12 Most Stifling Reasons You Aren’t As Creative As You Could Be And How To Change That Now!
Practice makes perfect.
Creativity can be cultivated. It can be nurtured. It’s a steady practice. Create. Fail. Grow. Create more. Fail. Grow. Create more. And it never ends…
1. Silence the left brain
The first step is to silence the inner critic. You cannot create if you are judging yourself. Banish any reservations you have and let loose. Later you can allow the left brain to enter if you need to edit your spelling, rewrite or touch-up. Until then, it will only hinder your creative freedom.
2. Write, a lot
Countless greats have kept daily journals. You should too. Just the act of writing is a direct channel from your creative right brain to a physical manifestation on the page. If you don’t censor yourself in the process it can be the birthplace of many ideas.
3. Be good enough
You have to come to the realization that you are good enough to create. Declaring you are creative and talented is not egocentric, it’s alignment with the truth of who you are. We are all merely channels for something greater to flow through us. But in order to access that creativity, you have to stay plugged in. The ego part of us makes it hard to do that, and constantly wants our wiring to get crossed. Don’t let it do that.
4. Challenge yourself
Instead of running away from your challenges, face them and explore what it is they’re trying to show you. They inherently possess a gift of everything you’re wanting. Challenges create growth, growth inspires creativity and creativity will inevitably bring us to the next challenge we need to face. It’s all part of the same continuum of process.
Commit to everything with passion and action. Do things fully. Be with people completely. Share totally. Give of yourself wholly. Be out in the world more. Commitment ushers in the discovery of creative things (insights, impulses, “ah-ha’s,” light bulb moments) we didn’t know existed. We don’t know they exist because in order to access them we have to step into the unknown, which is where they all reside. Commitment takes us there.
6. Explore your essence
Essence is who you are. That’s what people want to see. That’s what wants to be shared. It’s what makes you unique. If you know who you are, you can share that and you will have no problem creating. Others will be captivated. Or maybe they won’t. But at least they’ll hone and mold, develop and concretize who you are, what you want to say, and what it is you want to specifically contribute to the world.
7. Regiment it
Be prolific. Make sure you set aside time every day to be creative — write, sculpt, draw, cook. The muscle will be strengthened if you work it out every day. So set aside the time. Do things for the sake of doing. Not with any end result in your eye-line.
8. Fill up again
After you have squeezed your creative mind you can feel drained but it’s easy to fill up again. Take a walk, see a play, attend an art exhibit, hike, read a book. Get inspired, and get back in the game. Know that “down-time” is also an integral part of the creative process. So don’t beat yourself up if you just need to shift into a lower gear for a bit.
Whether you are finger-painting with a kindergartner or creating a multimillion-dollar ad campaign, you still access the same neural pathways. Give yourself permission to play, express, have fun, be bold, be weird. Creating is not all serious work. In fact, the act of creating isn’t serious at all. It’s part of our natural DNA.
10. Be present
We often stumble in the creative process when we have an idea of how we think things “should be.” Each moment is as it is; different, new and unique. We can’t live in ideas that are not of the present moment because they are not real. Focus on the present and what each new moment is trying to show you, it will always be different and exciting.
11. Take risks
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Every success you have achieved has come about because of the failure along the way. The “fails” of our life are part of what give birth to seeds of success. They are inextricably linked. So take the risk. And don’t worry about how you think it turned out in the “short-term.” Things often take a longer time to show their true nature and meaning to us than we realize.
Things take time and patience is a virtue. Don’t push yourself too hard. The art of relaxing is like the art of surrender, or the art of allowing. Creative flow will come to you if you let it. Simply breathing keeps you connected to the flow. It allows you to stay in the present and trust that things unfold as they should. Remember, things always work out. And even if they don’t work out the way you “think” they should, they still unfold in a way that lead us to the higher realization about ourselves, our lives and what we most need to get at that moment. Trust.
So where are your fresh ideas coming from? Are you practicing habits that cultivate your creativity?
Featured image courtesy of alpha du centaure licensed via Creative Commons.