I attended a Paint n Sip class on Sunday morning and overheard one of the ladies in the group say “I haven’t got a creative bone in my body.”
I inwardly winced because of the sadness it evoked in me for her, as well as the familiarity of the phrase that had left my own lips countless times over my years. It’s a story I told myself and acted out from a belief I developed as a little girl that I wasn’t a ‘creative person.’ Have you thought or said this too?
I’m not sure how I built the belief but I think it was through comparing myself to my sister who was great at art that I embedded the story she is artistic and I’m not. Maybe I was also told I wasn’t artistic? Maybe I was put in the ‘academic’ box and she in the ‘artistic’ box (we seem to all get grouped into ‘sporty’ ‘academic’ or ‘artistic/creative’ – which I think is not healthy or helpful for anyone)? I’m not sure. I didn’t have a natural flair for art so somehow me not being artistic morphed into the story that came to feel true for me that I wasn’t creative.
It stuck with me until I was 37. I reflect on my life and all of the rich experiences I avoided because of this story that I bought into. I also know that I held myself back in so many aspects of life and work because I doubted my creative ability.
The stories we tell, and retell, ourselves rule our lives.
They feel true and we come to believe them because they’ve been repeated so many times, but we rarely actually decide for ourselves what’s true for us. Our stories stem from beliefs largely based on generalisations we make about our past. And unfortunately, many of us are wired to hone in on the painful experiences and form negative beliefs about what that means for us and the potential for our future.
It’s only when you start to examine this that you realise – that is actually really true! I am being defined by my own limits that I’m creating because of what I’m telling myself about myself and what I’m capable of.
Here’s some other examples: I’m not a morning person, I’m not good at public speaking, I always say the wrong thing, I’m not good with money, that would be my bad luck, I’m not confident, I’m not a good business person, I couldn’t do that or I’m too busy. You are actually defining the boundaries of what you will allow yourself to have a go at and to accomplish.
When I was 37 I worked with a Coach who helped me to see that we are ALL creative beings. We are inherently creative as we are creating the reality of our lives each and every day. Life is a creative process! AND we have natural talents and abilities that we express in different ways. I love to express myself through writing and when I committed to writing my book The Art of Trying it reignited a fire inside of me that had been dim for a long time. I also love to create things like coaching programs, eBooks, teams, businesses, collaborations, events, etc. Being creative is producing or using original ideas.
So, getting back to the Paint n Sip session. I wasn’t going to register for it because I was telling myself the story that ‘it’s not my thing.’ Perhaps there was also a fear of not being good enough or what if I can’t do it ‘right.’ My paradigm was saying ‘remember you’re not artistic Benita!’ I hesitated when my friend invited me to attend with her, but I said yes so we could have some time together.
Guess what… it was just fabulous. I loved it! We chatted, drank coffee, painted, laughed, learnt from an incredible artist and from each other. My painting probably won’t be hanging on our lounge room wall under a spotlight any time soon but when I look at it, my heart swells and I can’t help but smile. I created it and it was simply joyful to have the experience. Isn’t that what life is really all about?
So I have a challenge for you. Draw the line in the sand right now and declare that you will no longer say ‘I am not creative’ or ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body’ or anything along those lines. YOU ARE CREATIVE. You are creating from your original thoughts in each and every moment and you have a way of expressing yourself creatively in your own unique, special way – you just need to recognise and acknowledge yourself for it!
Tell me – how and what do you like to create?
My Illuminate coaching program is a safe space for you in motherhood. If you are feeling lost and ready to find your spark again, it is the space for you. Over 12 weeks we walk together from stuck to shining and you become part of a space where you are always seen and held. You can enrol with me anytime. You are worthy! To find out more visit https://benitabensch.com/illuminate