The Crux of Creativity: The Engine Behind Suppression
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone
else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living
with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the
noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner
voice. And most important, have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs
Someone stole your creativity. Now is your chance to get it back.
At the perfect moment in a conversation or in a meeting, you held back your creative solution, instead making confessions and statements of regret, either to yourself or to others:
“I’m just not creative.”
“I’m not sure if my idea is very good.”
“I was just thinking the exact same thing.”
“I thought of the same idea before, but I didn’t think it would
“I was thinking along those lines, but I didn’t want to be asked to explain it to others.”
When someone was requesting help, perhaps you were the only
one who understood their dilemma. It was your moment to offer
a solution, or the idea that would lead to a solution. While others
seemed stuck, you could see the dots connecting. But you were
uncertain, or shy, or doubting yourself.
What if there was a way that your creativity could somehow
transition from ideas to implementation? Or that the fear of your
ideas being judged or considered crazy or impossible could disappear?
Are you ready to take back your gift of creativity and live
your life creatively? Would you like to externalize your imaginative
thoughts? Are you tired of hiding your creative brilliance, or
always giving it away for free?
Creativity needs to be an intentional force in your life.
It needs to be expressed and manifested. Your unique value to
the world will not be complete without the inclusion of your creative
genius. No longer should you allow your creative ideas to
scare you or cause you to retreat to the safety of conformity when
those ideas “pop” into your mind. Of course, your creativity need
not always be expressed in raw form; it can be crafted or refined or
discussed. But be intentional about your creativity.
The Creative Journey
The manifestation of creativity is a liberating journey; it takes
you from a state of conformity and acceptance of the status quo to
a state of uniqueness and intention. This journey can be described
using the transitions below, and these serve as themes or influences
for the chapters in this book.
Ideas ................................................. Implementation
Ridiculous ....................................................... Reality
Implementation ...........................Intellectual Property
Yielding ............................................... Being Yourself
Conformity is when you are pushed into areas and places that
aren’t right for you or aren’t the best for you. You accept things
as they are and you accept where you are—perhaps because of
your academic performance on a test, your place of birth, your
background or profession, and so many other factors. But it’s time
to blow the lid off and get to a place of Consciousness where you
are alert, aware of your unique identity, and willing to give your
best to the endless opportunities around you. A place where the
limitations on your creativity and imagination are removed, and
you shift from self-editing to the full exploration and expression
of your creative ideas. A place where you refuse to simply accept
the limitations and barriers in front of you and lead your life creatively.
Terrified is how you may feel when thinking about expressing
your ideas and your creativity, even when you have accepted the
fact that you are creative but even more so when you are yet to
come to that realization. We live in a performance-based society,
and thus the fear of rejection, of failing, or of not being accepted
due to divergent thinking, can lead to isolation. But when you
blow the lid off and let your light shine brightly, you not only
illuminate new possibilities for others, you also enter a new realm
of your life—which is absolutely Terrific.
Admonition may have been the main response your creativity
has received when you have stepped out of the box. Your divergent
thoughts and actions may have been rebuffed because they
didn’t conform to the norm. And this has resulted in you burying
your ideas. You will thus have to create a new environment that
supports your creative endeavors. A place where you can receive
Affirmation for your uniqueness—surrounded by people who
will help you affirm that you are indeed different and special. Your
Affirmation will occur when you let your light shine and allow
others to be guided by your light. And this Affirmation must be
preceded by action, the action of blowing the lid off.
Ideation to Implementation is the journey that you are on.
Ignite the idea!. Light it up! Implement it!
Ridiculous is what conformists will use to describe your imaginative
thoughts and ideas. It may also be your own self-declaration
when you view your life with a conformist lens. But when you
blow the lid off and let your light shine, you shift to a place where
those “ridiculous” ideas become Reality. Not just a reality for you
but for so many others who have been waiting. In the ’50s, the
idea to place a man on the moon was not just ridiculous but absolutely
ridiculous. That idea became reality and ushered in a new
era for mankind.
Enfeebled represents the state of a suppressed creative gene. The
force exerted by the lid has resulted in a lack of brightness and a
lack of distinctness when it comes to your value. This then results
in your creativity being squeezed back into the box of conformity.
You lack the confidence to step out and be truly you. You may
then become selective in applying your creativity, but when you
blow the lid off, you experience Empowerment—the power to
be truly and unapologetically you. You recognize your uniqueness
and live a more fulfilling life, breaking through any stuck points
and insecurities. You gain the courage to take back your hidden
creativity. One thing I do during my training sessions, workshops,
or keynote speeches is to ask participants what they would be doing
instead of their current job if they had that option. As the
participants search within, their facial expressions tell it all.
Some are hard pressed to come up with something because those
ideas are buried, but with guidance they eventually come up with
an idea, a life that absolutely lights them up.
Tentative is a place, or a concept, or a room that is cushioned
with a lack of confidence and spread with sheets of self-doubt.
Creativity, on the other hand, is not just an abstract concept and
it’s not a skill to be learned. Rather, it’s a Transformative force.
Transformation occurs when you blow the lid off. The shifting
of energy fuels the lighting of your lantern. To blow the lid off
requires a big change in your life, a Transformation.
The Vulnerable valley is the place you need to pass through in
order to ascend to the Victorious mountain top. To blow the lid
off is to reveal the fantastic ideas that you previously had no access
to. It requires having confidence in your art, or your idea, or your
offering, confidence that it is valuable and worthy. But the only
way to truly let your light shine is to do so from Victory Mountain.
Victory Mountain represents the ascent from self-doubt and
self-editing to self-expression. It’s the conquering of fear and the
crushing of the irritating imposter syndrome; it’s the summit of
revelation and acceptance. So don’t stay in the vulnerable valley;
get up, move, step, run, silence the noise of the imposter syndrome
fly and blow the lid off!
Implementation to Intellectual Property is what the creative
journey entails. It’s an asset that is yours, that you share with the
world. That is how you let your light shine! It’s your light, but
many others will benefit from your light. Protect your light but
never cover it up.
Finally, you will move away from Yielding to the pressure of the
lid. From Yielding to the limitations and constraints on your creativity
and your imagination. From allowing others to take away
your creativity. Once you blow the lid off, you give yourself permission
to simply be You unapologetically—to be Yourself and
You will not be defined by your profession, or aptitude, or test
results, or executive position. You will be Yourself!
I don’t define myself by my skills, or my profession, or my education,
or my position.
Personally, I like to define myself by my
three key pillars that I affectionately call CAP:
Champion for Creativity
Ambassador for Wellness
Pursuer of Excellence
The support for harnessing and unlocking creativity is growing,
but it requires the inclusion of more participants and more advocates.
The message is that creativity is not an abstract concept but
an integral and critical part of life.
Creativity is not a luxury in our lives; it is a necessity.