by Marcia R. Reich
We are all creative! Yes, everyone single one of us. If you have never viewed yourself as a creative person I imagine you are shaking your head and possibly thinking to yourself “she hasn’t met me yet.”
We have a very limited definition of what being creative is or isn’t about. So let’s start with the fact that creativity doesn’t necessarily require breaking into song, dance or wielding a paintbrush.
Both Widipedia and Merriam-Webster’s offer the idea that “Divergent thinking is sometimes used as a synonym for creativity. Other researchers have used the term flexible thinking when discussing creativity.
I often engage people in a group on the topic of creativity. It’s a wonderful way to begin a group or an individual session with a new client. In many ways I see myself as a Creativity Coach but this verbiage can scare people away. For those who see themselves as one of the non-creatives of this world, the turn off switch can easily be activated. The idea of creativity scares people.
Creativity = Flexible Thinking.
It’s about expanding upon what you know. It’s tilting your head and shifting your position. It’s encouraging new ideas to enter your space. As I stated at the very beginning, EVERYONE IS CREATIVE.
Here’s an exercise I do. Gather a few friends and try it.
You are on a train and on your way to visit a friend when suddenly you realize you have slept past your stop. You get off the train. You are in a small town that you have never been to. You also realize that your cell phone reception is weak. What do you do?
During the first part of this exercise I ask the women to write down what they would do on an index card. I then collect the cards, shuffle them up and hand each person another person’s card. And then we engage as a group.
Of course there are a lot of similar answers on the cards—the obvious. Find an information desk, check the train schedule for another train, find a phone and call your friend, freak out, cry, etc., But then there is the not so obvious and the potential impediments and problems one might encounter. The group’s discussion goes way beyond just missing the right train stop.
Some women are practical, others more focused on some of the emotional ramifications. For someone like myself who gets lost all the time I have to have a plan and a breathing exercise handy at all times. I once ended up in the city of Munich, unable to find the right metro station, having lost my map and train schedule. I had no cell phone and my German is dismal and yes, I panicked! And then I problem solved. I used my creative thinking to brainstorm.
Helping people to change is helping them to flex their creative muscles. We all have them. We all engage in creative thinking but most of us don’t see this as creativity or recognize that we are doing it in subtle ways all the time.
Change requires harnessing that creativity that you already possess and working it. Marcia Reich is the founder of the Women’s Coaching Center. Feel free to comment and drop me a line or two. www.womenscoachingcenter.com
Marcia R. Reich is a Licensed Mental Health Professional and experienced coach specializing in women, change, creativity and reinvention. She has over 15 years of professional experience and decades of personal experiences with change and reinvention. She is a writer, painter, coach, counselor, wife, mother and hopefully an inspiring role model. Her mission: To help women show up in their lives authentically and discover who, what and where they want to be.
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