What comes to mind when you think of a creative person?
Do you picture an artist, an actor, maybe a musician? Perhaps you envisage someone who looks like they stepped straight out of an Instagram story.
The truth is – creativity comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s not some exclusive club with a secret handshake.
And despite what you’ve been told, being creative doesn’t involve paint-stained clothes, vintage cameras, a funky hat collection, or an innate talent for words.
You don’t even have to own a pair of dark-rimmed spectacles. Oh my.
No, there’s more than one way to be creative in the real world.
From innovation and savvy problem-solving to getting resourceful in the kitchen. They all require some level of imagination and original thought.
So if you recognize any of these 10 unexpected signs, you’re more creative than you think.
1) You’re easily distracted
Blaring music, loud coworkers… smartphones! Life is full of distractions.
And thanks to the Internet, we’re constantly inundated with notifications, alarms, and unsolicited spam – 24/7.
Nowadays, it’s impossible to go ten minutes without a buzz, chirp, beep, or cute cat video breaking our concentration.
Most of us have learned to block those sounds out. Be it through mindfulness or a good pair of noise-reducing headphones.
But for others, like you, those everyday noises are tough to escape and they can send you into sensory overload.
Understandably, this makes focusing on a given task a challenge.
Well, you could have a creative mind. At least according to science.
Researchers at Northwestern University discovered that creative people exhibited atypical or “leaky” attention.
As a result, creative people struggle to filter out “irrelevant” sensory information or extrinsic stimuli.
So what does that mean for you? Simply put, you get easily distracted.
But hey, it’s not all bad news.
Not only are you among some of the greatest thinkers of our time. But if channeled correctly, evidence shows that “leaky” sensory gating can give way to innovation and groundbreaking ideas.
2) You’re a daydreamer
You’re in your fifth meeting of the day. You’re doing your best to pay attention, but your mind starts to drift.
It’s not the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last. You’re daydreaming again when you should be taking notes.
Listen, we all daydream from time to time. But you – you take it to another level. And not only are they frequent but they’re also scarily vivid.
Half the time, you’re lost in your own imaginary world. But daydreaming isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, imagination is another sign that you have a creative mind.
And depending on the type of daydream, studies have found that it can lead to greater inspiration and creative behavior.
Let me put it this way. Your ability to let your mind wander, together with your knack for connecting unrelated ideas gives you unique insight.
Basically, it inspires you to think differently.
3) You have an eye for detail
Okay, so let me get this straight. You’re easily distracted and you daydream a lot.
That must mean you aren’t very observant, right? Wrong.
You love nothing more than to observe the world and everything in it. And you take pride in noticing things others don’t. In fact, it’s what fuels your imagination.
Not only do you have a keen eye for detail, but you’re extremely adept at seeing patterns.
And that talent for observing your surroundings allows you to spot subtle changes in your environment. The kind of stuff other people miss.
What’s more, that skill could lead to the next big innovation.
4) You have a curious mindset
New discoveries, inventions, and ideas all stem from a desire to learn and improve – the literal definition of curiosity.
And if history has taught us anything, a curious mind leads to creativity – and notable “aha-moments”.
As a creative person, that’s something you know a lot about.
Not only do you constantly ask questions, but you continually seek out the unknown.
Plus, your innovative attitude pushes you to think outside the box – all in the interest of personal growth and creative problem-solving.
By that, I mean you’re inquisitive. And you often come up with ingenious solutions and original concepts that no one else thinks of.
But that level of creative thinking is only amplified by your beginner’s mind.
Let me explain.
Akin to curiosity, a beginner’s mind is where you see the world through fresh eyes. Even if you’re an expert in a certain field or subject.
Essentially, you approach everything as if you’re a novice.
The idea is, that if your mind is empty, you leave yourself open to multiple possibilities and a fresh perspective.
In turn, this allows you to tackle the problem creatively, and from every angle, without getting caught up in preconceptions or assumptions.
