Ways to unlock your creativity and why you cannot afford not to
Tips to help nurture your creativity and get those juices flowing
Contrary to popular belief, people aren't born creative or not creative. Sure, some of us are more naturally talented at some things; however creativity is a skill that anyone can develop.
Creativity is a skill to be learned, practiced, and developed, just like any other. Juggling takes practice, as does surfing, coding, and driving a car. Creativity is no different. The more you make creativity part of your daily life, the more it will grow. With this in mind, I ask you to consider some of the following:
"Creativity flourishes when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone and learn something new."
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Creativity flourishes when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone and learn something new.
Create the Right Environment
The truth is that every single individual (yes, even you) can be creative. You simply require the right environment, stimulus, and support. Kids are awash with creative energy in part because they have not yet learned to fear the criticism of their peers or experienced embarrassment from failure. This is now why failure is lauded in adults – it reflects creative, risk-taking endeavours. Though not all creative ventures will work out, ultimately some will (and be very, very successful).
This is why Google goes to great lengths to provide employees with fun perks such as beach volleyball courts and free beer, a setup almost resembling an adult playground. The goal is to create an environment that lets employees feel relaxed and comfortable with vocalizing creative, even wacky, ideas. Businesses that value creativity need to do their best to foster a creative, safe space where unusual ideas are celebrated and where creativity is nurtured.
Try the 30 Circles Test
This great creative exercise comes from researcher Bob McKim, and is featured in Tim Brown's TED talk Creativity and Play.
Take a piece of paper and draw 30 circles on the paper. Now, in one minute, adapt as many circles as you can into objects. For example, one circle could become a sun. Another could become a globe. How many can you do in a minute? Take quantity over quality into consideration.
The result: most people have a hard time getting to 30, largely because we have a tendency as adults to self-edit. Kids are great at simply exploring possibilities without being self-critical, whereas adults have a harder time. Sometimes, even the desire to be original can be a form of self-editing. Don't forget that good artists copy, great artists steal.
Being creative doesn't mean you have to enter this years Archibald prize. It simply means making time for things you love that take you to a place where you are completely free to express an unbridled side of yourself. That may be writing, painting, singing, joining a local amateur theatre class. Heck, it may even be fixing old cars.
What did you love doing when you were in school?
Making time for things you love isn't selfish. It’s saying to yourself that your dreams matter and that when you take yourself to a place where no one (including yourself) are judging you then activate old brain networks that you had shelved for years and can lead to feeling more balanced and happy.
Getting started: the beauty of creativity is there is no right or wrong. There is no time limit, there is no prize. You can't be bad at being creative. Expressing yourself creatively truly underpins the old adage of "it's not the destination that matters, it's the journey".
Disconnect: what do your phone, social media and the internet have in common? They're creativity killers. They do the opposite of what we are trying to achieve here which is to make us think we need to be doing things that are completely incongruent with our goals and values.
Just do it: no one is watching, you don't have to edit being creative. Don't force it. Just do it. As human beings we all have the potential to do amazing things, to create lives beyond our wildest dreams.
Our 'potential' has the capacity to transform into our individual goals and dreams. Our 'potential' is aligning our intention with our attention to manifest your aspirations into reality. However this doesn't just happen. Your dreams don't just come up and tap you on the shoulder and say 'I'm here!' 'Relax! All your wildest dreams have come true; you don't have to do anything.
There is a reason why you are reading this article. I am guessing you are either genuinely keen to reignite your creative flow because you know how good it feels to have that in your life, or because you feel there is a piece of the puzzle missing. Most of us are high achievers in one or a couple of keys areas in life, however the real juice of life comes from doing things that make you feel alive, that allow you to express your true self without fear of being judged, by others or yourself!
We wander through life.
'Align your intention with your attention to manifest your dreams in reality'. This means engaging in personal work to define your goals and self-reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses. After you have a clear understanding of who you are and where you want to go, you can formulate a plan of action.
Balance is the key to uncovering your potential. Balance involves aligning your mind, body, and spirit into a harmonious relationship with one another. When these three factors are focused on your intentions, you're able to transcend prior limitations and achieve your dreams. Most people have uneven development-- one or more of these components may be functioning at a low level. Because the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected, you must address each to make optimal progress.