Realizing personal creative potential is a very important task in everyone’s life. By developing our creative abilities we can change our life, make it more interesting, brighter and richer.
But the road to creative self-discovery is a long one. Sometimes it lasts a lifetime, sometimes several years, but it so happens that it takes only a few months. So how do you develop your creativity quickly? Are there solutions?
Yes, there are. We will tell you about them in this article.
The creative abilities and their role in our lives
More often than not, creative people are perceived as odd, unusual, and even crazy. I don’t think so. After all, to create, to invent, to create is a natural human need, and to be a creator is one’s natural state.
If a person’s thinking is rigid, he will also make all his life decisions in a stereotypical way. Where some people see opportunities, others will only see obstacles.
Having a creative mind awakens the inner excitement in a person: he tries to find as many solutions as possible, and not to stop at the first one that came to mind. In everyday life, we have to make a lot of decisions, look for opportunities to create a business, organize our leisure time, solve work tasks, and self-actualization. All of this will be easier to achieve if one has developed this very creative flexibility of thought. It is a vital quality that helps us to live our lives in a more interesting, diverse, rich, and daring way.
A person’s predisposition to some creative activity is far from a guarantee that he or she has well-developed creativity. If a person is a good writer, painter or musician, it does not mean that he has developed creativity, that his thinking is truly flexible. His creativity is the realization of his natural abilities. But it often happens that such people create far fewer original ideas than savvy businessmen who, by virtue of having to get by in business, have developed the ability to generate out-of-the-box ideas.
How to develop personal creative skills?
Creativity is a quality that you can develop in yourself. By nature we all have the ability to invent, to invent. Children always have a lot of questions, curiosity, ideas and fantasies. But under the influence of upbringing, socialization and other factors these qualities are suppressed.
The development of creativity can be compared to physical training. We are all naturally gifted with a body. But it depends on our efforts whether it will be flexible and strong or become flabby and worn out. The body won’t improve on its own if we don’t train it. It’s the same with creativity – everyone has talent, but it’s up to us to develop it.
You can train creativity purposefully, or you can train it indirectly. You can do certain exercises and techniques, or you can just come up with something all the time because of the nature of your work. The main thing is to keep your brain and your thoughts in tone, to give them a constant workload.
People think of themselves as uncreative because they don’t really know themselves. There are a number of reasons why people think of themselves as uncreative, but they are all formed in childhood.
1. We try to develop personal creativite skills in isolation from our talents
For example, a person has a talent for literature, but his parents send him to music school. In this case, he will not develop as a writer, and he will make a mediocre musician. He will hate music and consider himself untalented because he never managed to start playing.
To explain this, we can resort to the following theory. Scientists distinguish several types of human intellect: for example, logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial-visual. This is our natural predisposition to perceive and process information. Each person has one leading type of intellect and several additional types. It is the leading type that makes people great scientists, musicians, and athletes.
That is, each of us has a certain natural tendency toward a certain kind of creativity. And if you don’t take that into account, you can easily label yourself an uncreative person.
Einstein said: “We are all geniuses. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is a fool”.
2. We are afraid of facing criticism from other people
Creative work is always very personal, very subtle, very subjective. And relying on the opinion of the majority in this matter is definitely not worth it.
As an example: how many songs and musicians do you know that absolutely all people like? That’s right: very few. All people have different tastes. And if one person doesn’t like your idea, it doesn’t mean another person won’t like it.
Unfortunately, we most often encounter criticism of creativity when we are young. Society imposes on us: “you’re a bum, it’s tasteless, you’re talentless” at a time when, on the contrary, we desperately need its support (when we have no money, no connections, no name).
A separate item is parents who demand early success from their children. Such parents cannot allow their child to develop in the right way, to draw crookedly and to go beyond the coloring fields. They want him to bring perfect drawings right away, to perform at his best. If this does not work out, the child is scolded, punished. Not all children can cope with such pressure and therefore it is easier for them to refuse to create at all, than to try to please their parents.
How to fight society’s criticism of your talents? You can’t. You just have to ignore them and move on, toward your goal.
Creativity requires courage. You must be prepared for your ideas to be praised as well as condemned.
These are the main reasons that shape people’s view of themselves as uncreative. And it takes a lot of work, including psychological work, to wade through the maze of these destructive beliefs. Not everyone is prepared for this work. Therefore, some people find it easier to insist on their own uncreativity than to start doing something to develop this quality.
From Theory to Action
You should begin to develop your creativity by generating ideas. Each of us always has a lot of ideas in our head. They live in our subconscious. The problem is that we do not let them out. There are a lot of filters inside of us, which, like a sieve, hold back these ideas and do not allow us to express them.