5) You’re open-minded
Of course, a big part of having a curious or beginner’s mindset is openness.
And if you’re creative, you have this in abundance.
Creative individuals like you are extremely flexible and adaptive when it comes to change and seeking out unique solutions.
Most importantly, you’re not afraid to consider and explore new ideas – good or bad.
Not only that, but you relish the chance to experiment and test out various theories in order to innovate.
Similarly, you love to take up unusual or diverse hobbies and interests to broaden your mind and experience new things.
And whether it’s in the kitchen, workshop, or office, a willingness to experiment helps you to be more resourceful in a crisis.
After all, creativity is about making something original and new, while open-mindedness allows you to appreciate and embrace that even if you might fail.
6) You’re a maverick
Let’s face it. You long for originality. Not just that, you crave it.
That’s because deep down, you’re a maverick – an independent-minded person.
Not convinced? Well, according to a 2013 study, a need for originality is a sign of a creative individual.
But you already knew that, didn’t you?
And thanks to your rebellious attitude, you can’t help but do things a little differently.
The thing is, you’re fiercely independent and your main goal in life is to question the status quo by resisting rules and conventions.
Not only that, but you like to surround yourself with similar nonconformist individuals – just like you.
This allows you to discuss new ideas, challenge societal norms, and seek alternative paths. Most of all, you like to take risks.
How Punk Rock of you.
7) You have an enterprising attitude
Like originality, the same study listed motivation and ambition as signals of a creative mind.
Luckily for you, that’s two things you have in spades.
Let me break it down for you.
To you, the world is a blank canvas full of endless opportunities. Other people simply don’t see it.
Why? Well, simply put, they just aren’t as creative as you.
In other words, you have an inner drive that’s only matched by your innovative attitude and need for recognition.
You strive for greatness and you’re highly motivated to reach your goals using any means necessary.
However, this intrepid ambition often comes at a cost – namely, your social life.
8) You’re a night owl
Do you work best at night when you’re alone? Perhaps you need total silence to get in the zone?
Research shows that creative people are typically less social than most. In fact, they’re practically hermits.
But what does this mean?
Well, according to this study, it’s good news for solitary souls like you.
Let me explain.
During the day, we’re surrounded by constant noise and outside disturbances. As you know, this isn’t good for someone who’s easily distracted.
In contrast, burning the midnight oil provides creatives with a quiet and distraction-free workplace.
Not only that, but this unconventional and nocturnal environment is the perfect backdrop for nonconformist individuals.
As such, it allows night owls to come up with alternative and innovative solutions – all without having to worry about the usual daytime stresses.
But that’s not all. Researchers also discovered that night owls are generally smarter than early birds.
9) Your sarcasm gets you in trouble
Another factor of being an unsociable creative thinker is your ability to offend people. Even if you don’t mean to.
So, if you’re quick to point out people’s faults, you’re sarcastic, or perhaps a little headstrong, it’s probably because you’re creative.
But it’s not all bad news.
Scientists at Harvard say that sarcasm can actually increase creativity. Not just for you, but the recipient too.
However, that same study revealed that it can destroy relationships.
Remember, before you roast someone, try to be considerate of other people’s feelings and embrace your empathetic side – a trait creative people also possess.
10) You’re a highly sensitive person
Do people generally rub you up the wrong way? Maybe you’re prone to intense mood swings, suddenly and without warning.
Unfortunately, that’s your creative side coming out in all the wrong ways. And it’s the curse of being a creative thinker.
Listen. Being creative is great. But sometimes all that originality and ambition turns to frustration and angst.
And it’s usually your friends and family who are in the firing line.
It’s not that you want to bite someone’s head off. But the truth is, it’s how you’re wired.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
As a highly sensitive and creative person, you’re also deeply empathetic. So put your above-average emotional intelligence to use.
Establish what your triggers are and try to funnel all that creative energy into something positive.
At the end of the day, there are more productive things you can do with that newfound creativity than dramatics and anger.