A New Way To Think about Creativity
This article is based on a powerful TED talk by author and speaker Elizabeth Gilbert.
Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of humiliation? Are you afraid of being lonely? Are you afraid of the big bad wolf? The simple answer is YES of course you are!! That is human nature, were afraid of all these things and then some…
Most of us are afraid of these and other things such as death, public speaking and maybe, like myself, heights!!
And what is it specifically about creative ventures that seems to make us nervous about others mental health, unlike most careers. To get ahead in life, these days, you are going to need to be creative on several levels. Creative people have the reputation of being mentally unstable. We seem to be undone by our gifts!
We accept collectively as a whole the notion that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked. We must separate ourselves from what we are creating and the anxiety of the reaction we may get from hat we are creating.
How did Ancient Civilizations view Creativity?
In ancient Greece and Rome, people did not believe that creativity came directly from human beings but from an outside Divine Unknowable Source. Greeks called these divine attendants of creativity; Daemons. Romans called it Genius from the root word Genie.
The Romans believed that a genius was a magical divine entity who was believed to live in the walls of the artists’ studio. The ancient artists were protected from the fragile things like ego. The credit or blame for works of creativity were given to an outside source. This in a way shielded the artist from ridicule, blame and negativity from peers and society. It was the deities fault for work deemed lame!!
After the Renaissance people started believing that Creativity came from the self. Creativity than was believed to come from an internal source. this became too much responsibility to put on the delicate self.
Can we go back to the ancient beliefs of a divine source of inspiration and creativity? Possibly not.
why not think of it like this? It is a much better way to think of creativity. It seems more authentic than most peoples beliefs about creativity.. Creativity can seem to not behave rationally and at times seem paranormal!!
We all brush up against divine intervention at times in our lives. How can we deal with this and stay sane at the same time. We need to open a dialogue with the source of creativity and release the anxiety of the internalized torment. If you get caught in a pit of negativity open yourself to the divine source and create a rational discussion with it. It may be a painful reconciliation that creativity has been loaned to you from an outside unknowable source, but may be necessary to keep your sanity.
The key is move beyond your fear, do your job and show up. Really, what do you have to lose?
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