10 signs you’re more creative than you think you are

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Most of us are infinitely more creative than we often give ourselves credit for.

And that’s because we can misunderstand what it is to be creative in the first place.

You might assume that creative folk are really good at drawing, or can play lots of instruments.

But the depth of creativity expands way beyond any particular skill or talent.

It reaches into the very heart of what it fundamentally means to be human. We have thrived as a species in part thanks to our ability to think and act creatively.

This article will share with you all the reasons you’re already more creative than you think you are.

So let’s get started.

What is considered highly creative?

I think before we dive into the signs of creativity, it’s important to quickly clear something up. And that’s what creativity actually is in the first place.

Because, as I said in the intro, we can end up too narrowly defining creativity.

And in doing so, so many of us mistakenly end up believing we’re just not the “creative type”.

Why?

Because we suck at crafts, can’t sew to save our life, or have a singing voice that resembles an injured wild animal.

But in a nutshell, creativity is simply using your imagination to come up with something new.

That’s it.

It certainly doesn’t have to be in the world of artistry either.

This inventiveness can apply to science, business, math, education, politics, relationships, and more — essentially all areas of life.

The truth is that we likely act in creative ways all the time.

In fact, you might just discover that you are indeed a highly creative person.

10 signs you’re more creative than you think you are

1) You’re curious about various topics, the people you meet, and life in general

Creativity is fuelled by curiosity.

In fact, Einstein once famously said:

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

It’s a thirst for understanding and exploration that ultimately drives our creativity. From that craving, springs inventiveness.

If you like to know things then this is your creativity at play.

But an interest in learning doesn’t only take place in a classroom.

  • If you enjoy reading
  • If you like watching documentaries
  • If you ask lots of questions
  • If you like to find out random facts or stats

All of these are simple and subtle signs that you have a thirst for knowledge and curiosity toward life. And that’s a sign of creativity.

2) You love to play around and experiment

Perhaps you enjoy tinkering around with old cars. Or maybe you enjoy figuring things out and discovering how they work.

When we engage in play and experimentation we are actively using our creative side.

If you want to find creative solutions and make something new, you also have to be prepared to mess up and take risks.

That’s the experimental side of creativity. Because simply being prepared to give things a go and try something different often leads to creative outcomes.

But if you’re too scared to get it wrong, you’re going to avoid taking risks. And inventiveness demands that we let go and simply see what happens.

Let me give you a very humble example:

I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly good cook. But arguably I am a creative one.

I’m not the best at following recipes meticulously. Largely because I never have the right ingredients at home.

But I’m pretty good at rustling something up from whatever the heck I do have lying around in the cupboards.

Yep, even this counts as creativity.

Sometimes the results are better than others.

But taking it all with a pinch of salt (no pun intended) means you can have a more playful approach to allowing new creations to come to life.

3) You can be a little weird or quirky at times

Good news to all my fellow oddballs…

Our oddities are actually a sign of our creativity.

Sure, we hear a lot about the accomplishments of so-called creative geniuses.

But what doesn’t get mentioned quite so often is how many of them have some slightly strange habits or quirks too.

That’s probably putting it mildly, as some creative geniuses were arguably downright weird.

We all remember Pythagoras from math class. But not all his theorems were quite so credible.

For example, “Do not, under any circumstances, eat beans”,  “Do not walk on highways”, or “Do not step over a crossbar” didn’t quite have the same societal impact.

And then there’s inventor Nikola Tesla who reportedly rarely slept, walked around 10 miles a day, and had a photographic memory.

This link between creativity and quirks is not simply a coincidence.

There’s evidence that eccentricity and creativity may well be caused by the same cognitive mechanisms in the brain.

Meaning your own little idiosyncrasies may be a testament to your creativity.

4) You’re smart, but not necessarily a total brainbox

It turns out creative people are smart, but in a variety of ways.

What I mean is that rather than having a dizzyingly high IQ, creativity thrives most at more modest levels.

In fact, research has found that IQ isn’t a predictor of high levels of creative achievement.

While being clever is useful, experts have argued that having an IQ higher than 120 doesn’t make a lot of difference to your creativity levels.

So the point is that you don’t need to be a “genius” in the conventional sense to be highly creative.

What actually seems to matter more is a combination of intellect along with certain personality traits.

Our practical knowledge comes far more into play.

Plus, we can’t be too clever for our own good. A certain amount of naivety has also been found to be crucial for creativity.

It keeps us open-minded and keen to see things from a fresh perspective.

5) You try to have an open mind and see things from a new angle

Rigidity is the enemy of creativity.