All of these filters are some kind of beliefs, limitations, thoughts that go through our heads so quickly that we don’t even hear them:
- Blind trust in the opinion of experts. If we know that an authority figure thinks otherwise, we may hold back our ideas lest we be judged by that person;
- Excessive adherence to rules. Rules are made by other people. If within ourselves we are afraid to break the rules, then ideas that contradict them will be suppressed by us;
- We limit ourselves by limits. In practice, it turns out that no one imposed these restrictions, we invented them ourselves. But the ideas have not been able to break through them;
- Following only the logic. Many people, in response to a proposed idea, say, “It’s illogical”. And creativity is precisely about non-linear transition. If all ideas were logical, then different people would come up with exactly the same ideas. At the idea creation stage, logic should be turned off. It is good at the stage of selecting solutions, but not before;
- Our fears. It says it all. Fear of success, failure, evaluation, and judgment keep us from creating new ideas;
- Habits and routines. This is a dangerous and invisible enemy. Habitual actions provoke habitual thoughts within us. We need as much variety in life as possible, then creative energy will flow freely;
- Complacency. Many people, after coming up with one idea, immediately stop looking for new ones. Why? Because in school we are used to one solution being enough. One solution gives us the illusion of being right. The problem comes when that one solution is rejected. Then worries and depression set in. To avoid this, you have to train yourself to come up with a lot of ideas, to develop a lot of solutions;
- The pressure of importance. Importance of tasks often drives people into a stupor. That’s because they need one good solution, and they can’t produce any. It is necessary to reduce importance at the stage of creating ideas, and to include it at the stage of selecting solutions;
- Professional burnout. Over time, work imposes a strong imprint on the perception of reality. To avoid this, it is useful to look at your problem through the eyes of other people, to switch. Then new ideas can appear.
The generation of ideas in the head requires constant fuel, just as the engine in a car requires fuel. The fuel in this case is new emotions and sensations, new images and knowledge, new information and people, etc.
To keep you mind full of ideas, it’s important to fill yourself with quality information and good food. A good way is a Creative Date. I got this idea from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”:
Once a week, be sure to go somewhere you haven’t been before. Try to have new experiences that you haven’t had before. Don’t limit yourself to familiar places, cafes, restaurants, stores. Try new foods, change your closet, make small changes at home and work from time to time, go new routes. It’s important to get new information into your brain so that it’s always engaged in the process.
Personally, I always love to create something new. My creative mind allows me to see more, think more broadly, not be attached to dogmas and rules, and be bold in my ideas.
To unleash your creative potential, your life must be as diverse as possible, so that cross-pollination of different spheres takes place within you and your ideas are as original as possible. After all, originality often comes from connecting unconnected things.
Our brain is a big baby, it loves to be entertained. Color, sound, aesthetically pleasing things can be used as such entertainment. I strongly recommend buying yourself a pack of felt-tip pens or colored pens, multi-colored paper, and using only them. Color is very stimulating.
Creating a certain “creative anchor” will be helpful. It can be certain clothes that will set you in the right way, it can be talismans, a special creative pen, a special creative space. Sometimes it helps to remember a state of inspiration and start creating.
The easiest thing you can do today is make a habit of generating ideas. I have my own idea notebook. In it I write down ideas in different directions. Ideas are like lightning, you just had one and it’s gone.
If you don’t capture it right away, you lose it forever. So get in the habit of fixing everything that comes into your head. Over time, your brain gets into the excitement, it likes that you don’t discard its ideas, but memorize them, and it starts giving out more and more of them.
A good way to break down inner barriers is the technique of freerating. The essence of the method is to write out your inner monologue on paper. Metaphorically speaking, our subconscious mind is a lake, ideas are fish in it, and our inner monologue is the bog and slush on the surface of the lake. Unless we disperse the slime and bog, we cannot get to the ideas.
Writing out your thoughts is useful in order to understand what filters are in our heads and what prevents us from creating. So when you write, don’t edit, don’t evaluate what you’re writing. Just write!
There are many different variations of freerating. One of them is the Morning Pages. This is also a technique I borrowed from the book “The Artist’s Way. The idea is to write three pages of thoughts that are in your head every morning after you wake up. And it doesn’t matter which ones. Pages don’t have to be reread, they don’t have to be evaluated, they just have to be written. There is an option to write them in 750words.com. Some people like to type them. But I am a stickler for writing by hand.
A good method for framing our thoughts as well as for generating ideas is mind maps. Much has already been written about them, but they do not cease to be a less useful and convenient tool.
For many people, the beginning of creative work causes a stupor, and a white sheet terrifies them. If I don’t have any ideas, I use a method I call rambling. It is somewhat similar to freelancing. It consists of purposely writing down all of the craziest ideas I can think of. It helps in several ways:
- in first, to just start doing something;
- in second, the silly ideas take away the over-importance;
- in third, the brain is unloaded over time and begins to produce good ideas.
Another way to relieve your brain is to record ideas on a timer. A handy program for this is Punishpad. The good thing about it is that you can set a time interval after which the program will start deleting your words from the end. That is, you won’t have time to sit and think for a long time about what’s best to write now. You just write. And when there’s no time to edit, more good ideas emerge.
Try, experiment, start to create! And your life will be filled with new colors.