Creative Self-Awareness

Click here for the Portuguese version.

Despite what we are induced to believe, we are all creative. Despite the various theories of creativity we have out there, we all have our own personal creative process. But do you know your creative-self well enough?

Both self-awareness and Creativity are basic human needs. Self-awareness allows us to know ourselves better, and Creativity allows us to express our essence. But from time to time, we have to stop and reflect on our own lives and put the stuff in order. During this process, we learn things about ourselves because we find things that we did not even remember was there. It can be a childhood memory, something someone once said, a book you read long ago or a place you liked to go to and never went again.

Our creative process works in the same way: if we pay attention, we’ll see that we have patterns of behavior, things we like to do during this process, something unique, whether it’s a need for a quiet office, or sitting on a bench at the park on a sunny day. Each one has preferences where it is more pleasant to have new ideas, or at least put the old ones in the right place.

Why is self-awareness so important?

Knowledge is power!

When we want to learn something new we have to research, study for hours and read several books, in order to gather the maximum information about it. But when it comes to ourselves, despite living “inside here” 24/7, we do not dedicate ourselves to studying and researching how we function. That’s where self-awareness kicks in.

Notice that I’m not talking about meditation or yoga, but about a much less practiced activity: thinking. That’s right, think. We think very little about our attitudes, or who we are and what we are doing. With the busy daily lives we have, there is barely enough time to simply put the ideas in place and understand ourselves better. Often we are so preoccupied with others that we forget us.

When someone asks “who are you?”, the first if not the only answer that comes in your head is your name. Is your name the best way to sum up who you and all of your complexity are? Obviously, you do not have to answer something that deep, but it shows that we know very little about ourselves for the simple fact that we have never stopped to think about it.

Self-awareness becomes indispensable in order to discover who we really are, what our tastes and preferences are. If we do not even know about ourselves, how do we want to be more creative in our lives?

Why is Creativity so important?

Creativity is the bridge between the world of ideas in our head and reality. It allows us to visualize and analyze the opportunities, as well as make our daily life a little easier and fun. Although some still believe they are not creative, believe me, they are deeply mistaken.

All are endowed with Creativity. The way you handle your needs and opportunities is a creative manifestation. We may not have some artistic talent, but who said creativity is only about art?

Knowing our creative process is fundamental, especially for our professional life. Our creative process does not only involve our creations but everything we do: choosing the best way to work, cook something different, develop a spreadsheet in an easier way or invent a hack for your refrigerator to continue working.

Discovering our “triggers”, we can better visualize who we are, and how we like to do our activities. Thus, we can learn how to improve our qualities and give better use of our mistakes.

And what does self-awareness have to do with Creativity?

Creativity, above all, is questioning. It arises from the need to answer something or to find the solution to a given problem. In the case of Creative Self-Awareness, we can see two possible paths: the need to know our creative process or the need to know ourselves creatively.

If we go down the road to know our creative process, we should look at how we choose or prefer to do some task, being it simple or complex. The way we deal with these tasks will show us which areas we prefer to work with or even what shortcuts we find to optimize time and be more productive. These choices will tell a lot about your personality, skills, and talents.

If we go the way of knowing ourselves, it is similar to the other way, but here the work will be a bit harder. Here we have to recognize these skills and talents, as well as our faults and difficulties, and find a way to combine them, use them to your favor and, ultimately, be more creative.

In both cases, knowing ourselves appears as a key to developing ourselves. Be your Inner Self or your Creative Self, take the time to get to know yourself and you probably will find some of the answers you’re seeking for.

So I ask: Who are you?




💡 Creative Connector | Speaker and Advisor on Creativity, Leadership, Learning Communities, and The Future of Work | Professor and Researcher

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Seth Godin On Why Your Ideas Matter

How to Get into Creative Flow

Just keep moving …

The Storytellers’ Guide to Changing Our World

Think&Grow, Rich, Think&Grow

How Stress is Eating Into Your Creativity and How to Beat It?

Working 9–5 and Being a Content Creator

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Felipe Zamana

Felipe Zamana

💡 Creative Connector | Speaker and Advisor on Creativity, Leadership, Learning Communities, and The Future of Work | Professor and Researcher

More from Medium


A Good Program Can Improve Educational Outcomes

I’z A Bajan

Gaining Focus in Liminal Times