Think about it:

There’s no way of arriving at new possibilities when you refuse to take a different route.

So when you want to find creative solutions you have to be open to them in the first place.

That’s why highly creative people tend to enjoy exploring different perspectives and seeing things in a new light.

As a consequence, they aren’t afraid to go against the grain or question the status quo.

Creative people prefer to ask questions and don’t rigidly follow the rules.

It’s not about being anti-establishment per se. It’s more about being able to think outside of the box.

In reality that requires a combination of traditional and non-conformist thinking.

6) You love to daydream, fantasize and visualize

I’m not going to throw the whole motivational “If you can dream it then you can do it” speech at you.

Largely because I happen to think it’s a bit of a self-help platitude that is quite frankly not true.

There are lots of things we dream about that we probably can’t do. That’s not defeatism, that’s realism.

But one thing is for sure:

Imagination is what helps us to unlock new creative possibilities so that we can then bring them to life.

The latter part requires practical and grounded action to see things through to fruition. But that initial dreaming is also key.

And that’s exactly what’s at play whenever we drift off in our minds.

Spending time in deep thought and getting lost in daydreaming is your mind busy at work creating whole new possibilities in life.

If you are capable of having your feet on the ground but your head in the clouds, you are undeniably creative.

7) You can easily get lost in tasks when you’re into something

Have you ever been so absorbed in a task that time seemed to fly?

Flow state or “being in the zone” is one of the signs of creativity in action.

Essentially you’re getting really into whatever it is that you’re doing. This allows you to block out external distractions and focus on the task at hand.

The concept of flow was introduced by psychologist Mihaly Robert Csikszentmihalyi who described it as:

“The sense of having stepped out of the routines of everyday life into a different reality, clear goals every step of the way, immediate feedback, effortless attention, action and awareness merged, balance between skill and challenge, time distortion, and spontaneity.”

It matters less what topic or activity creates this state for you. It’s more significant that it happens.

Because when your concentration levels are so strong it shows how engaged you are.

A creative mind is a mixture of playfulness and discipline. Because we need to be able to apply ourselves and stay focused in order to create.

That’s ultimately what’s happening when you get really lost in a task.

8) You get strong intuitive feelings about things

For a lot of years, intuition was seen as an almost mystical or eerie knowing. A sixth sense if you will.

But these days, experts know that it’s far more straightforward and scientific.

Whilst it might feel like intuition magically appears from nowhere, it’s actually coming from a huge storehouse of information we’ve got locked into our unconscious.

Our brain has the ability to very quickly retrieve this information to allow us to think in an instant.

It calls upon deep recognition of our past experiences and patterns in order to give us a quick read on something or someone.

So what’s all this got to do with creativity?

Well, it turns out this so-called “fast brain” that is responsible for intuition is also significant when it comes to creativity too.

The fast brain is a very sophisticated system that allows us to make obscure associations and discover new patterns.

Finding the missing link is a very important part of the creative process.

We can generate more ideas, come up with unconventional connections and arrive at different solutions thanks to this part of our brain.

9) You’re a sensitive soul

It’s official, the evidence suggests that sensitive people are more creative.

So in your face Mom, it turns out my melodramatic streak is really a testament to my sheer creative genius.

Ok, maybe not, but it is true that “multiple trait temperament of sensitivity predicts higher creativity.”

This sensitivity is what allows you to delicately interact will your environment and experiences.

As any highly sensitive person will tell you, sometimes that sensitivity can create struggles. It’s easier to be overwhelmed.

But it also means you are more likely to be tuned into the subtleties of life.

Being able to tap into a wide range of emotions fuels rich experiences, and in the process gets your creative juices flowing too.

In the words of American novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Pearl Buck:

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them…a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.”

10) You’re enthusiastic and passionate

Without a doubt, one of the quickest shortcuts to creative inspiration is through passion.

It’s so often the emotional food that fuels us.

That’s why plenty of success stories in life start out as a personal passion or hobby project that takes off.

Because enthusiasm allows us to keep going when we face challenges. It helps us to push past expectations and our fears of failure.

We are able to do something for the love of it, rather than being consumed by any particular desired outcome.

And this healthy detachment can be really useful when we are taking a creative approach Because as we’ve seen creativity doesn’t tend to thrive as well under such rigid conditions.  

If you have hobbies, interests, and pursuits that light you up inside, then congratulations.

Not only have you unlocked one of the ways to find more meaning in life, but you’ve also been tapping into one of the best natural sources for creativity.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

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Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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