6 characteristics of highly creative individuals

It’s no surprise that creativity is a highly valued trait in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world. 

From the arts to technology, innovation is the driving force behind progress and success. 

But what exactly makes someone creative? 

What sets highly creative individuals apart from the rest of us?

Well, after much research, it’s clear that there are certain characteristics that many highly creative individuals share.

These traits, when combined, create a powerful recipe for creativity and innovation. 

In this article, we will explore six of these characteristics and how they contribute to the creative process.

1) Open-mindedness:

It’s hard to be creative when you’re closed off to new ideas and perspectives. 

That’s why open-mindedness is a key characteristic of highly creative individuals. 

Being open-minded means being willing to consider new and different ideas, even if they’re outside of your comfort zone or don’t align with your existing beliefs. 

It means being receptive to feedback and willing to change your approach when necessary. 

It also means being open to different cultures, backgrounds, and ways of thinking.

Open-mindedness allows creative individuals to think more critically, to challenge assumptions, and to come up with fresh and innovative solutions to problems. 

It helps them to see things in new ways and to come up with ideas that others might miss. 

And it allows them to collaborate more effectively, by being able to understand and appreciate different perspectives.

Being open-minded doesn’t mean abandoning your values or beliefs, but it does mean being willing to question them and consider different perspectives. 

It’s about being willing to explore new paths, take risks, and not be afraid to fail. 

It’s about embracing change, and being open to the possibilities that come with it.

2) Divergent thinking: 

“Nothing” is a blank canvas, an empty space waiting to be filled with possibility. 

And for the highly creative individual, that “nothingness” is a playground for their imagination. 

This is where divergent thinking comes in.

Divergent thinking is the ability to generate multiple ideas and solutions to a problem, rather than just one. 

It’s the ability to take that blank canvas and see not just one masterpiece, but a multitude of possibilities.

For the highly creative individual, divergent thinking is a natural process. 

They see a problem and their mind immediately begins to race with different ways to solve it. 

They don’t just think outside the box, they see the box as a starting point and then they proceed to tear it down, to build something new and unique.

This ability to come up with multiple solutions and ideas is what sets highly creative individuals apart. 

They don’t just settle for the first idea that comes to mind, they continue to push and explore until they find the perfect solution.

It’s this divergent thinking that allows highly creative individuals to innovate and change the world around them. 

It’s the engine that drives their creativity and makes them the true masters of the art of possibility.

3) Intrinsic motivation: 

“Intrinsic motivation is the fuel that drives the engine of creativity. Without it, even the most talented individuals will find themselves running on empty”.

Intrinsic motivation is the drive that comes from within oneself. 

It is the feeling of being fueled by a personal interest or passion in a task or project. 

Highly creative individuals possess a strong sense of intrinsic motivation which drives them to create and innovate. 

They are not motivated by external rewards or validation, but by their own inner drive and desire to create something meaningful.

This is why you often see highly creative people working tirelessly on a project, even when there is no financial gain or recognition to be had. 

They are driven by a passion for their work and the joy of creating something new.

In contrast, individuals who are extrinsically motivated, will often lose interest in a task or project if it is no longer rewarded. 

They work for the sake of external rewards, like money, fame or approval, rather than for the love of the work itself.

Intrinsic motivation is crucial for highly creative individuals as it allows them to push through obstacles and setbacks, to persist in their work, and to truly create something that is unique and meaningful.

4) Risk-taking: 

Creativity and risk-taking go hand in hand like whiskey and a wild night out. 

You can’t have one without the other. 

You see, when it comes to being creative, you’re going to have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

You’re going to have to put yourself out there, and that means taking risks. 

Highly creative individuals understand that in order to create something truly unique and innovative, they need to be willing to push boundaries and try new things. 

They understand that failure is just a part of the process, and that it’s necessary in order to learn and grow.

But here’s the thing, not all risks are created equal. 

There’s a difference between taking a calculated risk and jumping off a cliff without a safety net. 

Creative individuals know how to weigh the potential rewards against the potential risks, and they’re not afraid to take a leap when the potential rewards outweigh the potential risks.

So, if you want to tap into your own creativity, you need to learn to embrace risk-taking

You need to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Because, as they say, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

5) Persistence: 

Next up in the list of often overlooked signs of a highly creative individual is persistence. 

It’s easy to think that creativity is all about coming up with wild, out-of-the-box ideas, but the reality is that those ideas only come after a whole lot of hard work and determination. 

The most successful creative individuals know that creativity is a marathon, not a sprint. 

They understand that the creative process is messy, and that there will be times when they hit roadblocks and feel like giving up. 

But they don’t let that stop them. 

They keep pushing through, knowing that the only way to reach their goals is to keep going, no matter what.

Persistence is a key characteristic of a highly creative individual because it allows them to see their ideas through to completion. 

They don’t get discouraged when things don’t go as planned, they don’t give up when they face obstacles, and they don’t stop when they encounter resistance. 

They have a “never say die” attitude, which is what sets them apart from those who give up too soon.

So if you want to be a highly creative individual, remember that persistence is key

Don’t let setbacks or obstacles stop you from reaching your goals. 

Keep pushing through, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

6) Confidence in their abilities:

Confidence in one’s abilities is a vital characteristic of highly creative individuals. 

Without it, the spark of creativity may flicker and die before it ever has a chance to ignite.

As the famous quote by Vincent Van Gogh goes, ‘If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.’

Creative individuals possess a deep-seated belief in their ability to create and innovate. 

They trust in their own talents and abilities, even when others may doubt them. 

This confidence allows them to take risks, try new things, and push the boundaries of what is possible.

It is this unshakable belief in themselves that enables them to overcome obstacles, persist through challenges, and ultimately create something truly remarkable. 

Without confidence in their abilities, the creative process would be stifled, and the world would be deprived of the brilliant works of art, literature, music, and technology that they have to offer.

So, I hope this article has helped show you that creativity is not just about being artistic or having a wild imagination, but rather a combination of various traits and qualities.

These six characteristics are not the only ones that highly creative individuals possess, but they are definitely some of the most important ones.

Remember, creativity is not something that you are born with, but rather a skill that can be cultivated and developed over time. 

By working on building these characteristics within yourself, you too can tap into your own well of creativity and bring your unique ideas and solutions to the world.

As always, I encourage you to never stop learning, growing, and developing your skills and abilities. 

The world needs your unique perspective and talents, so don’t be afraid to let your creative spirit soar.

Until next time, keep creating and keep dreaming.

Nguyet Yen Tran

Nguyet Yen Tran

Yen is a freelance writer and a researcher specializing in mental health, self-awareness, and psychology. Her hobby is studying human behavior throughout their reaction upon situations. Be sure to check out her other posts on our blog.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.