One of my favorite things about Halloween, besides the good candy, is that you get to dress up to be whatever you want to be. Last year I wrote a post about pretending to be who you wish you were even after Halloween. I shared how I have always wanted to be a writer, a real one, so I pretended I was and started trying to write a novel in a month. I didn’t quite reach my goal, but I did do a lot better than I would’ve otherwise. I recently found an article that supported the same kind of idea, and it even has studies to back it up and prove it.
The article, written by Susie Neilson from The Cut, told about a concept called psychological halloweenism in which you are able to boost your creativity by pretending you are someone else. The study involved several study groups that would list as many uses for common items as they could, but each group were either being themselves or pretending to be someone else.
The method is used by actors to find their character, but can be beneficial for any of us. Pretending You’re Someone Else Can Make You More Creative, is focused on getting creative juices going which is beneficial for me and other writers, but I also believe that creativity applies to every part of life and occupation. There is art in everything and everyone, like I talked about in a previous post. You can be creative in cleaning, in doing everyday chores and tasks. I think of Belle in the live Beauty and the Beast movie with Emma Watson in which Belle makes a washing machine and various other inventions that make her tasks work best for her.
There was one thing that bothered me about the article, and that was that we should ignore the cliche “Believe in Yourself” because it traps you into the limitations you’ve created for yourself. But in the article it talks about how if you pretend to be someone else you’ll be able to use some part of your brain that allows you to fit into that personality. How cool is that? That means you are pretty incredible, you just have to believe it. So until we can really believe in ourselves and who we can make ourselves into, I think it’s a great exercise to pretend to be someone else for a while.
So, in honor of Halloween, pretend to be someone else, be an inventor, an architect, J.K. Rowling, a composer, Andrea Bocelli, or a Disney Princess. Pretend to be who you want to be and let your creativity take you there. What I really learned from the article I read, is that the real limitations are what we put on ourselves. But for this fun holiday, be what you want to be, and even do it afterward!