Creativity is the ability to make something new or to develop new ideas. Developing more creativity can benefit your career, relationships, and hobbies. Children love to be creative, but many adults have less motivation to create. There are also many obstacles to creativity.
Stack the deck in your favor by dealing intelligently with most the common barriers to creativity:
1. Fear of ridicule. As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. No matter what you do, someone will provide criticism. Learn to ignore the naysayers and let your creativity shine.
2. Fear of failure. It can be the fear of losing money or valuable time. Or it can be a simple fear of failure. You’re tough enough to handle it. You’ve already failed thousands of times in one way or another and you’ve survived. What would happen if you did fail?
3. Interruptions. Time and space energize creativity. It’s more challenging to come up with a brilliant idea if your kids are calling your name or your phone is chirping at you every 30 seconds. Schedule your creative time to minimize as many interruptions as possible. Early in the morning and later in the evening can be the best options for many.
4. Distractions. A distraction is an interruption you give yourself. How do you commonly waste time? Remove those distractions from your immediate environment. Put your cell phone on mute and throw it in the drawer. Turn off 1 the TV. Focus 100% on your creative activity. Distractions are controllable. Have the self-discipline to control them.
5. Past experiences. Your past affects your current thinking and beliefs. Attempt to open your mind to all the possibilities. Just because something didn’t work once in the past doesn’t mean it can’t work today. Let go of the past and free your creativity.
6. Stopping too soon. Once a good idea is found, it’s common to stop looking for a better solution. Are you sure you’ve chosen the right color for your painting? The right word for your novel? The right idea to make $10 million? Once you’ve found a good idea, keep looking for an even better one.
7. Stress. Stress and creativity rarely go hand in hand. Whether it’s the stress of being tired, running out of time, financial issues, or illness, creativity is more challenging than when you’re relaxed. Find time to relax and decompress before starting a session of creativity. Your results will be enhanced.
8. Negative moods. It’s not just stress. Anger, jealousy, fear, impatience, sadness, or hopelessness can also be barriers to creativity. Studies have shown that creativity tends to peak while experiencing strong, positive moods. Do whatever is necessary to boost your mood before accessing your creativity. Take a walk, call a good friend, or listen to uplifting music. What makes you feel better when you’re in a bad mood?
9. Too many options. It can actually be easier to find your creative streak if you limit your choices. Try to make a painting with only three colors. Write a short story with only 300 words. Or compose a song with only a few chords. Having too many choices can be a challenge in itself. Try limiting your options if you’re stuck.
If you can’t get your creative juices flowing, maybe something is in your way. Your creativity is a significant part of your uniqueness. Avoid the common obstacles to creativity and show the world what you have to offer. To really boost your creativity, try using it regularly. And start today!
In such a fast-moving world, it's so important to stay on the cutting edge. Your creative ideas of yesteryear probably have very little impact on today's innovative age. With that said, you've likely realized the importance of finding inspiration for innovation.
Your inspiration may change over time, but at least finding it is a start. Some inspiring things and people may be right in front of you. But others, like the ones here, may take a little digging to find their value to your plan for innovation.
Seek inspiration in these areas:
1. Historical figures with success stories. Much of the world as you know it today is because of contributions from historical figures. Many of them took bold steps that didn’t necessarily pay off. But their perseverance and creativity allowed them to become world-changers.
2. Inventions before their time. You've likely heard the phrase, "think outside the box" before. However, this is probably the first time you'll be applying it to your 1 plan for innovation.
3. Nature. Look through your window and you'll see nature all around you. It's beautiful and intricate. Things that are so specially made are often great sources of inspiration.
4. People who are overcoming trying obstacles. Their challenges are incomparable and difficult. Yet, they continue to push through with the aim of finding clear skies at the end of the road. If you can lay your eyes on someone like that, you'll likely get all the inspiration you need!
These sources can provide the inspiration you need to be creative. Take a different approach. That's a surefire way to stand out from everyone else. You can expect great results when you elevate the thought process for innovation.
Although it’s true that some people are more creative than others, everyone can be inventive and original in their own way. Your creativity is inside you now. Perhaps it’s just waiting for you to tap into it.
Try some of these methods for 30 minutes each day to release your creativity:
1. Harken back to your childhood. Did you have an active imagination? Maybe you pretended you were a teacher or a doctor. Perhaps you played as if you were the greatest skateboarder in the world. Assuming certain personas is a good way to show your creativity.
Right now, imagine yourself as the best worker at your job. How would you look, dress, and behave? What would you say to others? How would you relate?
Visualize that you’re the best at something for at least 10 minutes each day.
2. What are you good at? For the next 10, 20, or 30 minutes, consider your various skills, talents, and knowledge base. Then pick one skill to focus on. What makes you good at this particular ability?
Maybe you think you’re excellent when it comes to following instructions. You listen well. You pay attention. You quickly pick up on what’s expected of you. Perhaps you’re intrinsically motivated, which means you’re internally motivated to complete a job to the desired specifications.
When you know what you’re good at, you feel confident. And when you’re confident, you’re not afraid to try new things and experiment (which are aspects of being creative).
Let your mind fantasize about something in your life. Maybe you’d love to buy the big house on the corner or experience the serious love relationship you yearn for. Give yourself 30 minutes to sit back and fantasize.
Think about what that house looks like on the inside. Picture the face of your potential mate.
3. Carry a written copy of your top 3 life goals with you. Giving yourself permission to dream and reach for your desired goals enhances your ability to ponder how you can achieve them.
You hold the creative keys to pursue those goals however you choose. Let your mind run free with it. Think about these questions: what can you do today, tomorrow, next week, and next month to go after what you want?
4. Identify someone you like or respect very much. Spend time thinking about this individual. What is it about them you like? How can you be more like them? Pick one characteristic you’ll work on emulating for the next month.
For example, if you like John at work because he smiles all the time and seems to consistently be in a good mood, perhaps you can begin to behave in the same ways. Trying on new personal characteristics allows you to stretch yourself creatively to see what you can do.
5. Experiment with a new creative activity. We cultivate our creativity by engaging in creative endeavors. So, buy a block of clay, a jewelry-making kit, or some paints and canvases at your local arts and crafts store and have at it.
You’ll likely end up spending over a half-hour daily on your new pursuit. But, that’s okay because you’re expanding your mind along with your skills.
If you’re feeling timid and unsure about how to start, sign up for a beginning art class just to see what happens. Working with your hands and mind together opens up new avenues and can get your creative juices flowing.
It’s true that you can release your inner creativity and imagination by devoting just 30 minutes to any of the above strategies or try a combination of 2 or 3 of them.
Believe that you are a creative individual and prove it by doing something each day to cultivate your imagination and originality.