Pursue What Matters
Episode 220: Self-Leadership and Creativity
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
Do you consider yourself a creative? Or do you defer to others when it comes to innovation? As humans, we are all creative. And engaging creativity is actually core to what it means to be a human.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:16
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. So we are in the middle of an exploration of what it means to lead yourself well, we’re talking about the secure foundation acronym. And right now we’re focusing on secure, which really are those daily activities, those non negotiables when it comes to coping well, so you need to have these components in your daily life. In your life in general, if you want to be on solid ground when it comes to wellbeing and flourishing. The first component is spirituality. The second is exercise. Today, we’re talking about creativity. Coming up in future podcasts, we’ll be talking about unplugging, renewal and eating mindfully. And so spirituality and exercise have already been covered in previous podcasts. And today, we’re jumping into creativity. So I hope you’re ready to challenge maybe some of your beliefs as it relates to creativity. And of course, every week with the podcast, my goal is to help you pursue what matters by strengthening your confidence to lead in one of three areas. So first, leading with clarity, which is all about that connection to purpose. Second, is leading with curiosity. And this is really the focus on self leadership, and what we’re going to be focusing on today. And third is leading and building a community. And so you know, of course, we want to engage practices that are designed to strengthen our teams and our relationships, both at home and at work. And so today, specifically, we’re going to focus on the role of creativity and self leadership, we’re going to give you a definition for creativity, because I don’t know about you, but plenty of us have some broken definitions of creativity. When I was a young girl, I thought because I wasn’t good at the visual arts. So drawing, painting, that sort of thing, that I wasn’t creative. And that’s like such a narrow view of creativity. And so maybe you’re like me, and you carry some of these beliefs with you from childhood or junior high or different experiences. And so we want to help challenge that and broaden our definition of creativity. Because as I mentioned in the intro, as humans, we’re all designed to be creative. It’s part of what sets us apart from the other animals. And so we want to maybe reconsider our definition of creativity. And then the third thing we’ll focus on today is how can you make room for creativity in your life, so we want to get practical, and we want to think about some small and simple ways that you can engage creativity in your life. So when it comes to self awareness, and self leadership, creativity is essential to a secure foundation of self care, and self awareness. So Michael Gribco. He is a neuroscience research scientist and engineer from the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, what he said, so I love what he teaches about creativity. He said, in science, we define creativity, as an idea that is novel good and useful. It’s a little broader than the Oxford dictionary’s definition where it’s just the ability to create, right, the ability to create that’s like very vague, it almost means nothing. Because backtick grip CO, because that doesn’t really say much, you can create something, and it’s not very useful, or it just won’t work well. And so again, in science, he talks about defining creativity as an idea that is novel, good and useful. And if you think about all of the applications for that definition, you can engage creativity in so many different ways. So I mentioned that when I was a child, my narrow definition of creativity was confined to the visual arts, so I didn’t feel like I drew well, and so I concluded that I was not creative. But we know that there are so many ways to engage creativity.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:52
So one thing that I have learned about myself over the years, is that I can I can see Eat the big picture. And kind of identify processes in my mind about like what’s going to be the best, the best next step for a specific process or activity, and that is innovative, that’s very creative. And it’s something about my how my brain works. That has been a real skill set to me, in in whatever setting. And I’ve got to tell you, as a leadership coach, it’s been incredibly helpful. Because that’s an area where teams really get stuck. They don’t see the big picture, they confuse the map and the territory, they don’t have good processes to really help them to be successful on executing against their goals. And so it’s important to remember that creativity can show up in lots of different ways, as humans we are meant to create. But if we’re not careful, in our heavily scheduled plugged in life, it’s going to squeeze all the creativity out of us, because we just won’t have any energy left for creativity. So I’ve got a few questions for you. First, how is creativity showing up in your life presently? And a follow up question, is it I sure hope it is, what are the ways that you engage creativity in your life. So for me, I you know, at work, I engage creativity a lot, so I love content creation. So we think about the podcast, we think about other activities. And you know, it’s probably one of the things that I love most about my work is that the work is always a little bit different. And it requires my creativity, it requires me to think outside of the box. And if I were just doing the same things every day, I would not be a very happy camper. And so for sure, I can think about how creativity shows up in my daily work. But then also, outside of work, I’m also a writer. And for me, that is a really meaningful way that I can engage creativity. And it’s very different from some of the other activities that I do. So it’s fictional writing, and that really gets my creative juices flowing. So another question, how are you cultivating creativity in your life consistently? So do you have activities or habits or practices that are that really support, cultivating creativity.
