Creativity provides the solutions to solve the unexpected
challenges of life. We have been successful, as a species, because
we are good at doing this. Natural selection has favoured creativity,
we have evolved into creative beings - it is part of being human.
Creativity is largely a product of intuition
and imagination. Our intuition gives us access to the enormous
wealth of information held in our unconscious: everything we have
ever experienced or learned, minute observations too fleeting to
register consciously, memories and facts beyond our instant
recall, conclusions deduced subconsciously.
This information from the unconscious comes to
us in such a way that we may feel we know something - but not know
how we know. We cannot reach it on a conscious level. It comes to
us more as a feeling or voice than as something that we can grasp
intellectually. If we follow these feelings we are said to be
using our intuition. Creative people listen to their intuition.
They will ask: "Does this feel right?" before they seek the
intellectual confirmation from the question: "Is this right?"
Creative block frequently occurs when we get
this the wrong way round, often when we are feeling unsure either
about ourselves or some aspect of life around us. We are unable to
ask: "Does this feel right?" We need something more certain, we go
straight for "Is this right?" This question closes off our ability
to listen to the massive well of information in our unconscious
and we desperately strain our conscious intellect to search for
something sure, safe and concrete.
When we are able to let go of the uncertainty,
the fear, the necessity to consciously analyse everything, we open
the gates to the endless stream of thoughts and ideas from our
unconscious. Combine these with imagination and they are elevated
yet further from our conscious control and nearer to something new
If we are focused, this process will have
direction and meaning. We can then consciously examine these
thoughts with our intellect, sorting, evaluating and building on
them as we test them for credibility against our understanding of
the real world. It is an uncertain process, sometimes we get lucky
sometimes not. That is creativity.
Most people go through phases of feeling a lack of creativity,
some people rarely feel creative at all. The reason for this is
that to some extent or other, we all perceive the world as dangerous
and threatening, if not consciously then unconsciously.
We have many fears: of losing our jobs, or our
relationships; of not having enough money, or enough time, of not
being happy; of failure - the list can go on. We feel uncertain
and would prefer the safety of certainty. We want to know that
everything will be all right. In this state, we lose trust in our
feelings, our intuition; we doubt ourselves and cling on to what
we know for certain, unable to take a risk on what is not sure.
The harder we cling on, the more we block
ourselves and the more unable we become to see or create
opportunity. In the end we may not even know what we are clinging
on to, we just cling on, unable to let go. For some people and
some organizations, this state is so entrenched in their existence
that it is not recognised as a block: instead they simply accept
themselves as uncreative or blame others for their failure. They
remain unaware of the vast resource of their creativity and either
never seek to unlock it or simply don't know how to.