Are You Too Creative for Your Own Good?

  1. 7

    Sometimes being naturally creative has its downside. People think you have crazy ideas, you don’t always fit in, you’re too focused on the future and not on the present moment, you challenge the rules, you don’t see things the way others do, you might even be called a pain in the rear. Is this you?

    Are You Too Creative for Your Own Good?

    Well it is ME and I can relate to all of those responses from others. I always thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't want to do things the way others did. I even sewed my own clothes as a kid because I didn't want to look like anyone else. These were early signs that I wasn't different, I was just creative. And being creative is now considered a gift. Here is some supportive news.Brain Connections Set Creative Thinkers Apart

    In a new study, scientists found that the brains of highly creative people have more connections among three specific regions compared to the brains of less creative thinkers. Plus, the more-creative brains were better able to fire up these regions in a coordinated way compared with other brains. They include the default network, which is involved in spontaneous thinking and imagination; the salience network, which picks up on important information from the environment; and the executive control network, which is involved in cognitive control functions and evaluation.

    My take on this is that all nurses would truly benefit by firing up all three of these areas to be even more effective in their jobs. But what generally happens is the creative nurse (like me) gets stressed out working in a system with rules, hierarchy, confinement, and lack of control to change the culture, routines and environment.

    After all, creative people embrace change and need it to survive and thrive. That is the reason I changed jobs every 5 years to be refreshed and rejuvenated, until I landed a job I had for 18 years because my boss was another creative person and understood my need for independence and control of my destiny.

    So when it comes to nurses who are stressed out and frustrated, one question that often is not asked as the reason for the stress is - Are you creative, feel like a square peg in a round hole, and it's stressing you out? If that is the case, then maybe your solution is to discover who you really are and what would please you the most when it comes to your vocation.

    I will admit that the profession of nursing certainly gives you great latitude since there are many different roles you can play and still be called a nurse. Here's my list:

    • Navy Nurse
    • Medical Nurse
    • School Nurse
    • Health Educator
    • College Health Director
    • Nursing Inservice Coordinator
    • Hospital Wellness Coordinator
    • Wellness Business Owner

    When I shifted from bedside nursing to health education, I used to think I wasn't a nurse anymore, but then a wise nurse leader told me - You are always a nurse, you are just practicing in a different environment. That really resonated with me, reminded me of who I am at my core and freed up my thinking about my fear of having abandoned my nursing career. I didn't abandon it, I just flourished in the variety that nursing provided me.

    So if you are a creative nurse and feeling stressed with your current situation there are alot of possible nursing roles for you to explore. Ask yourself these questions:

    • Am I creative?
    • If yes - What have you noticed about yourself that has led to that conclusion?
    • What barriers have you found in your current job that thwart your creativity?
    • How has that affected your level of stress and satisfaction with your job?
    • What do you want to be doing that you aren't currently doing?
    • What does a successful career or life look like?
    • What is preventing you from having the career you desire?

    Perhaps doing some soul searching after answering these questions might be the first and best step you can take to move forward toward either accepting and managing your current situation or taking on the challenge of moving toward an inspired new life.

    Please share your thoughts.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
    Do you like this Article? Click Like?

  2. Visit Carol Ebert profile page

    About Carol Ebert

    Joined: Feb '16; Posts: 118; Likes: 283

    Read My Articles

    6 Comments

  3. by   djh123
    I identify with this a great deal. I don't think there's such a thing as being 'too creative', though. And for me, it isn't so much being creative in nursing, it's in many other areas, some of which have been neglected for this or that reason, and that's one of my big goals from here on out - to do more creative stuff!!
  4. by   wondern
    I like this article and all the ideas you give to think about, Carol. Thank you.

