Among her many talents, Senior Strategic Partner, Laura Dillingham is a great facilitator. She has an uncanny ability to help people get out of the box and have “A-HA Moments.” In today’s article on Creativity and Innovation, Laura helps us identify what creativity is and that we all possess it, used or unused. We know you will enjoy Laura’s thoughts on this important topic.

Take a minute and ask yourself, are you creative? Your answer may depend on how you define creativity. Do you think being creative means you are artistic? You can draw, paint, carve or write. Or maybe that you are musically inclined? You can sing, write music, dance, and play an instrument or maybe several. There is a strong misconception that these are the only definitions for being creative.

Let’s look at ten signs that you are probably a creative person (whether you think you are or not).

1. You create opportunities, you don’t wait for them.
You don’t use or practice concepts like routine, day-to-day, or grind. You are quick to look for new avenues, people, sensations or feelings and experiences. Your goal is to keep an open mind and open heart or just to keep a fresh outlook. If so, you are open to finding and creating channels, options and opportunities.

2. The risk is worth the reward.
Are you bold? Do you believe your actions and plans are justifiable because you believe in them? You don’t choose to run away just because something may not work; actually you may even tend to run towards it. You like taking a risk to create something from nothing or maybe just to make something better.

3. You are extremely observant.
Many people who are creative will carry around something to take notes, but more often than not they absorb, retain, try, modify, try again, use, and use again. They make a mental note and then get busy.

4. It may not be your best work, but you’re not going to say it.
Many artists, musicians and writers believe they can recognize when what they’ve produced may not be what they intended. However, they believe that no matter what the outcome they have added something to the world and that in itself is enough.

5. Understanding the difference between what is real and what you can imagine.
You can imagine the ideal reality and world you want to be part of. You can take what you imagine, evaluate it and take the necessary action to achieve it. Balance is key in this area and you understand what the balance needs to be.

6. You are emotional.
Your heart is on your sleeve. You have an idea and it is rejected; you send something and it is rejected; you develop something and it is rejected. People in your life can see your reaction the moment something happens. Creative people are not defined by their emotions; they embrace them whether they are positive or negative.

7. You surround yourself with talent and beauty.
Look at your children, your environment, the way you interact with others, the way you decorate your space, your house. You are not looking for others to like or approve of how you surround yourself. You are not concerned with what others think about your spaces or your choices. You stay true to who you are and surround yourself with what you love.

8. You live your passions and chase your dreams.
You have an intrinsic drive and passion to compete, learn, produce, and/or perform. You don’t care about appreciation or accolades. You define your standards. The only thing that matters to you is that you are making it happen.

9. You don’t fail, you move forward.
You don’t give in to failure, but if for a brief moment you do, you don’t stay there for long. You see every opportunity as a chance to learn, grow, evolve and continue moving forward. You don’t let failures get the best of you. You know that having a failure is not the same as being a failure.

10. You are responsibly irresponsible.
You do not live a life of would’ve, could’ve. You live a life of would be and should be. You take chances when you need to. It can be anything from buying a car or a house to applying for a job you’re not qualified for but that you really want. Sometimes it’s treating someone to something when you really shouldn’t be spending the money. Creativity sometimes means being brave and taking risks!

Are these the only ways to define whether you are creative or not? Not at all! In fact there are an infinite number of ways. However, this isn’t a bad start. You may want to take a minute and mark yes or no next to each of the actions suggested. Then elaborate or provide examples for each of them. Is your team in a rut? Do this exercise with them and help them expand their horizons and understanding about creativity, especially their own. Who knows, they may come up with the next best idea, suggestion or opportunity for themselves, their team or the organization. Good luck and Get Creative!