3 Signs You Need More Creativity in Your Life

Everyone can benefit from creativity. Not just artists and musicians, but accountants, lawyers, parents, pastors, and literally (literally) everyone else. But no matter how many times I say that, I always get someone who argues otherwise. They might think that they just aren’t a creative person, that their job doesn’t require creativity, or that creativity doesn’t apply to their lives. But that simply isn’t true. To anyone who might have similar thoughts, think about these 3 signs you need more creativity in your life.

Sign #1: You are burned out.

Burnout has become a popular topic lately. This is great, because burnout is a problem. 77% of respondents in a recent survey indicated that they have felt burned out at their current job, and more than half said that they’ve felt burned out more than once. 

Burnout is defined as a state of exhaustion: physical, mental, and emotional. The WHO officially recognizes burnout as an official medical condition, and although they ​​consider it to be an “occupational phenomenon,” burnout can be seen and experienced both in and out of the workplace. 

Why it means you need more creativity

Burnout can be fueled by any number of things, but from what I’ve seen in my own and other peoples’ experiences, it is often tied to feelings of purposelessness, hopelessness, and excessive repetition. A lot of people I talk to who have gone through burnout agree that it feels like they are stuck on a hamster wheel. They do the same things, day in and day out. At some point, those things started to make them feel miserable. They lose their purpose. And the people running on those hamster wheels feel like they’ll never be able to get off, no matter how much they want to. 

Creativity can help you combat these feelings in a few ways. It might help you:

  • Reinfuse purpose into your everyday tasks
  • Help you get off the hamster wheel (e.g. find a new job, start a new routine, etc.)
  • Bring more joy to your work
  • See yourself in a new way that allows you to care for yourself better
  • Discover a hobby or activity that helps you recharge when you feel burned out

Creativity can take you from burned out to fired up.

Sign #2: You feel like something is missing.

This often presents itself as part of burnout, but it’s important enough to talk about it as its own condition. After all, you can feel healthy, happy, and perfectly content with your job, family, and life in general…and still feel like something is missing.

Think about the Disney movie Moana. In the movie, Moana is fascinated by the ocean and wants to explore it, but her cautious father (the chief of her people) does not allow it. In the beginning of the film, there is a musical number about being happy “where you are.” By the end of the song, Moana insists that she is content on her island with her people. She wants to be a good future chief and finds contentment and confidence in leadership.

And yet…the ocean still calls to her. Moana felt mostly content with her people, but still couldn’t help feeling like something was missing. Of course, we eventually find out that the ocean has chosen Moana to complete a mission that will save the world, and it is on that mission that she truly discovers herself.

Like Moana, we might be happy “where we are.” We might feel like everything is just fine. But even so, it might still feel like there’s something missing—a greater purpose, deeper understanding, stronger relationships, more personal joy, fulfillment of a dream, etc. 

Why it means you need more creativity

Creativity brings your life to life. It infuses meaning, purpose, joy, and love into what you do, or helps you find something new to bring those things to your life when they’ve previously been missing. 

In other words, you might have everything you need, but you’re not able to see it yet. In those cases, creativity will help you look at your life through a different lens, allowing you to find deeper meaning in what once seemed like the surface-level events of life. 

Or, you might not yet have what you need. In those cases, creativity will help you find it.

Either way, when you feel like something is missing, creativity can help by:

  • Increasing feelings of gratitude
  • Allowing you to get to know yourself on a deeper level
  • Encourage you to look at your life in a new way
  • Introducing you to new people, ideas, and activities
  • Clarifying purpose that has always been there but has been hard to see

Creativity can remind you what it means to feel alive.

Sign #3: The last thing you feel like doing is creating.

The last of the 3 signs you need more creativity in your life is that you resist it. Everyone needs creativity. Everyone. So when I hear someone who is resisting creativity, for whatever reason, that is an automatic red flag to me, telling me that they need creativity even more than most. 

Here’s the thing: your brain wants to conserve energy. That, along with keeping you alive, is its number one goal. Anything that might require more energy than your brain is willing to give at any given moment is going to be perceived as a threat.

The problem is, many of these things (work, healthy eating, exercise, good relationships) are extremely important. So we have to train our brains to believe that these things are not a threat to us. 

Creativity takes energy, especially at first. It takes practice and focus and determination. And for that reason, your brain will resist it. The very fact that your brain is resisting creativity means that your brain hasn’t yet learned that creativity benefits you.

Make sense?

Why it means you need more creativity

The only way to teach your brain that creativity is safe is by practicing creative thinking. As you introduce creativity into the various facets of your life, your brain will learn that it isn’t as hard as you thought it was. You come to see that it actually benefits you and makes life more joyful and meaningful. 

If the last thing you feel like doing is creating, creativity can help by:

  • Breaking negative thought patterns
  • Introducing creativity into your life in a safe, steady way
  • Starting a positive creativity cycle
  • Helping you build your creative muscles
  • Making you more open to the idea of creativity next time

Creativity begets creativity. The more you do it, the more you’ll want to do it.

Everyone needs creativity, but that need is more obvious for some people than others. If you find yourself feeling burned out, feeling like something is missing, or resisting creativity, then here is your sign that you need more creativity in your life.

Bring out your creative side.

Design.org can help you discover (or rediscover) creativity in your life. Start by taking our free assessment. It’s the first step to a more creative you.

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