Not everyone is Michelangelo, Hemingway or Beethoven, but everybody–yes, you, too–has some level of creativity within them. It’s just that most people need a little help letting it loose!
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If you’ve been feeling like a regular dullard going round and round in a whirlpool of monotony, let these tips for unleashing your creativity be the life ring that saves you.
1) Let Go Of The Past
Maybe someone told you that your art sucked in middle school. Maybe it’s hard for you to spend money on supplies for projects because your family always struggled just to pay rent and eat. Whatever the arrow that shot pain into your heart, whatever the negative script you hear, let it go. This doesn’t mean forget. It just means that, to be open and expressive, you have to live your life in the present. Counselors, friends, journaling, meditation are all examples of possible tools to assist you in stepping into a brighter chapter of being loving to yourself and those who hurt you.
2) Appreciate The Process, Not Perfectionism
Creative people often get stuck because they focus on making their project just so, hoping to fill some grand expectation (whatever that might be). They constantly judge what they’re doing hoping to ensure that everything is “right.” Instead of worrying about getting a perfect outcome, just concentrate on the process of creating, honing in on all the different feelings and sensations that come with it.
3) Take More “Me” Time
Creativity comes from connecting with your spirit and experiences and everything gathered in your subconscious. It’s hard to do this when you’re constantly moving, always doing everything for everyone else and nothing for yourself. Spend time by yourself to relax and meditate so you can quiet the loud, problem-solving areas of your brain that likely are drowning out your imaginative side.
4) Try New Things
Trying new things teaches you that it’s okay (and maybe even fun!) to let go of inhibitions. You also can draw on your new experiences in your projects. Skydive, eat sushi, travel, sleep in a hammock–do whatever gets you out of your comfort zone and broadens your perspective.
5) Explore The Work Of Others
Looking at what other creative people are doing exposes you to techniques and tools you might not be using yet. Go to museums, attend conferences, read articles about up-and-coming innovators or hit your library to grab biographies, stories and pictures. Just don’t limit yourself to one genre. You’ll have a more well-rounded view of the world and your creative options this way.
6) Hang Out With Kids
Kids usually find it easy to let their imaginations run wild in their play. Listen to the tales they come up with and watch how they incorporate whatever’s around into their activities. They don’t worry about whether it makes sense. They just create a reality and accept it to have fun. Try to use this same attitude and approach in your creative work. Let logic go and make something new from “regular” stuff.
7) Identify Your Personal Excuses
“I’m feeling tired today.” “There’s not enough time for this project right now.” “I don’t have the ‘right’ supplies.” These kind of excuses can derail your creativity train before it even pulls out of the station. Make a list of your personal excuses and make a commitment to banish them from what you say and think.
8) Give Thanks
Expressing gratitude to others, your beliefs or even the Earth is a positive action that chases away the negative feelings that impede creation and freedom. Take the time to acknowledge what you are happy to have or know throughout your day, but especially before you have a creative session.
9) Replace “Should I” With “How Can I”
There will always be someone who disagrees with your intent, who doesn’t like your style or who thinks you should be doing something different with your time. But your job isn’t to please everyone. Your job is just to move concept into reality. Not only that, but sometimes people misinterpret the level of risk present, perceiving it where it doesn’t even exist. Instead of thinking about whether your project is “acceptable” or whether you should proceed, just ask yourself how you can move forward. This single question forces you to define your project into actionable steps with specific tools and methods. Once you have that game plan, all you have to do is follow through.
People sometimes think they’re not creative, but most of the time, they just don’t know how to unleash their inner imaginative beast.
Using these tips might be just what you need to show the world what you can do.
Photo Credit: Pohtecktoes