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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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 the TV. Focus 100% on your creative activity. Distractions are controllable. Have the self-discipline to control them.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
8 Ways to Energize Your Creativity
If you have a career that requires creativity or you’ve ever needed a creative solution to a problem, you’re aware of how challenging it can be to be creative on command. Creativity seems to come and go with little rhyme or reason. Have you ever wished you could proactively boost your creativity? You can!
Like any other skill, the ability to increase your creativity gets better with practice and experience. Get started today and you’ll find yourself being more creative in the future.
These strategies will encourage your creativity to blossom:
- Work in a new environment. It’s amazing how much a change of scenery can help! Try working in the library or a coffee shop. Rearrange your office and change the view. When you do the same things in the same place, you’ll tend to think the same thoughts.
- Turn off your autopilot and expose your senses to new stimuli.
- Pretend you’re helping someone else find solutions. Many people find that they have more creative ideas when helping others solve their challenges.
- Pretend you’re helping a friend and let the ideas flow. Depersonalizing the issue seems to free up a part of the mind that’s otherwise stifled.
- Brainstorm in pairs. Have you ever noticed that you and a friend or coworker find more creative ideas between the two of you rather than when brainstorming in a group? Break away from the group and pair up with just one other person.
- When a large group brainstorms, most of the group members lack a sense of accountability. It’s too easy to be passive.
- Try being creative at a different time of the day. If you normally write in the morning, try the evening. Try staying up extra late or getting up extra early for a change. If you’ve been feeling stuck at 9 AM for a while, it’s time try a different hour of the day. Set your alarm clock for 3 AM and force yourself to work for 20 minutes.
- Try some music. Few things can change your mood and get those creative juices flowing faster than a great song. Try different types of music and see what works. Avoid sticking to only your favorites. Branch out and listen to something new.
- Meditate. Meditation is useful tool for giving your mind a well-needed break. You’ll find your thoughts start to become reenergized. Simple and elegant solutions frequently reveal themselves after a short period of meditation.
- Meditation requires a little practice, but it’s easier to learn than you may think. Meditate on your challenges and be open to the thoughts that arise.
- Stay hydrated. Get a drink of water! Your body is mostly water. Even a small degree of dehydration causes all sorts of biological processes to go haywire. If you’re feeling stuck, take a minute to drink a large glass of water.
- Remember to drink throughout the day and the evening.
- Go outside. Try getting outside for a little exercise. The late John Denver frequently commented that all of his best songs were written immediately after an exhilarating, outdoor activity. He frequently skied, drove racecars, and flew experimental airplanes.
- You may lack a plan, but you can still get outside and do something stimulating!
Creativity doesn’t automatically happen on command. There are times when creativity is needed, but it’s nowhere to be found. Add these tips to your creativity pool the next time you’re feeling uninspired. If one strategy fails to yield the results you desire, try another. With practice, you can learn to unleash your creativity on demand.