Most of us have creative impulses — whether we listen to them or not. So many of my creative coaching clients have lists and lists of amazing, creative ideas but don’t know where to start or which idea is the “right” one that deserves their attention. If that sounds like you, keep reading! By the end of this blog post you’ll have at least one new idea to freshen up your ideas and be more creative. (Hopefully way more than one).
Whether you’re a seasoned creative trying to pick your next project, or you’re looking for a way to be more creative in general, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help amp up the creativity in your life.
What Is Creativity?
There’s no one answer to this question, as creativity is relative to individual perspective. But in general, creativity can be defined as the ability to see things in a new or unusual way, and come up with new ideas.
Human beings are inherently creative, social creatures. We express ourselves, tell stories, and share in community. It’s our modern culture and obsession with hustle and perfectionism that has led us astray from these creative beginnings.
But it’s possible to get back to that creative, intuitive self deep down. We can be more creative in so many amazing ways!
Creativity is often seen as a talent that is innate, or something that can be learned. In reality, it’s a bit of both. But creativity is more than just having a good idea; it’s also about being able to execute that idea successfully. It’s about being able to see the potential in things and turning that potential into a reality.
There are many ways to be more creative, and it’s not limited to just one approach. You can try different techniques, take on new challenges, and get inspiration from all sorts of sources. Ultimately, the best way to be more creative is to deep down find that creative, intuitive self and let it guide you.
Why Be More Creative?
There are many reasons to be more creative to support work, life, play, and rest.
Some people find creativity helpful in their professional lives, while others find it relaxing and satisfying. Some people use creativity to solve problems, while others use it for entertainment or to express themselves.
In any case, creativity can be a powerful tool for success and is something that should be encouraged and used to its fullest potential.
How To Be More Creative
There are many ways to be more creative, and the best way to find what works for you is to experiment. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Take time for creativity. One of the most important things you can do to be more creative is to spend time in creative practice. This could be as simple as journaling, painting circles, or anything simple to get yourself into the habit of regular creative practice.
Over time, this foundational practice will help you get in the creative zone, and will allow your mind to wander freely and explore more in-depth creative ideas to help you be more creative.
A lot of creatives work best when they’re allowed time to relax and focus on their creative ideas. Dedicate some time each day to exploring your creative side, and make sure to take breaks throughout the day so you can recharge.
2. Be open to new ideas. One key shift you can make to be more creative is to be open to new ideas and concepts. If you’re stuck on a project, try thinking outside the box and see what else you can imagine.
If needed, walk away from a project and let your mind process in the background while you’re doing something else. (This is how great ideas come to you in the shower!)
If you’re constantly looking for new ways to solve problems, or come up with new ideas, you’ll be more likely to find creativity in your work.
3. Be patient. If you’re trying to come up with a new idea, or solve a difficult problem creatively, it can take time. Don’t get discouraged if the first few attempts don’t turn out how you hoped. Keep trying, and eventually you’ll find the right approach for your individual creative practice. You can’t force yourself to be more creative, but between patience, open-mindedness, and willingness to be a beginner, you’ll get there naturally in time.
4. Experiment with different mediums and techniques. If you’re usually a writer, try painting. If you normally sing, try dance. Dedicated watercolor artists could try painting with oils or drawing with charcoal. Getting outside of the box of what you know can help you make new associations and get comfortable with the process of practicing new skills to be more creative!
5. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of the process as you develop the new habit of a creative practice. It’s a necessary part of success and mastery of new skills. If we could just download a completely formed skill into our brains, I’m not sure that would be the same as learning from mistakes
What Blocks Us From Being More Creative?
1. Negative thoughts. If you’re constantly worrying about what you don’t know, or judging yourself for not being good enough, you’ll block creativity. Instead of focusing on the negative, try directing your thoughts towards what you do know and how you can use that to your advantage.
A great bridge thought to help you get there is “I am learning how to _____.” This is 100% true so your brain will accept it, and isn’t one of those affirmations that feels fake because it’s too far from your current reality. It can be as simple as “I’m learning to be more creative.”
2. Fear of failure. Just as with negative thoughts, if you’re afraid of failing, you’ll likely avoid trying new things. But failure is a part of the creative process – it’s how you learn and grow!
3. Self-doubt. If you constantly second-guess yourself, or feel like you don’t have what it takes to be a creative person, you’ll likely find it hard to produce anything that reinforces your new skills and desires. Then you’ll resent your desire to be more creative and and up feeling bad about yourself, in a very upsetting spiral.
Reframing these blocks is necessary work to do on the journey to be more creative, and learning to believe in yourself even though you make mistakes is such an important skill to have.
Being creative is an innate part of our humanity, but it’s also something that can be learned. It’s important to be creative for both personal and professional reasons to help you practice new ways for your brain to make associations and explore things from new perspectives. With a little practice, you can overcome any blocks to creativity that you may have and truly embrace your desire to be more creative.
Embrace Your Creativity
Hustle culture turns our creative passions into sources of frustration — I’m trying to put a stop to that, so I created a free mini course to deliver right to your email. Creativity Under Capitalism is a three day course with exercises to help you work toward your passion on your terms.