Me, a Creative.
You may or may not remember the ‘Me, An Empath’ meme that circulated early last year. It rose in popularity as a tongue-in-cheek attempt to mock those who consider themselves overly sensitive to the emotions of others.
Now I’m not trying to bring you down to earth and inform you that you are in fact, not a creative (go back to your office job).
Most of us are in fact a lot more creative than we realize, and your creative side needs a little bolstering if anything.
We can all be left feeling a bit grey and unimaginative. If I really am that creative, why has my start-up not taken off? Why are my paintings not in The Louvre? Why doesn’t anyone laugh at my jokes?
I can’t really help you with the last one, but here are signs that you do have an incredibly creative personality you should be proud of:
1) You’re curious
Some people just accept everything that they’re told without questioning further, including common misconceptions…
The Earth is flat? Got it. That piece of chewing gum you swallowed five years ago? Still in your stomach since gum takes seven years to digest.
Creative people don’t see everything in black and white, and they don’t take everything at face value. Instead, they’re propelled to explore new ideas, seek new paths, and forge new concepts.
If insatiable interest in ideas big and small, and enjoyment in asking questions and learning about even the smallest of things applies to you, chances are you have an incredibly creative personality.
2) You’re imaginative
Ever find yourself getting called back from your fantasies to reality by someone snapping their fingers in your face?
“You’re daydreaming again?”
Creative thinkers can find themselves living in their own little worlds. They have an abundance of imagination and can often find themselves getting lost in daydreams about unlimited possibilities and ideas.
You might be in the middle of inventing a new device that can help solve global warming, or conjuring up the plot for a new bestselling horror series. You might also just be in the middle of flying around an imaginary world in which you have superpowers.
Daydreams come in all shapes and sizes, and getting lost in them on the daily is a sign that you’re a highly creative individual.
3) You’re open-minded
Highly creative individuals tend to love pondering, questioning, and debating the purpose of existence.
You might believe strongly in one certain concept or idea, but that doesn’t mean that you’re closed off to the ideas of others. Creative individuals revel in ambiguity.
You might identify with one spiritual or religious concept, but you’re fascinated by the thoughts and ideas that others bring to the table. You’re also not closed off to letting these ideas influence and expand your own.
A lot of highly creative individuals find their spiritual or theological viewpoints evolving over time. They might even find themselves transitioning to a new state of thinking in later life.
4) You think differently to others
Creative minds tend to see the world in a different way to most.
Maybe you find yourself forging different viewpoints or making different connections. Maybe you struggle to see things in the same way as those around you. Those are signs that you might well just have an incredibly creative personality.
Whilst you might feel a little left out or alone in your views, seeing things differently is not a bad thing.
Without creative thinkers challenging the status quo, you’d be sitting here in the dark (since Thomas Edison wouldn’t have invented the lightbulb). And you wouldn’t actually be reading this at all (since Steve Jobs didn’t invent the iPhone).
5) You come into conflict with authority
Seeing the world differently and approaching problems from a different angle can sometimes lead to disagreements or conflict with authority.
With your fine-tuned problem-solving skills, you might find yourself butting heads when told to do something in a certain way, but you know of a way it could be done better.
I’m not saying that you’re problematic. However, struggling to conform to certain rules and expectations might be a sign that you have a creative personality and different views to those around you.
6) You’re prone to taking risks
Without risk comes no reward.
I don’t mean that you’re necessarily an adrenaline-junkie. This doesn’t have to mean cliff jumping (although maybe that is your thing).
As Ken Robinson said in his Ted Talk,’ “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
As an incredibly creative person, you’ve probably experienced a lot of rejection or backlash to your ideas. Still, something within you stays brave and resilient in sharing your ideas.
7) You have some quirky habits
Don’t feel too bad about your quirky habits and strange routines. They might be indicative of an incredibly creative personality.
Creativity and eccentricity have been linked to the same thinking patterns in the brain. Many geniuses and innovators have been recorded as engaging in unusual habits, which produced many of the masterpieces that we have today.
Picasso rose late and locked himself in his studio, working in the afternoons with a monkey called Monina under his chair.
Beethoven apparently counted out exactly sixty beans for his coffee every morning.
Maya Angelou rented a hotel room for the sole purpose of being unable to write inside her own home.
If you feel yourself getting irritated by the fact that you wake up a little late and work best in the afternoons, or someone notices that you wear the same pair of lucky socks every Thursday, remember that eccentricity feeds creativity.
Those quirky habits probably just mean that you’re an incredibly creative person.
8) You like alone time
A lot of these quirky habits that creatives engage in happen behind closed doors.
A bit of a hermit?
Enjoy sequestering yourself away from the world?
I wouldn’t be surprised, as many incredibly creative people enjoy time alone and need it to thrive. Creatives tend to be more introverted, both by nature and because alone time is essential for the creative process.
If you are a big fan of your own company, embrace it. Being alone means more time to work on your ideas.
9) You feel like you don’t fit into boxes
There’s a lot of research into the link between IQ and creativity.
Many naïvely assume that to be highly creative, you have to also be what society considers highly intelligent by having a high IQ.
However, studies show that you don’t really need to be considered smart (according to societal standards) to be creative, and that IQ and creativity are weakly related.
Being highly creative might mean that you find that you don’t really fit the mould for what society considers to be a genius.
Don’t let being abysmal at math leave you thinking you’re not incredibly creative (pointing fingers at myself).
10) You’re sensitive
I, too, am a victim of the ‘you’re too sensitive’ comment. I used to think this was a bad thing, but the more I look at it, the more I realize that being sensitive is a blessing.
As an incredibly creative person, you’re probably moved by small things more than the average person. A beautiful sunset brings you to tears. Your empathy means that people feel like they can really confide in you. Your intuition and your gut feeling is second to none.
However, being a highly sensitive person (HSP) can also be difficult at times. The idea that creativity and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are linked goes all the way back to Aristotle.
As an incredibly creative individual, you tend to overthink and question a lot of actions of those around you. You get easily overstimulated and weirded out by odd sensations or feelings. You also carry the emotional burden of others for them.
If you do find yourself feeling low, or struggling with mental health issues, be kind to yourself. Navigating the world with a complex and creative mind can be difficult, and if this does apply to you, consider reaching out for help.
If these apply to you, then hopefully you can leave feeling proud. Being incredibly creative is a blessing, even if it comes with its own disadvantages at times.
Although we may see and feel the world differently and more deeply than others (and yes, I’m categorizing myself as a creative here), creatives contribute a huge amount to the world around us.
If you’re instead trying to work on being more creative, you’ve taken the first step. Creativity is also a skill, and with practice and an open heart, you can start working on expanding your vision and broadening your horizons.