How do I know if I have a creative mind?
May 25, 2021
Find out what makes up a creative mindset and take the assessment below
Don’t you just love a sharp, good quality pencil. There’s nothing like putting a sharpened pencil to paper and making your mark. I get a thrill from a clean page in a good quality notebook and quiet pocket of time to write or draw. Perhaps a blank page intimidates you? If so, here’s a trick: just start.
At Creativity Wake-Up, we like to think of creativity as a prized pencil, used for writing your life’s story. At the tip of the pencil, the lead or writing element, is your creative mindset, skillset and toolset. The mindset is at the base because this is the foundation of your creativity. You build your creative skillset on the mindset that you are development. To your creative skillset, you add tools. But it all starts with the mindset. Without the creative mindset, the skills and tools will not get you very far!
At the back of the pencil, you have an eraser. It is important to keep erasing out your negative thoughts and negative beliefs which hinder your creativity.
So how do you know if you have a creative mind?
Firstly, know that you can develop your creative mindset with time. So, if you’re not feeling so creative right now, this is something that you can change. To learn about your brain’s ability to shift mindsets, listen to or watch this great podcast, Future proof Mindset, by Rob Jardine and Rob Pearse from the NeuroLeadership Institute on The Learning Zone Podcast (31 mins.)
Take a moment to think about your mindset
Here is an opportunity to pause and think about how you think. How often do you do that? Even if you are very busy today (and especially if you are busy), I encourage you to invest this little bit of time in yourself. It will help you to think more creatively and smartly and save time in the future!
We have developed a Creative Mindset Assessment to help you assess your current mindset and work out which one area to focus on the next few weeks. Just pick one. Don’t overwhelm yourself. This is a lifelong journey, so you should continue to develop these over time.
Before you complete it, here are some notes to guide you as you rate your mindset health on a scale of 0-10.
A note for managers and teams
This is a great exercise to do as a team. We recommend having each team member do the exercise individually, then someone can collate the results into an aggregated wheel. Use the assessment results to open a discussion with your team about how the team may be holding back on creativity and what your collective creative strengths are. It is a wonderful opportunity for a discussion on what practical ways your team could work to develop a more creative way of thinking and behaving together. (We’d be happy to facilitate this session for you, virtually or in person.)
The Eight Facets of a Creative Mindset
These behaviours describe the high end of each facet of the creative mindset. Use them to make an honest rating of how your mindset stacks up right now.
- You show bravery in the face of fear.
- You regularly do things that scare you.
- You don’t shy away from challenges.
- You are willing to challenge the status quo.
- You take risks.
- You will try something that has never been done yet.
- At work, you bring new things to the table that could be frowned upon by others.
- You don’t retreat from tough conversations that need to be had.
- You are willing “to deal with the mess that comes with creativity”, as described by Ed Catmull of Pixar, in his book Creativity Inc.
- You seek honest feedback.
- You are able to let go.
- You reach out for support when you need it.
- You give of your gifts and talents to others.
- You share your thoughts and feelings.
- You strongly desire to know things.
- When you ask people questions, you truly listen to their answers and want to understand what they say.
- You ask lots of questions in your mind about the world around you.
- You seek surprise.
- You are not afraid to say: “I don’t know.”
- You live to solve problems.
- Virtually nothing bores you; you can always find something interesting to explore about a topic or a situation.
- You question everything.
- Questions don’t scare you.
- You have the propensity to take great pleasure in certain things.
- You easily become enchanted or captivated by specific people, objects, places or activities.
- You tend to live in the present, fully awake to what is around you.
- You take your time to savour experiences.
- You have a tendency for gratitude (you may note down things you are grateful for in an app or in a journal.)
- It natural for you to pause to look at the moon, smell a flower, observe a scene or ruffle a pet’s fur.
- You get a deep sense of joy from small, everyday objects or moments.
- You fill up with wonder and discovery on a regular basis.
- You are able to persist in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
- You tend to try again and again.
- You are not easily put off by arduous tasks.
- You take on endeavours even when the outcome is uncertain.
- You are good at viewing failure as learning.
- You are tenacious and determined.
- You keep going in the face of fatigue.
- You don’t stop even when others criticise you.
- You are known for your staying power.
- You are able to pick yourself up again.
- You have the ability to reframe endeavours as experiments.
- You trust in your abilities, qualities and judgement.
- You have creative confidence.
- You have a deep security in who you are.
- You believe that you have what it takes (or if not yet, at least, you believe you can grow what it takes over time.)
- You are able to quiet your inner critic.
- You understand what your creative motivators and sparks are, and can use these to fuel your self-belief.
- You trust in your instincts.
- Despite your misgivings, you still back yourself.
- You are an avid learning.
- You believe in lifelong learning.
- You are always engaged in learning of some kind.
- You are good at adopting a Beginner’s Mindset: that is, being open to learn from anyone regardless of their education or status, being humble and being willing to ask lots of questions.
- You love taking courses.
- You love listening to podcasts.
- You love reading books, blogs and articles.
- You engage with your lecturers/ facilitators/ teachers and are not a passive learner.
- You are never satisfied that you know enough; you always seek to learn and grow more.
- You take possession of problems or opportunities.
- You commit personal effort to find creative solutions.
- You love experimenting.
- You have a bias to action.
- You are willing to move quickly.
- You lean forward into challenges and opportunities and hold yourself accountable.
- You don’t pass the buck.
- You take in on yourself to find/ create solutions.
- You don’t take yourself too seriously.
- You are willing to look foolish or play the fool.
- You laugh easily and frequently.
- You can be witty and amusing.
- You enjoy and appreciate the humour that others express.
- You watch comedy shows.
- You read jokes.
- You enjoy playing funny games.
- You can laugh at yourself.
- You are willing to play silly games with your children.
So there you have it. The Eight Facets of the Creative Mindset, according to the Blueprint for Creativity that we have developed at Creativity Wake-Up through our study, practice and client experience.
Your next steps:
- Download the Creative Mindset Assessment.
- Rate your mindset health for each facet on a scale of 0-10.
- one area to focus on the next few weeks
Remember, this is a lifelong journey, so you should continue to develop these over time.
If you have questions about this assessment or need help with it at all, please get in touch. We'd also be happy to facilitate a collaborate mindset assessment with your team, along with strategies to develop a more creative mindset going forward.
Contact us on: [email protected].
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