Like we often do with the elusive concept of passion, we tend to reserve the word creativity for artists and geniuses who can dream up and give life to new things into existence.
But that shouldn’t be the case. Us humans are creators by nature. Just look around you: in order for you to be where you are right now, a lot of creativity was involved. The place you live in, the appliances you use, the art you enjoy, the clothes you wear… all a result of human creativity.
However, our jobs aren’t always the most creative of endeavours. And today’s modern society offers every possible thing we could want. It seems that we don’t need to create more things. So if our work isn’t particularly creative, and we don’t need creativity to solve simple everyday tasks, that leaves us as mere consumers.
About the “creative void”
Taking such a passive role when we too have the ability to embark on creative tasks, sooner or later affects our emotions and our sense of satisfaction.
When we’ve been consumers/ spectators for too long, we neglect our inner desire to create. A creative void is the result.
As The Minimalists put it on one of their essays:
For most of us, however, the void has nothing to do with a need to consume more; in fact, the opposite is true: when we consume too much, we experience stress, anxiety, and depression, effectively deepening the void.
To avoid this, we should look within us and just let things flow. Give ourselves the space to invent, make, design, move, write, and a long etcetera. Just for the sake to create. Letting go of expectations that our creative expressions should be anything more than that.
Exploring our creativity has many benefits.
1. Creating something can reignite our sense of capability.
Often, we get too caught up on what we should and shouldn’t do instead of just giving things a try. When you forget self-imposed limitations for a while and focus on a creative task, you’ll end up reigniting your sense of capability. Because, no matter the end result of your task, you will have proven yourself able to do something different.
2. Creative activities help us manage our emotions.
There’s a reason art therapy exists. Creative activities give us the space to channel uncomfortable feelings and express them instead of keeping them bottled up.
You don’t have to be a professional artist. Embarking on creative activities (drawing, painting, music, gardening and many others) gives us a chance to distract and give meaning to difficult situations.
3. Our creative expressions can make us know ourselves a bit better.
Creative expressions allow us to express feelings and desires we didn’t even know we had. According to psychoanalysis, art is a form of sublimation. A defense mechanism that allows unconscious desires to manifest as something beautiful and constructive instead of psychological symptoms. This is another way of saying that creating things can help us cope with our feelings and improve our mood, but with the added twist of knowing our inner self somewhat better.
You already are creative. We all are. So explore your creativity and give yourself some time to create something. It doesn’t even have to be good… just give yourself the chance to start and have fun.