When Joy* came to see me, she was dressed in black from head to toe, not because she found that colour trendy, but because, as she said, she thought it camouflaged her body fat. Looking at the ground as she said these words, she retreated deeply into her seat. This behaviour of hers told me a lot about Joy, how her life seemed to lack the vibrant colours of creativity.
Through my talking with her, I found out she did not like her job and wanted a new position because she felt unseen and unheard by upper management. When she wrote her boss yet another memo about an ongoing problem in her division, she claimed her words landed on deaf ears. Ever been in that situation?
When I asked her if she had provided her boss with a viable solution to this ongoing problem, she quietly said no, then blurted out there was no point doing so because management apparently ‘never’ listens anyway.
Have you ever been in a situation where you knew the problem,
but had no solution?
After her work shift, Joy confessed she went home feeling grumpy and exhausted. At night, she ate her dinner in her lap and flipped through Netflix programs to see what she would be watching for the next 2-3 hours. She went to bed at about the same time every night and slept on the same side on her bed every day. When she woke up the next morning, Joy said she repeated those behaviours “pretty much the same”.
Can you imagine what it feels like to be stuck in a routine that blocks creativity?
Joy was fed up with her current job and wanted a new position. She wanted a better job with better pay. Laughing, she said she wanted to become part of upper management so she could change the ways things were done in her division. This is why Joy was coming to see me, to assist her in landing her dream job position.
“What would it feel like to have a solution to all your problems?”
At first, Joy thought I was joking with her, but when she saw I was being serious, her eyes lit up, she leaned forward, and she told me how she and her co-workers would stop stressing out and getting exhausted, especially when they were low on staff and clients kept walking in.
“Where do you believe the root of the problem is?”
Joy stopped talking and looked at me. Though she was tempted to say “management” (as she confessed later), she was also starting to realize she was the one complaining about an ongoing problem while offering zero viable solution to solve it. She quietly answered, “Me.”
That day, I sent Joy with simple homework to do. She was to eat her dinner at the dinner table. She was to write a short paragraph about her life, storytelling style, with an anecdote and lots of feeling. She was also to switch her sleeping position head to feet and to show up in more vibrant colours the next time I was seeing her.
What do you believe happens when we keep ignoring our creativity?
At our next coaching session, Joy told me how weird it felt at first sleeping ‘upside down’ but she was now liking it. She said she can now see the moon outside her bedroom window and it is lovely. She then showed me her paragraph that she had rewritten over and over. Her smile left as she blurted ‘but it’s not perfect’. As for her clothes, she was still wearing black from head to toe.
Like so many, Joy was fighting her own habits, habits that were familiar to her and also kept blocking her creativity from flowing. It is any wonder she had a hard time coming up with a viable, creative solutions?
Through further coaching with me, Joy realized she was the solution to all her problems.
Let me ask you…
Why do we become non-creative?
Why do we pursue crushing routine over flowing creativity?
I believe the answer is, because we think it will be better.
Is it though? How was Joy living her life geared to constant routine ever going to advance her dream of finding creative solutions to all her problems?
Clearly, pursuing routine over creativity does Not work.
With this in mind…
How do things become better?
I believe, things become better when we focus on
becoming aware of our potential. I am the solution to all my problems.
becoming flexible in thinking and behaviours. ‘What can I do right now to bring forth my creativity?’
becoming accountable for our actions. ‘How can I ensure I keep fostering my creativity and the one of others?”
I could certainly relate to Joy. I used to let routine rule my life and kill my creativity until I learned to embody that I am the solution to all my problems. As a result, I changed my way of thinking and doing things and became highly accountable for all my choices.
Here are some rock solid tips to assist you who want to access your creativity to land your dream job:
Use mathematical precision in your creativity. A ‘love’ for constant routine is usually associated with being risk-averse. Since being creative is about being willing to take risks, incorporate mathematical like precision in your creative solutions to feel safe. For example, Joy incorporated supporting statistics as to why her division had to change their way of doing business. Seeing these stats motivated her even further to come up with a viable solution to her ongoing problem at work.
Get out of your own way. Play the 30 squares game. Draw 30 squares and in each square write a solution to a specific problem. Before long, you might ‘run out’ of ‘logical’ ideas and start writing down ‘crazy’ solutions. Before you know it, you are out of your way as you allow viable solutions to present themselves more naturally.
Have an accountability system/person in place. Though many of us say we want to become more creative, the thing is, creativity seems to scare the shit out of many. Therefore, having someone holding us accountable for our displayed level of creativity is crucial to keep us going towards our dream job.
Now imagine somebody has just read these tips…
What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?
Before she came to see me, Joy had all the best intentions in the world, but she lacked a solid accountability system. This is why as soon as she felt challenged in her routine habits, she familiarly went back to wearing only black.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who holds her clients highly accountable so they get to put their actions where their mouth is, and like Joy, get to implement their creative solutions. Joy is now forming a consultancy company.
For coaching inquiries, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,