How your Values Impact your Creative Drive


Creativity starts with a spark of inspiration, but a spark is just a spark unless your creative drive kicks in to put energy and motivation behind an idea to take it further. What fuels the creative drive? A sense of intrinsic value and purpose, something that you may not even realize is operating behind the scenes and impacting your creative view.

So when is the last time you even thought about what you value or how you came to value it? It might be time to tune-up those filters and guideposts that strongly influence the performance of your creative drive and how you see (or judge) what you create.

Why Do you Value what you Value?

What tools have you used to decide what is valuable to you? A joyous experience or a painful one? A hard-lesson learned through a personal or work relationship? Or did you just inherit your values from family and friends?

Taking a fresh look at your own value system is a great way to clean house and shift focus onto what’s important to you now. Over time as you shift and change what and who you value, older structures may no longer feel right or support the person you’ve become. This can leave you feeling as if what you are creating is “void of real value”. Does that mean what you value is no longer true? Not necessarily. It just means you need to reshape what values you assign to your various creative expressions and outlets to more effectively fuel your creative drive.

Not sure what values even resonate? Start by using a values list as a reference point. Select all of the words that feel like you, that jump out at you as something that’s part of you. It’s fun to see what fits and doesn’t and what may surprise you. When I did a similar exercise I noticed what responses were definitely mine, and which values were inherited, offering me clues as to how I sometimes undermined my own creative efforts.

Tuning up the Creative Drive Helps Tone Down the Inner Critic

Truth? Being a critic is so much easier than being a creator. Just like it’s easier to say what someone else should change about their life to whip things into shape instead of digging deep into your own dirty closets for a big spring cleaning. It’s also easy for your inner critic to shut down your ideas before even giving them a space to grow.

When your perception of value is high-jacked by your mind or an outdated value system, you might be slowly killing our own mojo. Creative drive is fueled by possibility, by the chance to wonder about what can change, grow and expand into something that’s beyond the physical world. If it turns out that expansion, courage, or passion aren’t part of what you value about yourself, for example, then you have some clues as to why your creative drive is stalling out.

That act of creating enables you to see your own values in action. When you tune into what really matters to you instead of what you think should matter, and how you can best express it, what you desire and appreciate starts to show up in a physical way through your art, writing, crafts, business, relationships and more.

Remember, there are no right or wrong values. They are just another window to use when looking at where you may be unknowingly thwarting your own creative drive. There is a gift in the mis-match, once you can see it, giving you an opportunity take out the trash and start using the right fuel.

Photo credit: FutureSalon