Love, Self

Science Says You're Not As Creative As You Think You Are

Photo: Getty 
Science Says You're NOT As Creative As You Think You Are

Do you consider yourself an analytical thinker or a creative genius? If you say both, business psychology professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic doesn't agree.

According to an article he wrote for the Harvard Business Review, he says that most people's level of creativity is actually just average, and these "are hard to change. They come down to personality traits such as intellectual curiosity, openness to experience, and unconventionality."

But he also said that this shouldn't be seen as bad thing. It means that you can develop and enhance the creativity you already have, and you can do so in four simple ways. 

1. Allow people to constructively criticize of your work. 

"Feedback is essential to help people close the gap between their confidence and their competence," said Chamorro-Premuzic.

Narcissism, especially, sets creativity back. It makes narcissists think that their work unrealistically exceeds expectations, when it doesn’t. Those who seek feedback perform more creatively than individuals who don't.

2. Train your creative thinking skills.

Allow yourself to disengage from daily humdrum of life and look around. Pay attention to new things, new people, and new perspectives. Meditation exercises, trying new hobbies, and learning things outside of your specialty boosts creativity.

"Even small changes in your everyday routine can have a positive impact on your creative output," he said.

So take new routes to work. Read a book by an author you've never heard of. Take up yoga. Do activities that will get your brain juices going.

3. Do tasks you're passionate about. 

Doing things you love motivates you. And enhanced motivation paves the way for creativity. You won't be able to do your work properly or creatively if you don't enjoy it.

"Meta-analytic studies have confirmed the intuitive idea that assigning people to projects they love unleashes their creative potential," said Chamorro-Premuzic.

4. Be an expert in what you love.

As opposed to the belief that knowledge lowers creativity, Chamorro-Premuzic believes the opposite. Being an expert in what you're passionate about enhances your creativity, not suppresses it. However, don't just read up on your passion; find new ways to apply and rearrange it in different ways.

"Without expertise or task-relevant skills, you cannot produce anything creative," he said.

Now you're ready to go out and be creative!

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!