Unlocking Creativity: 7 simple ways to boost your creativity
Posted Sep 09 2009 10:11pm
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. - Erich Fromm
Creativity is our ability to solve problems, adapt to change, and create something new and unique. It is also our ability to see new possibilities, to develop new ideas, to be imaginative, and to innovate. While we all have creative potential, many people have disconnected from their creative mind and feel stagnant or stuck. Not to worry… you can reconnect with your creative side and get those creative juices flowing again. Creativity requires that you let go of your need to “know” the answers, always be right, and control the situation. Here are 7 ways to help you unlock your creativity.
Change your environment – When you feel stuck or have hit a creative block, try changing your scenery. Take a few essential supplies with you and go to a park or a coffee shop and work for a while. If that is not possible, simply get up and take a walk around the office. Let your mind wander as you take in the new scenery. Try not to think too hard… just let yourself relax and enjoy the change of environment.
Take risks – In order to get your creative juices flowing, you must be willing to take risks and let go of your need for certainties. You must be open to new ideas. It is important to let your ideas flow without censoring or judging them at first. Some ideas may seem silly and that’s ok. You never know when one idea may spark another idea that turns out to be the perfect solution to your problem.
Use imagery – Give yourself permission to daydream – have fun with it and let your imagination run wild. You will be surprised by the ideas that will surface as you engage your imagination. You might also try closing your eyes and imagine placing all of your distractions and mental clutter into a hot air balloon and send it up into the sky. Now imagine an empty basket ready to receive all the new ideas and thoughts that are on their way to you now. After the imagery exercise, be aware of any thoughts, feelings, sensations that you have because they may just be the creative answer you need.
Centering/relaxing - Centering is the practice of quieting the mind and relaxing the body to create a sense of peace and present moment focus (mindfulness). It is a process of clearing away the mental clutter so that you can once again access your creativity. Centering can be accomplished in many ways (deep breathing, meditation, music, prayer, yoga, tai chi, etc). It is important to find several ways that work best for you so that you can easily center yourself even in the midst of chaos.
Play/laugh - Nothing opens the channel to creativity better than laughter, play, and letting your inner child out. Children are naturally creative. Unfortunately, over time children receive negative feedback and begin to lose connection with their creativity. To recharge your creative mind, get out, play and have fun – be child-like. Watch funny movies and laugh. Before you know it, those ideas will be flowing again.
Use affirmations – How many times have you said, “I’m not creative?” If you are constantly giving your subconscious mind this directive, it won’t be long before your creative mind ceases to engage. You are what you think… so choose thoughts that affirm your creative abilities. Here are some affirmations to help enhance your creativity: I live in the creative flow of life, Creativity flows through me, and I honor my creative abilities.
Do something routine – Many people find that creative ideas happen when they are engaged in routine activities – like showering, exercising, driving, or cleaning. When you hit a creative block, change your activity and try doing something routine. Give your mind a rest and get lost in the activity… before you know it your thoughts and ideas will start flowing again.
Remember that no matter how stuck you feel in the moment, you do have creative potential and with a little gentle persuasion you can coax your creative mind out of hiding. You cannot, however, force creativity. In fact the more you try to force it, the less creative you will be. The key is to be gentle, relax, and let your thoughts flow freely. Get in the habit of using these 7 ways to unlock your creative mind and then be ready to capture your creative impulses in the moment by carrying a notebook or digital recorder with you. You will be amazed by your ability to create and innovate!