“I’m not creative” … has that thought ever crossed your mind? Or do you know someone who believes it to be true?

Are some people really not creative?

The more I work with teams on creativity, the more I’m realizing this is not at all true. Someone may have lost their creative confidence, but it can always be re-found. People lose creative confidence for many reasons. Perhaps as a child someone was derogatory about their art work. Or perhaps someone at work crushed what they thought was a good idea.

Creativity is in each and every one of us. Sometimes we just need help finding it. We need help regaining our creative confidence.

In a TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_how_to_build_your_creative_confidence?language=en), David Kelley (founder of IDEO) muses on regaining creativity confidence . He compares it to the process of overcoming a phobia of snakes, where you increase the exposure to the snake step-by-step … from standing outside a room with a snake in it and looking in through the window, to looking at it through the open door, through taking a stride into the room, through standing beside it and touching it with a glove.

So to regain creative confidence, try rebuilding it step-by-step. If you are holding a session to come up with new ideas, first establish an encouraging environment. Emphasize that all ideas are good ideas. No derogatory comments. No idea crushers. Really, none. Then, step-by-step ….. help people come up with creative ideas. Start with close-in exercises, easier to do, encouraging people along the way. Then step up to further-out ideation exercises later as the session progresses.

Once your team realizes they are naturally creative, ideas will fly.