    Working with patients, e.g. peds patients, and their family members takes quite a bit of creativity at times just to let them have some sense of control of their care.
  5. by   Carol Ebert
    Quote from djh123
    I identify with this a great deal. I don't think there's such a thing as being 'too creative', though. And for me, it isn't so much being creative in nursing, it's in many other areas, some of which have been neglected for this or that reason, and that's one of my big goals from here on out - to do more creative stuff!!
    I agree there is no such thing as being too creative, because when you have this gift you can't shut it off. But when you feel you are being stiffled, then it is not healthy for us. Good for you deciding to make more creative stuff happen for you this year - and every year! It is our stress management tool you know.
  6. by   Carol Ebert
    Quote from wondern
    I like this article and all the ideas you give to think about, Carol. Thank you.

    Working with patients, e.g. peds patients, and their family members takes quite a bit of creativity at times just to let them have some sense of control of their care.
    I agree that nurses often have to get very creative in their work just to make things happen that need to occur for the patient's wellbeing.
  7. by   HannahMarine30
    Well, you nailed it. I'm a really creative, mostly introverted type and I can say for certain that i've always had a hard time "fitting in". My first nursing manager even told me, "I have this vibe about you, it could be my ego but I doubt it." For whatever that's worth, I realized that she was probably picking up on my "creativeness/thinking outside the box" personality type. I draw all the time so when I started my job in the cardiac ICU I made these diagrams of the heart, all labeled and color coordinated...Some of the nurses thought that was really cool, others told me they were a waste of time and I didn't need "all that" referring to the notebook i'd started to make about all the cardiac stuff I was learning on the job. One of them pointed to the heart diagram I drew and asked me, "what is that?" I told her I was a visual learner with a near photographic memory and it really helped me understand the axis of the heart concerning cardiac monitoring. She thought that was really weird and told me I was trying too hard.

    Point is, I learn much differently than most people in the profession, at least from what i've seen. I'm not the usual type A personality. One of my biggest struggles is assertiveness, something I lack severely. Which is so frustrating because I was in the Marine Corps for 4 years and still never quite learned that skill. As a result, I get walked all over by the type Aer's of the nursing world. It's caused some recent problems but my hope is that I will end up somewhere on a unit where my creativity is embraced and not discouraged.
  8. by   Carol Ebert
    Quote from HannahMarine30
    Well, you nailed it. I'm a really creative, mostly introverted type and I can say for certain that i've always had a hard time "fitting in". My first nursing manager even told me, "I have this vibe about you, it could be my ego but I doubt it." For whatever that's worth, I realized that she was probably picking up on my "creativeness/thinking outside the box" personality type. I draw all the time so when I started my job in the cardiac ICU I made these diagrams of the heart, all labeled and color coordinated...Some of the nurses thought that was really cool, others told me they were a waste of time and I didn't need "all that" referring to the notebook i'd started to make about all the cardiac stuff I was learning on the job. One of them pointed to the heart diagram I drew and asked me, "what is that?" I told her I was a visual learner with a near photographic memory and it really helped me understand the axis of the heart concerning cardiac monitoring. She thought that was really weird and told me I was trying too hard.

    Point is, I learn much differently than most people in the profession, at least from what i've seen. I'm not the usual type A personality. One of my biggest struggles is assertiveness, something I lack severely. Which is so frustrating because I was in the Marine Corps for 4 years and still never quite learned that skill. As a result, I get walked all over by the type Aer's of the nursing world. It's caused some recent problems but my hope is that I will end up somewhere on a unit where my creativity is embraced and not discouraged.
    Hang in there Hannah. You are doing all the right things when it comes to helping patients (and others) learn with visuals. Most people need that to fully grasp a concept. Continue to honor that great creative spirit you have - you were born with it and it is a gift. I found that I felt more at home when I was in school nursing or education because that is where I was able to express my creativity more freely. Keep your options open for a nursing arena that best fits who you are.

    Regarding being more assertive, that does come with time, experience and age. But perhaps you can reach out to programs that help you further develop that skill. I too was in the military (Navy Nurse) but the power that my superiors held over me did not allow my to be assertive without being reprimanded, so I didn't learn it there either.
    Last edit by Carol Ebert on Jan 28 : Reason: mispelled word

close