In my blog post How I Became Creative, I described how working through tough life situations showed me how to harness my creativity. After writing it I began to think, “What is it about creativity that’s so powerful in helping people overcome challenges?” I have a theory.
When a person deals with the aftermath of a tragedy, they often experience an overwhelming feeling of loss of control. Their world was turned upside down without being given a fair chance to stop it. Since they were so powerless to prevent this tragedy, their self-confidence shatters.
Unleashing creativity is the exact opposite of experiencing a loss of control – creativity gives people the freedom to express themselves however and whenever they want. There is no right way or wrong way to express creativity, and creativity can take on so many different forms like writing, painting, music, cooking and more. My theory is that creativity gives the person the platform they need in order to take back their control. In essence, harnessing their creativity gives the person some of the control they so desperately yearn to regain and helps them rebuild their self-confidence one small step at a time.
During difficult times, I’ve found comfort in painting. I like capturing a difficult feeling I’m having so I can then put it away properly. I’ll say to myself, “OK, I’ve got this feeling captured on this canvas and I don’t need to feel it all the time anymore. If I ever want to revisit this feeling, I can just take another look.” It’s been years since I’ve revisited the paintings I’ve posted here, but I’m finding looking back actually feels really great – it reminds me of how far I’ve come and how far I’m planning to go.
So if you’re ever working through something difficult – pick up a pencil, paint a picture or bake a cake. Find something that you love to do and do it for yourself – and trust me, you’ll start to feel better soon.