Creativity Kickstart: 4 Ways to Re-Imagine How you View Creative Milestones

creative milestone


I think of creative milestones like a highlight reel of memorable moments. They can include a range of physical and emotional experiences in your life that have brought you joy or pushed you to grow, empowered you to realize something deeper about yourself or made you feel something intense that sticks in your mind and heart.


This is my definition, but what’s yours? How do you view and value your creative milestones? Do you even think about it, or just continue to do what you already do out of habit, placing value on or judging things at random?


How I saw or connected with a creative milestone at 15 is not the same as I do now for a variety of reasons. Yet many of us continue to see our creative value in a habitual or comparative way, rather than taking the time to tune in to see if that value system still makes sense for how we are now.


Is it Time to Update your Value System?


While people tend to think of creative milestones as “wins”, I feel they can be anything you’ve gained in terms of insight or experience as well as something you’ve left behind that no longer serves you. When a way of thinking about yourself or a dynamic in a relationship is holding you back, breaking free from that energetic loop is a very freeing experience that contributes to growing your creative confidence – and how you value your creativity.


It’s also easy to look at creative milestones in terms of accomplishments met and crossed off a list. This action feels satisfying, adds a little boost for the ego and inspires you to do more. Yet, if this is the only way you view a creative “win”, your personal expression can be a bit distorted. It also requires a lot of energy to chase the next milestone, often without celebrating the one you just successfully reached.


With so many ways to see your own value, no wonder people get confused or feel “less than” when they look at what they are creating. If how you usually view your creative milestones no longer fits you and your life, it can tend to feel like you are way off track or not creating something of value.


That’s why it can help to give your outlook a good window washing!


viewing creativity

4 Ways to Shift your Creative Milestone Viewfinder


Redefine and reconnect with the feeling of a “win”.

What is your definition of a win? Does it always involve reaching a goal or winning out over someone else? Or can it simply be something you’ve learned and can apply to personal growth or career? Even if you haven’t felt like you’ve had a win for a while, can you take a few moments to be still and connect with a positive feeling of it?

It helps to keep things simple when it comes to defining what a win is for you each day. For example, I consider it a win when I have the time to get out for an extra long walk, or have coffee with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Taking the time to appreciate these experiences helps me also get into the momentum of gratitude, and shifts my perspective as well as my mood. While tackling the to-do list has it’s own rewards, it can be easy to forget that a win is so much more than a feeling of accomplishment.


Get clear on what it takes to feel proud of yourself.

Most people have no idea how to connect with their own sense of pride, but spend most of their lives trying to make others proud of them. It’s so important to know what you value about yourself and abilities and how you can be proud of your efforts as well as the results you achieve. The best way to tune into this type of energy is to be observant of your thoughts and emotions when you are working on things or moving through challenges. What is that voice in your head saying or what kinds of feelings come up for you? You can also reflect on past creative milestones as a way to reconnect with the feeling.


looking at the world a little clearer


Put aside comparisons with others or older versions of yourself.

You are who you are now, and you always have a choice to change your thinking. While the younger you may have been more daring, open-hearted or care-free, it doesn’t mean that version of you was better. Instead, use these “conflicting” versions as an invitation to shape new creative milestones for the current you using all the knowledge, insight and skills you didn’t have once upon a time. As for comparing yourself with others, well, that’s called being human. Just do your best to notice when it’s happening and recenter your thinking and emotions through deep breathing, time outdoors or another grounding exercise.


Step out from behind what you expect you should be and into the bright creative light you are right now.

Fear- check. Expectations- check. Hiding your insecurities by staying in the past – check. All of these things keep you from stepping onto your true path and feeling personally fulfilled. So instead of thinking everything needs to change instantly so you can stop feeling uncomfortable, can you accept that discomfort is the path leading you to your next creative milestone? It’s also a reminder to find little wins in your life each day. Make it easy and think of a few each night before you go to bed. It may not feel natural at first, but this exercise will tune and focus on what you really value about yourself and in your life so you can reach a new creative milestone every day.


Want a little help reflecting on what might be keeping you stuck in the past? Let’s connect for a creative reflection call.

Photo credit: Philofoto, Ruth Hartnup, AnantNathSharma