Being Creative

By Chris Chittenden

The ideas in this article were originally brought to us by Geoff McDonald.

What does "creativity" mean to you? How creative are you? We nearly all have a self-assessment about creativity. It appears that most people consider creativity in the context of the arts - writing, painting, sculpting, music and so on. Accordingly, when they consider their own creativity, if they do not see themselves as competent in one of those domains, they do not see themselves as being creative. It is useful to point out here that our assessments about ourselves create a context for what actions we will take. If we hold ourselves as not being creative, we will most likely not seek to engage in being creative.

We see such a view of our "creative self" as being very limited and would like to offer you a broader view of creativity. We have written many times before about an underlying philosophy in our work that "language generates reality". In other words, we use language to create our world. When we look at being creative in this context, we are all creative in our own way. We have developed a life for ourselves and continue to evolve this through the creative aspect of language. This shows up in stories we have about ourselves and the world, and the conversations we have with others to coordinate actions to bring things forth. Indeed, we are all continually being creative in the world and our fundamental creation is ourselves. The question then becomes how much do we create ourselves by design.

One of the most powerful aspects of the ontological approach to coaching comes from this broader linguistic perspective on creativity, where we can use our understanding of the way in which we use language to understand how we are in the world. When we bring this understanding together with distinctions about our emotional and physical being, we have a very powerful way of designing how we want to be in the world. Through this approach, we have avenues to create who we want to be.

So let us go back to one of our original question. In the context of being creative in the design of who you want to be, how creative are you? Rate yourself out of ten. What is missing for you that you have not given yourself a rating of ten? This will give you clues for learning more about how to be more creative about yourself in the world.

We have more power over who we are and how we are than anything else. We can decide what we want in life. This does not mean that we will get what we want, but through language, we have a very powerful tool, to create a life that works for us.

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© 2002 Chris Chittenden