Finding my creative side

When the job interview was over, I shut my laptop, closed my eyes, and considered how it went. On the plus side, I had done a good job of selling myself and how I could help the company. I shook my head though thinking about how I had responded to one question in particular. The interviewer had gone off script and asked me about a decision that a leader higher up in my organization had made and I had to carry out. I gave my response, but I felt like it lacked clarity. I fretted that I looked weak.

I’ll probably relive the conversation in my mind for weeks to come. When I’m put on the spot, instead of just being myself, I tend to include too many filler words like umm and ahh that make me appear unorganized and uncertain. When we’re relaxed, when we’re comfortable in our situation, we tend to be much more creative and in the moment.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about when I’m the most creative and when I’m not.

Image by Virginia Magat via Pexels.

Putting a finger on the issue

Schools tend to love group assignments. You know the drill. In high school, the teacher would point to two other kids and group you with them and ask you to complete the lab assignment. In college, the prof would tell you to team up in groups of three or four and ask you to analyze a case study together. In both situations, you’d hope and pray that the other students would fill their end of the bargain.

You’d inevitably meet to talk about the assignment and need to brainstorm and deliver in the moment. There’s nothing that kills creativity more than that. I hated those kind of situations, still hate them today.

I touch on having to deliver in the moment in an English class I had in college in my blog, Creating on the Fly, on the Heart of The Matter. I came close to rethinking my love of writing and my life’s work thanks to that class. I became a better writer because of it, but I considered changing my major for the longest time.

Image by Virginia Magat via Pexels.

Freedom to be me

In the end, I think we’re most creative when we feel good about ourselves, when we can be authentic, and know that no matter what we come up with, how wonderful or how crazy, it’s a safe place and others will add to our idea or keep it safe. For me, I’m the most creative when I know I can be me and know that others around me have my back. I know I can be most most authentic. Yes, creativity can happen in emotion-charged, competitive environments, but it tends to not work for me. I think creativity in those situations works in spite of the situation, not because of it.

In any event, I’d love to hear what you think. Check out my story and let me know what you think. When are you most creative?

27 thoughts on “Finding my creative side

Add yours

  1. Glad to hear you’re getting interviews, Brian. That was a sneaky question, but they probably want to see how people cope under pressure. It also an interesting question. It makes me wonder what sort of answers/information they were looking for. I’m sure you did fine 🙂. And don’t worry too much about it now. 😉

    As for creativity, I think for me it’s more about being in the right frame of mind and circumstances than maybe a set time. Maybe in time, I’ll be able to turn it on, but the less stressed I am, the better. Also I think putting myself in situations that will inspire. I’m still learning, so still learning. 😁

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I’ve had a few. Yea, it was a behavioral question and I was using the STAR method explaining the background. They seemed taken back by an executive decision. I was fine. I just get very critical of myself. Yes, I’m trying not to focus on it too much!

      As far as the creative juices go, it’s all about mindset and trust for me. The more authentic I can be, the more creative the ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess I’m still working on the trust … putting myself out there as a writer is very new and I’m still trying to build my self-confidence… not sure if it’s trust or just confidence

        Liked by 1 person

  2. They say necessity is the mother of invention. for me there has to be some problem that needs addressing, some pressure — even a writing prompt — to spur me to create. But an “emotion-charged environment” is more apt to freeze my thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Similar to Brenda, I think it’s mostly about being in the right frame of mind and circumstances for me, through trust and a feeling of safety also play into it. I also tend to feel most creative when I’m surrounded by various inputs–books, podcasts, events, conversations, activities, etc. When I’m busy doing and learning things, my brain brings together disparate ideas in new ways and it’s always fun. That part of my brain has been in hibernation from several years, but the exercise of trying to piece together seemingly unrelated things has always been exhilarating to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That makes perfect sense Brian- being authentic and showing that means you are comfortable enough in the moment to see and engage in different ways. That says creativity to me! On the other side- I hate interviews. I especially hate interviews when the person sitting across from you doesn’t even have the courtesy to look like they are interested at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think my creative moments come and go. Lately I haven’t felt creative, but I think it has to do with not feeling that great. I think trying another medium like sketching or meditation opens up creativity for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you EA, I’m never very creative when I’ve been sick or exhausted. I always think I should be more creative, but it makes sense, you’re not feeling great, it’s hard to get the mind working in the direction you want. I’m sure it will come back for you. I do like what you say about other mediums. I’m not much of an artist, but I find looking at art or even photography, helps me problem solved and become much more creative. In another life, I would have loved to be an artist or graphic designer.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An enjoyable read, Brian. You’ve touched on many important points about ideal learning situations and creativity. I was just thinking about this very topic before I began reading your article: “When we’re relaxed, when we’re comfortable in our situation, we tend to be much more creative and in the moment.” I think this is true for most of us, especially introverts. Stress can seize our brain and rob of us creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I’m relaxed, the ideas come quick. I wouldn’t call myself extroverted, but definitely more so in that environment. When I’m not relaxed, my go to is falling back on being even more of an introvert. You’re so right Michele! Thanks for your comments!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome. Thank you! I really enjoy this topic and have found it more intriguing over the last few years as I’ve made an effort to add more creativity into my life.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this post, Brian. I think the crux of what I got from your post – and your reflections about that interesting experience with the professor who shall not be acknowledged in your book one day – is you need a safe space to be just you to write. And I totally agree with you 100%. Writing under pressure and with other external stresses are not conducive to creativity – for me at least.

    Your post made me think about Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own which argues women need their own space (“room”) to engage in uninterrupted creativity and it’s true for all of us seeking that creative pursuit.

    PS. Good luck with the job interview!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Awesome blog post Brian brother. I am glad that you sold yourself very well at the interview and I hope they hire you for this position because I think you deserve it🙏🙏💯

    Also, in terms of creativity, I am certainly creative when I am in a good mood and when I am listening to music, it helps vest out the creative juices to the tee🔥🔥🔥

    Liked by 1 person

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