approaches a blogger and asks to submit some content.
This is NOT the case here. I connected with Jenn Sharp on Facebook (you’re all fans of the Penelope FB page, right?) and she (really nicely) challenged some of the things I was saying about my inability to be creative. What she had to say made a ton of sense and I loved her smart, no-nonsense approach.
I was so impressed, and convicted, by what Jenn had to say that I knew other Penelopes could benefit from her advice. Luckily for all of us, she and her husband and partner, Adam, agreed, and sent in this fantastic content. Here’s what they had to say:
By Guest Contributors Jenn Sharp and Adam C. Sharp
So you think you’re not creative?
News flash, you are creative.
You already find creative ways to organize and schedule. Now, you’re going to see how incorporating these 5 easy ways can enhance your creative thinking in other areas of your life.
When a Penelope sets out to do something, she does it. She’s going to draw. She gets prepared. She buys the best drawing pad and pencils, the perfect eraser and of course has done her research on the VERY best pencil sharpener to use on those colored pencils. She is serious about whatever she is doing.
Well, I’m here to tell you to stop that right now. It’s stunting your growth and it is absolutely, no fun (well, maybe a little, who doesn’t love new art supplies?)! Instead, be a child. If a child wants to draw, they grab a crayon, hopefully some paper, and just go at it. No plan, no thinking, just doing. Do that. Let yourself play.
Put that pencil or paintbrush or whatever it is on the paper or canvas and just play with no plan in mind. Let yourself go. It is so freeing. You can do it. Have fun, and play!
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Remember how great it felt to skip when you were a kid? It was so much fun we wished we could skip everywhere. One day, though, we just stopped skipping or even wanting to do it. What happened? We become adults. We would get quite a few stares if we skipped as adults and that would be very concerning to us. Our comfort zone is a mentally snuggly place that we love to hang out in. It’s so safe and well, comfortable. To find your creative side, you have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you’re afraid to do something creative, do it anyway without fear. Approach it with the same mental attitude as you do a messy closet. Just dig right in and make it your bitch.
Realize It’s Okay to Make Mistakes
“You’re doing it wrong!” “Stop! It’s never going to look good!” You don’t know what good is until you try. Some people love Picasso, some people love Thomas Kincaid, some love Monet. What do they all have in common? They didn’t think of what we would consider a mistake, a mistake. They didn’t wake up one day painting their signature styles. They went through a process to create their own style. What many of us are trained to think of as mistakes are actually the very necessary process that one must go through to develop as a creative person. In creativity, there are no mistakes.
Silence the Inner Critic
Remember how Yoda said, “The force is strong in this one,” about Luke? I think likewise he would say the same thing about the Inner Critic in the Penelope. The Inner Critic is that subconscious voice in your head telling you things like “You aren’t creative, so why bother?” “That is NOT the way it’s supposed to look, so stop it right now!” Maybe it’s the voice of a parent or teacher.
I recommend using AIM (Aware, Investigate, Mantra) to silence that inner critic. First you need to be aware that your inner critic is saying these things in your subconscious. Next, investigate where that voice is coming from. Is it grandma, mom, a teacher? Say “Oh, there’s mom (or even little me) telling me I can’t make a mistake.” Then create a Mantra like “I’m ok with making a mistake.” “It’s about the process, not the end result,” or something as simple as “enjoy” and just keep on keeping on, let the voice of the Inner Critic just float past you.
Dare to stop Comparing
Keeping up with the Joneses takes on a whole new meaning with Penelopes. You want to be the best at everything. That drive to be better is awesome, in its rightful place. It helps you be a leader and get things done. Starting out creative, though, can’t be about comparing what you’re doing to others. If you’re just starting out drawing or writing, don’t compare yourself to others. Just focus on what you’re doing. If you find yourself thinking, “I’ll never be able to do that” use your mantra to silence that critic. Comparison is the killer of creativity.
So these are the steps. Now go create!
Jenn Sharp and Adam C. Sharp are life coaches from Spokane, WA. Learn more and schedule a session with them at Courage 4 Confidence.