Is compassion the key to creativity?


If you tend to be hard on yourself, being less critical can make you more creative:

Self-compassion is a multifaceted state of potential utility in alleviating the self-critical tendencies that may undermine creative expressions among certain individuals. To investigate this idea, 86 undergraduates were randomly assigned to control or self-compassion conditions, following which creative originality was assessed by a version of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). The manipulation was hypothesized to facilitate creative originality particularly among individuals who are prone to critical self-judgment, as assessed by a trait measure. This interactive hypothesis was supported: Self-judgmental individuals displayed lower levels of creative originality in the control condition, but equal levels of creative originality in the self-compassion condition. Results are discussed in the context of theories of creative potential, self-compassion, and chronic tendencies toward self-criticism.

Source: “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself: Self-Compassion Facilitates Creative Originality Among Self-Judgmental Individuals” from Creativity Research Journal, Volume 22, Issue 3, 2010

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