Have you noticed the adult coloring book craze?
My sister clued me in about this trend awhile back as we browsed in a bookstore. Since then, these stress-relieving, creativity-encouraging coloring books seem to be everywhere.
It’s a thing apparently.
Seeing these coloring books brings back memories.
I liked coloring as a kid. Getting out the gigantic box of crayons—the one with the built-in sharpener—and picking out which colors to use for the trees, flowers, and sky.
I remember it seemed very important to use the right colors.
The sky was blue, not green. The sun was yellow, not purple. And it was also very important to color within the lines.
Where did those messages come from?
I have no memory of my Mom or my first grade teacher, Mrs. Morris, telling me to use “realistic” colors or stay within the lines, but try I did to do both.
And while neat and tidy along with expected colors might result in a pretty picture, I don’t think being “realistic” and coloring within the lines serve us as adults.
Because when we’re all grown up, coloring within the lines means:
- Do what’s safe
- Don’t be unique
- Be perfect
- Don’t bend the rules
- Keep your creativity in check
- Don’t make a scene
- Stay in your comfort zone
If you’ve kept coloring within the lines into adulthood, you’ll find yourself saying That won’t work in place of trying. Or That’s the way we’ve always done it as a reason not to do things differently.
You end up trying too hard to follow the rules. You wait for gurus to tell you the perfect, precise steps to take. You follow the how-to without an ounce of innovation or creativity.
Rigidly coloring within the lines leaves you afraid to be who you are, cut off from your creativity, resourcefulness, and genius.
It’s time to color outside the lines. It’s time to use bright colors and bring the perspective only you can bring.
Life is a proverbial big box of crayons. And you get to choose. Which colors, which lines.
You are different, unique, original. Be you.