One of my previous articles gave an insight into the ways in how I trigger creativity in my life and how it’s benefited me. Here, I give you 8 different ways to find your creative side, which is aimed to open your imagination up to achieve your goals.
1) Open Your Mind
I believe it all starts with opening your mind up. You can powerfully unleash creativity and tap in beyond your imagination by cultivating an open mind that is open to new thoughts and ideas. There is no ceiling for your creativeness. People with open minds are more receptive with what life has to offer, and wants to experience their potential
2) Surround yourself with Inspiration
Soak up all the inspiration you can find. Read a great book, walk amongst nature and learn from people that inspire you. If we are never exposed to what fascinates us, it limits our mind to be open and more creative. I find my inspiration from different sources. I’m a sociable person, and I’m lucky to have friends who have great wisdom and positivity. In saying that, I don’t rely on my friends as a sole inspiration source. I look to delve into books, my thoughts and reputable professionals in their field.
3) Limit your Mindless activities
Something I have limited a lot is watching TV, movies and doing certain activities that didn’t feel rewarding. I replaced these with activities that inspired me or made me curious, such as reading books, researching and spending more time in conversation with people. When our mind is monopolized by mindless activities, it limits our creative mind and we struggle to open it up. Mindless activities are still important to ‘switch off’, or wind down. But just not all the time.
When you encounter a new idea, you should embrace it, but don’t engage with it right away. When you come back to it later, you will feel more familiar because you have been exposed to it. This opens your mind up on the basis that you have seen it before, and what exposure does to us, we can either like or dislike things after we have seen them once before
5) Create your Environment
Marketing Professor Juliet Zhu conducted a series of experiments to examine the relationship between personal environment and creativity. The results showed that an individual’s environment impacted their perception and behaviors of creativity. Elements of sound, colour surroundings, the temperature, lighting and even the type of space we are in were all linked with the elements we use to manipulate our creative thinking. For example, I find my ideas from being outdoors, in the gym, or being surrounded by friends and family.
Personally, when I’m stuck in in the office or at home, I find it least creative because it’s too familiar. I like to change up where I write or create, where I’m not consumed by stress. I’ve had some of my greatest ideas heading down to the local pub with my laptop and notepad over a beer. Outside is where I can be at my best for idea creation and creative solution.
When you finish taking that walk, or going for that long bike ride, do you feel a major positive increase in your mood immediately after? Exercise boosts the production of endorphins in the way which reduces stress and anxiety. Not only that, but cognitive psychologist Professor Lorenza Colzato found that those who exercised for a minimum four times a week, were able to think more creatively than those who lived a more sedentary lifestyle. The results found that physical exercise trains your brain to find become more flexible in seeking creative solutions. So get out there, take that walk or do that fitness class and incorporate physical exercise into your life. You will reap the rewards not only physically, but mentally as well.
Confidence is often overlooked in being able to find your creative side. I was one who struggled to find the confidence in sharing my writing with the world. Now that I have overcome that, I’m constantly thinking of what’s next and creating an ideas pool that can facilitate not only my writing, but also how I can be more self-aware and develop my own authenticity. A lack of confidence in our ideas can connect to complete avoidance or the important act of even experimenting in your ideas. Something I’ve been all too familiar in.
David Kelley’s TED Talk on ‘How to build your Creative Confidence’ gives a tremendous insight in turning fear into familiarity and the process of building confidence and thinking differently. It promotes the idea that understanding it’s okay to quit what you’re doing and work on something important in your life. It gives you the confidence to come up with more interesting ideas so you can choose and make better decisions.
8) Train Your Creative Brain
We’ve all come up with an idea in mind, but how often does it come to a halt, and we don’t do anything about it? We can train our creative brain by doing these things
- Set aside time for creative thinking. You need time for your thoughts to settle before entering into a creative idea Setting aside time to think regularly can be a good way to train your mind to put connections together and engage in ideas that you create.
- Make it a habit. Creativity is a skill. What happens when you practice something you want to be skillful in? You get better. It’s important to engage ourselves in habits that allow us to cultivate our creativity. Exercise, reading, self-reflection, are just as important as working on a creative idea.
- Encourage bad ideas. Without bad ideas, we don’t know what the good ones are, so it’s important to throw all our ideas into the ring and get feedback so you can refine what works and what doesn’t. It’s better to have fifty bad ideas and one good one, as opposed to no ideas at all. Sometimes one bad idea enhances our mind to think of a good idea.
Creativity is an amazing thing. It reduces our stress and anxiety, allows us to put ourselves in a positive zone, and gives us a sense of purpose. We all have creativity within us. By taking time out and immersing ourselves into our ideas, we can reach potential never thought possible.