Think Simple Now — a moment of clarity

What should I do with my life? Click here.

How to Unlock Creativity

Photo by Gert-Jan Mes
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. ~Brené Brown

I have always wanted to be an artist.

I deeply admired the lives of the painters, the writers, the firestarters, the life wranglers. I longed to be one of them.

I longed to fiercely create, to share my voice boldly, just like they did.

However, for most of my life, I never felt creative.

I remained behind the scenes, insecure in my voice and expression, disempowered. I looked longingly at the ones who shared themselves freely — the ones that created art, who were improvisational, messily graceful and who loved wildly.

Over the years, I dabbled in painting, fashion design, culinary arts, sculpture, collage and writing.

Yet, I never felt like I had what others had. I never felt like I was living a creative life; I often felt like an imposter.

I studied; I took classes, watched webinars and read books. But no matter what I did, the light and energy that comes from being in the creative zone never seemed to come through as I saw it come out of others.

Being creative felt like work.  

Identifying as a Creator

However, for me, the one thing that didn’t feel like work was journaling.

It was the outlet I turned to in both my most joyful and darkest hours. One night when I had my journal out, I was reflecting on the longing for an artistic form that was my own — I realized I had one.

I was creating with words, even though I struggled to see it.

Yet I fought owning writing as my creative practice because all the other mediums seemed shinier.

There was part of me that knew if I did own being a writer, I would more concretely touch into the creative process.

This was exciting and scary. It felt vulnerable and alive.

Living a Creative Life

I kept writing more consciously. I made it a practice.

Through writing, I began to address what it meant to live a creative life.

For me it meant to see beauty, pattern, life-force, connectivity and spirit in the world around me.

It meant to live with an open heart — at our core we are love and abundantly creative.

The creative life is not about the art we physically create but about perspective.

I began to feel deeply that finding my creative voice and power was about shifting my energy and perspective.

The Power Within

It meant going inward and feeling the creative, alive energy that makes art shine, that makes the artist feel empowered and alive.

This was the piece I was originally missing — I had been looking externally to tap into a creative life. When in reality, it was inside me all along.

To live a creative life we have to recognize the power within.

I realize now the more we look inward, the more we see our innate beauty and creativity. When we see ourselves with love, curiosity and wonder, the more we begin to express that love and expression outwards.

We shine brighter.

We express ourselves authentically and vibrantly.

The more we find love in ourselves, the more we can bring art, beauty and inspiration to the world.

How to Express Yourself with Authenticity

  • See yourself for what you are. Notice where you are creative in your life. Maybe you notice the amazing images that come spontaneously from your depths while you sleep. Or a doodle that you scribbled on a napkin. Or maybe it is a flowing letter that gives style to a simple to-do list.
  • Honor your creative self. When you notice it, spend a little time in this witnessing place. Honor it with your attention, your love and allow it to be nurtured and grow.
  • Improvise. Speak your truth, your beauty and light through whatever movement comes to you. Connect to your creative energy and allow that to direct how it should be expressed. Maybe you hum a song, maybe you write in your journal, maybe you create a beautiful meal or poem.  Allow it to come to form with ease.
  • Find your constant. What is the form that you keep going back to and that feels natural to you? For me it was journaling. Maybe it is something you just know in your gut or something that you imagine doing but haven’t dabbled in it yet. I believe we are all given creative gifts. Love the one that is yours. Allow it to lovingly hold your voice.

The more we go inward and express ourselves from that internal, depthful place, the more we shine with confidence, creativity and light. Honor your innate creativity. It is already in you; the world needs exactly who you are.

Before you go: please share this story on Facebook, RT on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to receive email updates. Thank you for your support!
Connect with TSN Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Instagram RSS
About the author

Jackie Johansen, is a writer who combines personal development with actionable writing strategies. She is the creator of The Muse Activating Meditation and the ebook, Is Writing a Struggle? How to Author the Words that Inspire the World. Get them free at

Love this article? Sign up for weekly updates!

Think Simple Now delivers weekly self-reflective, inspiring stories from real people. Join our empowering community by entering your email address below.

3 thoughts on How to Unlock Creativity

  1. Talya

    I really understand where you are coming from. I am an actress and sometimes I do not know whether to add “struggling” or “professional” before my job. Life has been a bit difficult for me, I have been suffering from depression because of lack of work, lack of money and lack of love. And the only thing that I have is my writing, mainly letters to myself and thoughts that have been haunting me for a long time. I am seeing a therapist, but I need someone to talk to practically everyday. I think we all need to learn how to fully express ourselves.

  2. Hi Jackie
    Nice article. I would add “go with creative people”. Breathing creative atmospheres do indeed give extra inspiration -and strength to be more authentic.


  3. Wonderful content! Meditation and connection with the Earth also enhance our creativity. To strengthen one’s connection with the Earth, lay on the Earth, walk barefoot on the Earth, acquire an Earthing mat, and/or practice the asanas, postures of Yoga. Happy creating!

Your thoughts?

Leave a Comment

We’d love to hear them! Please share.

Think Simple Now, a moment of clarity © 2007-2015 Privacy Disclaimer
Back to top