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

It's something you can work on at least.

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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."


Well, not all of us were meant to be creative. I know for a fact that's not true for my ex-boyfriend.

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But he also said that this shouldn't be seen as a bad thing. It means that you can develop and enhance the creativity you already have if you have any at all. We all know someone who has the personality of drywall.

So here are 4 ways how you can be more creative:

1. Allow people to constructively criticize 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.

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2. Train your creative thinking skills

Allow yourself to disengage from the 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 boost 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.

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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.

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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!


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Caithlin Pena is an editor and freelance writer. Her work has been featured on Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Psych Central, and BRIDES.