Fundamentally, we are all creative. The question is, “How do we use our creative abilities to our best advantage?” The best way to tap into our creativity is through flexibility of thinking and practice, practice, practice. Tapping into creativity means letting go of any preconceived ideas and developing ways to unleash our thinking. The following three steps will help you do this:
- Recognize that creativity is abundant, if you are aware.Make a conscious effort to be aware of what you do and all that is around you. Typically, we drive to work the same way day after day, often ignoring what we see because it is so routine. Our surroundings can be a source of inspiration, revelation, and insight for our thinking processes.
Develop the habit of watching. Start paying attention and noticing people, objects, and nature around you. It was fascinating to watch the people at the Watershed Festival this weekend. Some of them had on the wildest outfits, some of their behavior was inspiration for an article, and yet others gave me ideas on how I can perform better.
Take time to really look at nature. When you pass a tree, notice what kind of tree it is. Are the leaves green? Or are they turning brown, gold, or even red. Look at the shadows and take note of their flickering movement. I had never sat on a hillside for three days before. The outdoor amphitheater was majestic with the river and the mountains in the background. Watching the sun go down and the moon come up inspired me to paint more.
Develop your curiosity. Remember, curiosity is an important component of awareness and thinking creatively. Einstein once said, “I know quite certainly that I have no special gift except that I have curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance which, combined with self-critique, have brought me ideas.”
- Affirm to yourself that you are creative in order to overcome the fears that inhibit creativity.Creative people believe they are creative. People who think they are not creative actually talk themselves into not being creative. They say, “I’m just not creative.” Or “I have no creative talent.” These statements in themselves are inhibitors. What you believe to be true usually becomes true. Your mind creates what you program it to create. Therefore, you must remember that some of the most important words you ever say are the words you say to yourself. Affirmations help you program your thinking.
An affirmation is a personal and positive statement said in the present tense: “I am creative.” Or “I am coming up with new ideas.” An affirmation enables you to internalize something through constant repetition. It causes your subconscious mind to act accordingly. It is important to affirm that you are creative in order to influence your own thinking and change your beliefs. You may never be a country western singer or even play a guitar, but the ideas you contribute to the world are necessary and important.
- Purposefully and systematically develop your creative abilities.Learn and practice thinking skills and problem-solving processes. Enormous amounts of knowledge can be gained through observation and a questioning attitude. Think back to a time when you were a child. Which words did you use most often? I bet one of them was “Why?” Another was possibly, “Look.” An inquisitive approach to everything you do stretches your mind. A questioning attitude will help you develop your ability to conceptualize.
My friend, Robert Forsythe, showed me a filthy, dirty piece of land outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, some years ago. Trash was strewn everywhere. He said, “I’m going to build a beautiful resort here.” I just couldn’t imagine it. Yet, years later, Robert’s Misty Hills resort is the pride of Southern Africa.
I’ve watched Robert visit other hotels, resorts, and restaurants to observe what they do. He always asks lots of questions and comes away with new ideas and concepts. Take a look at what he’s done. Oh, and if you decide to go there for a visit, tell Robert you are a friend of mine.
Yes, you are creative too. Start affirming it now. Cultivate and develop your talents. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish!
Judi Moreo is an author, speaker, and life coach. She has written 11 books including “You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power.” Judi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org