Creative Minds – What to do?

Creative Minds - What to do about conflict

Creative people are fascinating, complicated, frustrating … and oh, so necessary!

Creative individuals often have a hard time communicating to others what they are seeing (unless its other Creatives.)

Communicating an ideaImagine visualizing something that has never existed before, and then trying to describe it to people who have never seen it, or who do not have a vocabulary to even understand the concept?

Because it takes some time to iron out the details, many people will get frustrated, or draw the conclusion that the creative person is “full of ideas, but very little action” … therefore, the labels that are applied can be perceived to be negative.Having already lived many decades wading through the frustration of trying to communicate and implement my ideas, it was natural for me to want to help others with that journey too. What I learned in my Life Coach training changed my perceptions, and has changed the lives of many of my clients. I’d like to share my discovery during a very important training session:

“You’re a difficult client.”

Me? Difficult?

When coming from a class full of Life Coaches, this is a tough criticism to accept. However, it was the turning point in my education to becoming a Professional Life Coach. The educational process is fascinating, informative, and experiential. I loved every minute and soaked up every tidbit of this intensive training. So, the statement that I was a “difficult client” frustrated and puzzled me. On some level I realized I was being difficult, but couldn’t figure out WHY.

One thing a Life Coach in training has to do is to be coached by an experienced Professional Life Coach. I couldn’t wait! Finding answers to resolve the blocks in my creative progress topped my list of goals, and I expected progress on our first coaching session. It didn’t happen.

At the end of the session, my coach was frustrated. By the sound of her voice, I could tell she felt she had not been able to coach me as we had hoped. I was truly frustrated myself … because I knew the difficulty certainly wasn’t in my willingness or attitude!

Later, when pondering the two events, I had a major epiphany that cemented my own coaching focus and style.

The Creative MindI’m a creative individual. For years I’ve been illustrating books, building WordPress websites, speaking, writing, and leading women’s groups. I also have a history of over 30 years in ministry, highlighting my passion of helping people to live full and healthy lives while living up to their potential.

But as a Creative individual, my life journey has been difficult. From childhood, I’d been labeled a difficult girl because my thoughts, actions, and decisions were rarely expected ones, which kept my parents on their toes as my curiosity got me into more trouble than out!

I soon learned that, to avoid trouble, I needed to tell my parents what they expected to hear … not what I wanted to say. After coaching many other creative individuals, I find this is a common phenomenon as creative children learn to navigate through familial relationships and educational systems that perceive art, music, and other forms of creativity as hobbies, not strengths.

Pushing down a creative individual’s identity by forcing them to conform to an established method or system is crushing at their core. Children become confused and youth become angry, adults become hopeless and give up … because the underlying message is one of disorganized thinking, daydreams, and sloppiness. This is what they hear: “Get your head out of the clouds and become productive!”

Little do they realize that a Creative IS being productive by producing more ideas and creative solutions than the average person can comprehend.

In Life Coaching, we are taught to walk alongside a client and offer support by asking questions that are logical and forward moving. Such questions stir more creativity; and before you know it, not only is the Creative overwhelmed, so is everyone else around them! More ideas and more possibilities abound, making the process of planning strategic, logical steps nearly impossible!

THIS was making me the “difficult client.” I didn’t have a bad attitude; however, the questions were in the wrong sequence and verbiage.

An underlying thought is that a person who is overly creative just needs to be better organized or calmed down or focused or … fixed. A creative person doesn’t need to be fixed! They need to find the system, team, resources, or path that will work for them — not what works for others.

The assumption that a creative person lives under is that they

  • SHOULD lead a simpler life
  • SHOULD be more “organized”
  • SHOULD focus on only one thing at a time
  • SHOULD stop having more ideas
  • SHOULD be anything other than they are …

In other words, they should never be authentic.

Is it any wonder that people hit writing blocks, marketing blocks, creativity blocks? When a subliminal message is constantly running that they should be something, other than who they are, how else are they supposed to react?

Shutting down the brain of a Creative does not solve the problem. Helping others to understand the creative thinking process is the beginning of the solution.

If you find yourself in a place of frustration because you can’t “follow directions,” or if you are exhausted from trying to understand a loved one or even something you are working with, try asking a different question from a different perspective.

Remember that a Creative is a Visionary and that they have already experienced the vision in living color. Start with the end—and go back to the beginning. Back out of the vision by asking questions similar to these:

  1. “What do you enjoy about what you are doing?
  2. “If you had to give up (or put on hold) something, what would it be?” (will help clarify the less fulfilling or less productive items)
  3. “What or who do you need on your team to continue doing what you do?”

The goal is not to get the Creative person to be like everyone else. That’s impossible. The goal is to help them remain authentic and help them to clarify their steps in order to keep them moving forward, not in circles.

Creatives are a special breed. They bring beauty, hope, clarity, individuality, and insight into the world. Value them. Support their efforts. Enjoy their gifts.

If you are a Creative, or if you employ, oversee, or live with a Creative and want to learn how to live life more fully, call me to discuss the value of Life Coaching.

QUESTION:  Do you consider yourself a Creative? What is YOUR greatest challenge or challenges that you have experienced?  Tell me your story in the comment section below. I know others will want to hear your story too!

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