Recently, we talked about how creativity is the lifeblood of business and work. But there’s yet another space when opening up your mind, entertaining new possibilities, and working with others is paramount.
We’re talking about creativity in your personal space, and using it to foster your closest relationships right in your very own home.
Now, I think about creativity in relationships and the home a lot because I’m a mom. It might sound I’m implying that creative solutions only affect parents and kids, but the truth is that new ideas and open minds are the basis of any close relationship.
Because if you think about it, life is all about relationships. With your children, your spouse, your family, your friends, and of course, yourself.
Now, think of it for a moment. If you have children, are any two children exactly the same? Of course not. How about you and your spouse, other family members, or roommates? Not at all.
How do you respect everyone’s individuality while maintaining your own? How can you appreciate where they’re coming from while honoring your own feelings?
Everyone in your life has their own strengths and limitations. And creativity gives you the life skills that it takes to honor everyone your living space while respecting your own needs as well.
So let’s talk about creativity in the home, and why it helps you acquire essential life skills for yourself, and the people you love!
Like we’ve been talking about all this month, creativity is an expanding of the mind. It’s the willingness to see different perspectives, keep an open mind, and to be growth-minded versus fixed-minded.
Naturally, all of these things are essential for happy relationships.
So today, I’m sharing four specific ways that creativity will provide you the space for expansive and beautiful personal connections, right in your very own home!
Again, I use these strategies a lot as a mom and as a spouse. But no matter what your living situation is, you can use them to create a home space that helps with communication, understanding, and acceptance for everyone!
Reason #1: Creativity fosters resilience. I admit that I’m a perfectionist by nature. So naturally, I don’t like embarking on things that I’m not going to crush right out of the gate. I know it’s not a realistic expectation by any stretch. But that’s just how I’m wired.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I never get past that resistance and try new things anyway! Because not only does it help me expand my horizons, but it models that spirit of courage for my children.
As a parent, it’s helpful to show your children how to fail with grace. They need to understand what failure means: that you dared to try something! And if you’re not screwing up, it says you’re not learning or growing as much as you could.
That’s where resilience comes in.
When you nurture creativity, it also fosters that resilient spirit. It helps you take a chance without letting fear of failure stop you in your tracks. The resilience shows you that you might not knock it out of the park on the first try, and that’s OK.
It helps you stay open-minded, try again, and tweak your approach as you learn from your mistakes. That in itself is creativity in action!
My older son is a lot like me–he’s super-competitive and loves to win. And when he tries something that he’s not naturally good at, he hits his frustration limit fast.
This is where creativity comes in. It’s about my helping my son work through the setbacks, reassure him that it’s OK if he doesn’t finish first, and try a new approach on the next go-round.
So creativity and resilience are two sides to the same coin–and both of them help you strengthen all of your relationships.
Reason #2: Creativity leads to empathy. I started my personal and professional development career with Dale Carnegie training. You might be familiar with his book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People.” He’s all about fostering relationships and genuine connections with others.
And a big part of that process is empathy.
Empathy is being able to step into someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. It’s taking an honest look at how another person is feeling, and at least attempting to understand where they’re coming from.
Not that this is always easy! I’m not going to lie–I have moments when I don’t understand what my husband is thinking or feeling, and that goes for other relationships in my life as well. But empathy means that I care enough to try.
So what’s the connection between creativity and empathy? Recall that creativity is about expanding your mind, and seeing other people’s perspectives. And that, in a nutshell, is what empathy is all about.
When you remember that the people in your home all have their own unique perspectives, you’re already moving toward the space of empathy.
And when you’re able to see someone else’s point of view and stay open to new ideas and solutions, it creates even stronger relationships.
Reason #3: When you foster creativity, you focus on the process instead of the outcome. I grew up in an environment where it was all about the grades. Either you succeeded, or you didn’t. And if you didn’t get the “A,” it wasn’t a success.
It wasn’t about what you learned to get the grades. Outcomes were valued over the process every time.
But learning isn’t just about “making the grade.” It’s a lifelong journey. And there’s so much more to knowledge than the bottom line results.
We’re all on a lifelong journey of experiences and learning, and we’re never really going to be “done.” So why is it, then, that we focus so damn much on achievements? If winning is the goal, what are we striving for?
I want to get better. I want to learn, grown, and be more than I was yesterday. And being the natural-born achiever that I am, it’s been a conscious effort for me to stop caring so much about the outcome.
But that’s the mindset that I’m fostering for myself and my family through creativity.
My husband runs a business. And like so many of us business owners, there are times when he focuses on specific goals, achievements, and bottom-line results.
Now, how can creativity save the day when he doesn’t quite hit a business goal that he envisioned?
When that happens with my husband’s business (and my own, for that matter!) I help out by tapping into the creative muse. It shifts the focus to understanding the process rather than dwelling on the outcome. To see what worked, what didn’t, and what we learned.
Sometimes even taking the time to simply discuss the process helps you focus more on the lesson and less on the “falling short” part!
It goes back to resilience, too. It’s creating the mindset for the entire family that you don’t have to nail it every time. It’s far more significant to learn from the process and keep moving forward.
Creativity is what allows us to get back in the saddle while life bucks us off.
Reason #4: Creativity allows you to nurture feelings of individuality. I’m going to admit flat-out that this is something I struggle with as a mom. Cultivating my kids’ feelings of individuality and letting them express themselves as who they are is my goal. But I’m honest enough to acknowledge that sometimes I have greater expectations about how they should behave than I wish I did…
I want my kids to be free to express themselves, but I also want them to be polite, mannerly, and respectful. You can probably see where sometimes the two get into conflict, especially if you’re the kind of person (like me) who has their ideas of how things should be!
Now, my kids are young. And teaching them social cues is essential, especially when we venture out in public.
That’s a big way that creativity comes in for me–finding a way to nurture and support my children as people without putting unfair adult expectations on them.
It’s a balance, and making that balance possible requires tapping into that creative energy.
And this applies to more than just parent-child relationships, too. How do you strike a balance between letting people be who they are while maintaining your own boundaries and values? It can be tricky, but creativity helps us find the ways.
You’ve probably noticed that all four of these creative endeavors have one thing in common: they’re all essential life skills for everyone! All four of these things contribute to a fully expressed and happy life.
And what could be more critical to a happy home than encouraging resilience, empathy, respect for everyone’s journey, and freedom of self-expression?
So once again, creativity is so much more than Mod Podge and glitter. It is vital to our closest relationships. It helps us all foster invaluable life skills, and share those skills with the most important people in our lives.
Because no matter what, everyone is in a relationship with someone. Including the most important relationship of all–the one with YOURSELF!
So how do you apply these kinds of creative skills in your home? Which one resonates with you the most, and how do you plan to use it with your spouse, children, roommates or family members moving forward?
I invite you to join the Groove Seeker’s Community and share what’s going on in your home life, and how getting this kind of creative energy can make a difference for you!
Plus we talk about all things relating to home, family, work, and life that will help you live big in YOUR small town! Join us right here and get your groove on!