This is a place where you can learn how to shake off your fears, get creative, and connect with the folks who matter: your audience and your community.
Being creative is something we’re all innately born with. Full stop.
None of that “Oh I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I can barely survive a paint night without cringing. What even is Canva…?”
You come up with creative solutions every day. How to fix a problem with your email syncing to your phone. Helping a customer find that perfect gift. Fixing that leaky faucet. Figuring out how to guide people in the right direction or make them pause and reflect.
Those can all look like different things and may not be what you typically think of with the phrase “creativity,” but guess what? They all are.
You have to think outside the box, use past experiences and potential outcomes to flow between ideas. Eventually, you’ll come to a solution or an end product reflective of that process.
It’s not like you’re going to be great at everything and that’s okay. It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to not be the best. Having fun, learning from experiences, and moving forward in a better aligned direction are all part of the process. Creativity has so many layers.
Judging yourself because you thrive in one area and face some challenges with others isn’t fair. It isn’t helpful. Instead of developing new connections and ideas, you set yourself up for self sabotage by building a wall between you and your authentic expression of ideas. Now if those ideas are harmful to others or yourself, that’s a different story.
So, if we’re all born with this creativity, why don’t we do the things? Why do we have that idea and not go through with it? Why don’t we try to turn some of the cool stuff in our head into a physical, emotional, or spiritual embodiment of it?
It’s never easy to challenge norms, but that’s exactly what we are called to do through the act of creative expression. We owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, our friends, neighbors, and planet, to become the best version of ourselves.
Our preference for short term gains vs. long term goals. Slow and steady often wins the race, but you’re running up against how you’re innately wired.
Perfectionism is wrecking your motivation and what you develop.
Imposter Syndrome says you aren’t even good enough to create something or try a new thing, so why bother?
Lack of access to the tools needed to get things done.
Past criticism is often an underlying cause of limitations. If someone made you feel negatively about your work, you’re going to be more apprehensive at creating something again. Goes back to perfectionism and the cycle continues.
If you read those and thought, “huh, I’ve felt like that” or “holy smokes that is me!”, keep reading. Now that we know the why a bit more, let’s figure out how to break free of these patterns.
Cut out the negative talk.
When you say negative phrases, stop and think “How does that make me feel?” and do a quick scan of your body. If what you said makes you feel crappy, emotionally and/or physically, it’s time to reframe. Instead of “I need more money” or “I should be better at this,” flip things around. “I am learning through this process.” “Money is coming my way.” “I show myself grace as I learn new things.” “I am creative.” All these reflect a similar sentiment, but in a more positive light. You can’t create if you feel terrible. Sure, you can tap into deep, dark feelings, but to do that, you have to be tuned into yourself. That means some time for reflection. Which leads to our next point…
Be quiet for a bit and let things come to you.
Whether you think of it as meditation, prayer, or quiet time, it’s important to have some solitude. After all, if you’re being bombarded by other people’s views, interpretations of things, your creative intuition gets muddled up. Not to mention the stimulus created by all of it. Creativity may come from random places, but if you’re having a hard time finding it, try being quiet. Even a guided meditation for two minutes can help. It’s all about being present and allowing things to come your way. You can’t force it. You just have to observe around you. Observe the to-do list in your mind when it comes up, then let it float away like a cloud. Easier said than done, but still worth a shot.
And if the quiet throws you off, try something else. Instrumental music or a sound bath can be helpful. Journaling can also be a great way to reflect on how you want to communicate with the world. If you have a sense of what you want to create and start feeling yourself pulling back. Stop. Ask yourself why.
Break things down into small tasks.
Creative ideas can be grandiose, over the top concepts that automatically make you go, “well how in the hell could I pull that off?” Rather than getting overwhelmed, think of it as a puzzle. Another problem to solve. You’ll want to spend some time looking into what an idea like that requires. Break it down into its component parts and determine the next actions to take. If you want to grow your business, for example, what would it take? Once you come up with that list, break it down into smaller tasks. Then walk away from the list for a few minutes. Come back, get to work. What do we mean by small tasks?
Turn on power button
Open Word doc
Spend 15 minutes brainstorming topics for content
Etc. etc. etc.
Still feel like it’s too much or not sure where to go? Well, try this one.
Youtube videos exist for a reason. So do experts, grants, mentors, and investors. There are ways to learn how to do something, so don’t let “I don’t know how to do XYZ thing so why try? I’ll just think about it periodically for the next few years…” Yeah. We encourage you to try a different route.
Get in touch with folks who have a stronger skillset or network. Heck there are even organizations and businesses out there with a mission of helping folks in the same predicament as you. They can guide you through the process of bringing your idea to life. This can often increase the momentum you need to get things moving.
Make sure to vet folks and trust your gut. There are definitely folks out there who claim to be experts, but really have no clue what they’re doing.
We’ve met folks who have been hung up for months on how to better connect with an audience and share their stories. People who want to pursue some of the ideas they’ve come up with, but don’t have the time or energy to start. That’s where figuring out the best practices for how to do something and having some support makes a difference.
The first thing to do after reading all this? Just try. Do a Google search and then make a list of what you need to do next. Chat with a creative agency. Email a local artist. Whatever you want to make come to life, just try. That’s all it takes.
Amber Krasinski (she/her) is the Founder of IvyHill PR. She is a director of photography for award-winning productions, videographer, and researcher by trade. Storytelling, learning, and teaching are some of her favorite things. You can often find her in a garden, hiking, reading, or playing Dungeons & Dragons. She is passionate about social equity, creativity, and exploring.