We’ve been told for too long to color in the lines, follow the rules, and do what we’re told. The reward for that is a bland obedience to the boring reality, and no chance to break free and discover who you are.
But how can you reawaken your creative child inside? She’s not dead, you know. You see signs and sparks throughout the day. Pick and choose from the suggestions below to capture the spark and see your everyday challenges in a new light.
Abandon the idea that you can’t be creative
You must dump the idea that you can’t be creative. You solve problems every day that make your life work better. You come to creative solutions with the people you work with.
If you are telling yourself that you can’t be creative, you are lying to yourself. That’s no way to build on this relationship. Instead, build it on honesty: you often are creative in solving problems and you surprise yourself with your ideas and solutions.
Be creative everywhere
Creativity doesn’t only mean writing a song, painting, or sculpting. In fact, creativity can happen all the time in your daily life. If you start to think that you have only been creative when you “perform” or end up with some sort of art work, you are missing the many ways you are being creative.
And you are missing out on many more chances to be creative. You can do this in small steps by reimagining the order of operations when you take a shower, or planning your next list of errands. Think anew about how you get your everyday tasks completed.
This works at home, at work, and in your relationships.
Be willing to get messy
Your creativity is a muscle to be trained. You can get better with practice. However, first you need to unleash your creativity.
One way to do this is to get messy.
Are you cooking with a friend or family member? Throw some flour on the floor.
A simple rebellious act in the space will change the mood. Don’t be surprised if your family member responds by doing the same thing, or throwing something else on the floor.
Or, pull everything out of that messy closet and spread it around the room. Now you have a look at everything and can see what you’ve been hiding from yourself. Does it all need to go back inside? Can you do it using only half the space?
Either way, the scene is set. You’ve broken a boundary. You’ve changed the mood. Creativity is welcome here!
Set ten minutes aside for creativity
In this ten minutes, you will create art using whatever tools you have available.
Is there an instrument nearby? Write a song: Play four notes. Play them again. Then play them in reverse. A song! Now write the words that come to mind. Play it again. Play it again while singing.
Pen and paper? Draw a picture. Only do stick figures? Perfect, help them dance and tell a story in a four frame comic.
Blocks available, or Legos? Build them into a fascinating shape. A house. A spaceship. A cupholder.
Then, after ten minutes, move on. Or don’t. It’s okay to perfect your art.
Call your creative friend and ask for an idea
Working on a team increases your chances to come up with new ideas, and sparks your creative juices. What, you don’t work on a team? Well, use the time-tested game show technique of “Phone A Friend.”
You have someone in your circle (or maybe many someones) who are very creative, and seem to crank out new ideas and projects on a regular basis.
Creative people have some things in common, and one is they don’t mind shaking things up. Ergo, they won’t mind if you call them up and ask for a boost.
Perhaps they will give you an idea. Better yet, maybe they will give you lessons! And the price might be just supplies and an occasional lunch.
And your friendship will be strengthened even as your creativity grows.
Develop a “Do Something” Mindset
In their book Creative Confidence, Tom and David Kelly describe the important first step of creativity. It is a bias toward action, which they call the “Do Something” mindset.
It’s this simple: When you identify a problem, solve it. Their book explores creative solutions to some of mankind’s pressing recent issues, but they can be as simple as the problems you face in your own daily life.
Whatever your problem is, take a few minutes to actively try and solve it.
Don’t settle for how things are, get creative.
Are you struggling to find new solutions to the problems you face in everyday life? You might benefit from talking to a licensed therapist like Sakina Issa.
Luckily, these conversations can happen discreetly and by appointment using the same tools you have grown comfortable using at work, like Zoom or GoToMeeting. Just click the button in the upper right hand corner.
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