The 6th Guidepost of Wholehearted Living outlined in Dr Brené Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection” is Cultivating Creativity – Letting go of Comparison.
Dr Brown has become very passionate about the importance of creativity in our lives in recent years and summarises what she has learned about creativity from her research in three points (The Gifts Of Imperfection page 96):
- There is no such thing as creative and non-creative people, there are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t.
- The only unique contribution we will ever make in this world will be born out of our creativity;
- If we want to make meaning we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild and engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing – it doesn’t matter. As long as we are creating, we are cultivating meaning.
Three very powerful findings from her conversations with wholehearted people.
The topic of creativity can be confronting for many of us who have the impression that we need to be skilled in artistic abilities to be creative. Most would bring to mind a paint brush and easel when the word creativity is mentioned. One of my clients response to creativity was “well I don’t paint and I can’t draw” which further confirms the stereotype associated with the word creative.
Creativity is far more than painting and drawing.
What do you enjoy that is creative?
What can you do more of to bring more of your creativity to the world?
What can trip us up in our creative pursuits is comparison. Dr Brown says that comparison is all about conformity and competition and can also drive our need to both ‘fit in’ and ‘stand out’. I am certain we can all think of examples in our lives where comparison has driven us to do things differently, be different just to ‘fit in’. The outcome of comparing is either feeling ‘I am not enough’ or ‘I am better than them’ neither is a healthy place to be.
Letting go of comparison is a form of self-care and self-compassion. It can be difficult to let go of the expectations of others and simply be ourselves but we will reap the rewards if we can make this a daily practice.
In our hectic lives, take time to consider how you can integrate more creativity into your day. Making more time for creativity may feel challenging but the rewards will be worth it.
Until next time