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:26
So whether that is, you know, having some some fun art supplies around so that you can doodle or you can, you can do some art, one of the things so I’ve wanted one of my children is a really gifted artists. And so one of the things that I made sure that we had around the home and different places, they know, both for him and for his siblings was some some art supplies, some notebooks. And, you know, it would be fun to see him, you know, pick up some of those notebooks and notepads and art pads at different times, and engage that skill. And so you know, that was a way that he cultivated creativity. But we want to support that and make it easy to to engage creativity. So perhaps there perhaps you have a lot of creative activities, in your in your work. Maybe you engage your creativity in your landscaping at home, or maybe you love to create new recipes on the weekend. So my guy friend is that’s definitely a way that he engages creativity. He’s always trying out new recipes, and, and they’re not recipes, he doesn’t follow a recipe but he’ll decide on something that he wants to make. And then he’ll play around with that. And it’s been really great. And I am the beneficiary of that. So creativity can show up in so many ways. And it’s really about giving yourself permission to explore and think outside of the box. And so, you know, when it comes to creativity, there are a couple of quotes that I really appreciate. So this one is from Daniel Pink, he says, giving the world something it didn’t know it was missing. That’s a really great way to describe creativity. So when it comes to creativity, you don’t need to be Picasso in order to be creative. No one would ever begin if that were the case.
Dr. Melissa Smith 9:26
So when it comes to creativity, we want to kick pressure and perfectionism to the curb. Because if you get caught in pressure or perfectionism, you won’t start and you won’t get very far. So you can create just for yourself if that helps to take off the pressure. And that’s something that I did. In my beginning stages of writing. I said this is just for me, I don’t ever have to share it with anyone. And that gave me permission to write without pressure and without feeling like I needed to make it perfect and I’ve been been writing for several years now. And now I’m at a point where I let I allow other people to read it, and mostly a book coach who helps me to improve it and strengthen it and get it ready for publication. So creativity connects you to calling and to purpose. And so in that way, it’s essential to your growth and development as As humans, we are wired for growth. And creativity is a really important part of that. And so going back to Picasso, he had a great quote, when it comes to creativity. He said, the chief enemy of creativity is good sense. And so creativity really harnesses our nonverbal brain, right, so we kind of move out of the rigidity of the logical brain. And the logical brain has lots of valuable uses. But when it comes to creativity, we want to really make room for that nonverbal part of our brain where we can color outside the lines where we can engage that creativity without pressure and without perfectionism. And that’s really key is giving yourself permission. The other thing that I love about creativity as it relates to self leadership, is it gives you a mental break from some of the stressors that you’re facing.
Dr. Melissa Smith 11:12
So, you know, we’ll be talking more about unplugging coming up in a future podcast, but creativity, hobbies, that sort of thing, really does allow you to mentally and physically unplug. And so it can be really helpful in that way. And so today, we talked about the fact that creativity is essential to a secure foundation of self care and self awareness. We shared a definition of creativity that it is an idea that is novel good and useful. And so there can be tons of applications to that. And then we want to stop over scheduling, and prioritize creativity. So make some room in your life for creativity. It can be small and simple ways. But just remember that creativity is essential to your well being.
Dr. Melissa Smith 12:06
And so head on over to my website to check out the show notes with the resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/220-selfleadershipandcreativity. Of course, I’d love to connect with you on Instagram @dr.melissasmith. I always have more resources there available for you. And I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai