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How to Rediscover Your Creativity

© Krista Stryker 2011
I've spent a good part of my life telling myself what I wasn't.

I am not an athlete.

I am not a good public speaker.

I am not good at math.

I am not creative.

That last one, boy did that last one get to me.  As a kid, I was an artist - I drew animals, I painted (though not very well), I did oodles of craft projects and wrote tons of children's books (I even won some small awards for them).
But somewhere along the way I decided I was no longer creative.  Somewhere between junior high and my sophomore year of high school, I lost the passion I'd once had to change the world, and along with that, my desire to create.

Not doing anything creative was boring and uninspiring.  But it was the belief that I wasn't creative, that I couldn't be creative - that's what sucked the life out of me.

Until a few years ago I was left with nothing.  I was no longer anything, or open to becoming anything.

Open yourself up to the possibility of being creative

I know I'm not the only person who has gotten the creativity sucked out of them over the years.  As kids, we all used to do something artistic, whether it was to play an instrument, color with chalk on the sidewalk, or make amazing sprinkle-laden desserts (my specialty as a 5-year-old).  But at some point, most of us decided that following those creative passions weren't realistic enough.  So we gave them up, got 9 to 5 jobs where we're told what to do every second of the day, and live our lives in a slumber.

I credit much of this dysfunctionality to American-style schooling, where we are given confusing messages about following our dreams and passions while being encouraged to fit in and follow a stable career, preferably one in the field of law/medicine/business.

Athletes are given an exception, since our society loves a good sports story.

Creativity is left out of the mix almost entirely.  As students, we are given support to follow our creative passions - as long as they're on the side.  

You're good at painting?  That's great, do it on your own time.

You're a singer?  Join the choir (you'll have to get up extra early since choir these days tends to be in zero period, sorry those of you who aren't morning people).  But don't plan on making a career out of it - that's ridiculous.

Cartoonist?  Musician?  Creative writer?  We are taught that these are not legitimate careers, that sure we can keep them as hobbies but if we want to survive in this world we have to get a real job.  

Go back to your creative roots

Pick up your old guitar.  Start doodling again.  Anything you can do to get yourself out of this non-creative rut.

Take small steps.   

Rediscover your creativity, and you'll find your lost self in the process.  

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