Creativity needs safety if it’s going to grow. Safety is critical for creative growth in all stages of the process, but it’s crucial during Fun & Games. Your creativity is still child-like at this point: young and energetic, but in need of an environment suited to its current skills and strengths. It needs a playground, a cultivated safe place that offers enough risk to grow but not enough danger to be harmful. Your job, as your nurture your fledgling creativity, is to seek out these safe playgrounds where you can explore in safety.
How do you find these safe creative playgrounds? Start close to home. You are the first playground your creativity will ever know - are you a safe place? It sounds contradictory, but you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to creative safety. The beliefs you hold about creativity and yourself in general have profound effects on your creativity. How do you see yourself? What mindsets are you following? Are you fearful? Critical? Perfectionistic? Do you value yourself enough to give your creativity room to grow?
These are hard questions, but they can help uncover mindsets and thought patterns that keep you from being a safe place for your young creativity. When you leave a negative thought unchecked in your mind, you agree with the lie that it’s telling you. The more lies you agree with, the harder it is to give your creativity space and safety. Thankfully, even the toughest lies can be eradicated once they are discovered. The best way to flush out a lie is by speaking a radical truth. What is a radical truth? A radical truth is a statement about yourself or your creativity that you know is true, but that you struggle to believe about yourself. Like a spotlight, radical truths burn away the darkness that shrouds old, negative lies, enabling you to clear them out.
A radical truth statement can be as complex or simple as necessary, so long as it makes something inside you squirm a bit to think it. Try these, for example:
My creativity is necessary and good and worthy of free expression
My creative expression has the power to change me and the world around me
The world needs the unique creative expression that I carry
As you make these radical truth statements, pay attention to the arguments that pop up in your mind (trust me, they’ll pop up). These are good indicators of the lies you are believing. Now you can start unraveling the lies. Since almost every lie is founded on a twisted truth, begin declaring the opposite of what the lie claims you are. Your Tribe and Champions can be a great help in this process, as they see your potential with more accuracy than you. Ask them to help you craft declarations about who you are, and who you can be in your creativity.
With the lies cleared away and the truth in their place, your mind can become the safe place your creativity needs to thrive. Instead of barbed wire, a tire swing! Instead of broken glass, a jungle gym! Just imagine all the ways your creativity can play and grow in a mind that’s made a home for it.
Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!