Does the idea of unlocking your creativity seem like something out of reach? Or something that only serious artists need to do? The idea of creativity means so much more. Creativity is really about finding new ways of solving problems and approaching situations.
This skill isn’t restricted to artists, musicians, or writers; anyone can be creative as long as they give themselves permission and time to think freely and to explore their imagination and their inner world without judgment. Even so, creativity requires nurturing, time, and a willingness to want to explore.
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” – Albert Einstein.
How do you learn to think outside of the box? Here are eight tips to help you boost your inner creativity:
1. Unlock Your Creativity By Trying New Things.
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent van Gogh
Some days you might find that you lack a sense of creativity because you’re stuck in a rut of doing the same things. When that happens, it’s important to mix things up.
Trying something new to expand your horizons; read a non-fiction book on exploring the ancient ruins of Indonesia, or take a French online class.
The more you push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone, the more you’ll learn and grow, even if the topic seems to have nothing to do with your life. Trying out new things or even switching up your schedule or changing the placement of your office furniture or items on your desk will help to get your creative juices flowing.
2. Question Everything – and Open Up to Expansive Creative Thoughts.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” – Voltaire.
Be curious and seek to understand why things are the way they are. When you show interest, you stop assuming and start engaging. Through this kind of engagement, your mind begins to wander, and your creativity grows.
Art Markman, Ph.D., says, “Remember that any idea you have is something that you pulled out of your memory. That means that you retrieved a helpful piece of information from memory when you have a brilliant idea and used it.”
3. Spend More Time Daydreaming to Unleash Your Creativity.
“Daydreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem
Although daydreaming may seem like it leads to less focus or productivity, it is a powerful tool for unlocking inner creativity. When you’re free to daydream, you can come up with all sorts of new ideas and solutions. So take advantage of those “boring” moments, and consciously allow your mind to wander.
An article from Behavioral Scientist states “According to our results, most types of daydreams are not indicative of creativity. But two types of daydreams—those that are personally meaningful and those with fantastical content—are associated with creativity.”
4. Try Getting Lost in Your Day.
“It feels good to be lost in the right direction.” – Anonymous.
When we stay on our chosen path, we miss all the experiences around us. Try losing yourself in your day. For instance, drive a different way home, turn left instead of right on your walk, or try something new today for lunch.
When you go about your day’s routines, your habitual actions are getting you through the day, not your thoughts or your mind. Therefore, breaking up your routine and giving yourself some time to wander can alter your patterns, stimulating your creative senses.
Syed Bhalki of Entrepreneur says, “Data support that creativity nudges can come from changes as small as a warmer cup of coffee or different colors in the room. Try switching out some of the items on your desk, orienting yourself differently, or doing an overhaul of the bulletin board you sit facing.”
Also, a study was done at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto “showed in a series of experiments that participants displayed less creativity and cognitive flexibility when asked to complete tasks using categorized sets of information, compared to those asked to work with items that were not ordered in any special way. ”
5. Write Down Your Ideas – Acknowledge the Creative Power Within.
“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult.
Bring out your creative side! Try jotting down the thoughts from inside your mind out onto paper. Start writing down all of your ideas, no matter how silly or impossible they may seem. Just writing ideas down can help you to sift through your mind, similar to writing morning pages.
When an idea, whether large or small, comes to you, start making it a point to preserve it. A great idea could be to carry a notebook with you. Continually jot down ideas that come up. You never know when a great one will strike!
6. Simplify Your Life and Feel the Creative Juices Flowing.
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau
We have more information coming at us than ever before, and sometimes this can be overwhelming. Too much information can bombard us and prevent us from thinking creatively. Additionally, this can make it hard to find an original idea amid everyone else’s (not to mention it’s intimidating to take creative risks while listening to highly successful creative people share their stories).
Consciously take breaks from all of the noise in order to be able to hear those creative whispers within. Each person has a unique point of view worthy of notice. Creating the space to pay attention to your voice is worth the time.
7. Surround Yourself with Creative People.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou.
Creativity is contagious, so they say. In fact, according to ScienceDaily, “Leaders can imbue their subordinates with confidence and creativity just by setting an example themselves.”
If you regularly spend time with creative people, their thoughts and behaviors can rub off on you, inspiring you and boosting your own creativity.
You can find creative communities in your area by using a website like Meetup.com. Look for groups for creative writing, photography, arts and crafts, tech, and much more.
8. Move Your Body to Unlock Creativity Daily.
“I move, therefore I am.” – Haruki Murakami
Thoughts flow through our minds constantly – while we are sitting and moving. But now with technology, we are sitting around more than ever and this is dampening our creative spirits.
A study at Stanford found that walking, whether indoors or outdoors, both similarly got the creative juices flowing. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor. Interestingly, those who walked and moved around had greater creativity than those who remained seated. Stop sitting and start doing. Head outside and get your body moving to increase your energy and your creativity.
It is important to know that you’re in control of your creativity at the end of the day. No matter what actions you take to unlock your creative mind, the goal is to start trying new things and see how they make you feel.
Because the best way to unlock your creativity is to feel good about who you are! Honor and celebrate your unique creative spirit one day at a time.
Are you interested in learning about an extremely creative city? Check out Detroit!
Or are you hoping to bring fresh new ideas into your days? Try spring cleaning your mind and planting seeds for new beginnings here.