How To Be More Creative Every Day

7 Practical and Proven Ways to Lead a More Creative Life

4 November 2017

Creative Thread image via Unsplash

Hands Up If You Want To Be More Creative?
Come on, raise a hand. Good stuff!

When was the last time you experienced your true creative self?
T-h-a-t long?

Well there is no time to lose.

In this blog I share my favourite, choicest pearls from countless podcasts, webinars, talks, blogs, books, articles and conversations which I listened, read and absorbed on my own journey down the creative rabbit hole.

This post is my best collection (so far) of inspiring mindsets and real-world practices from individuals who choose to lead a more creative life. Some are from famous folks, but most are not.

Read on. You might find the thread leading back to your creativity. Ready to find your creative mojo? Let’s go.

First, forget any romantic ideas about the road less travelled.

Why? Because the path to leading a more creative life is pock-marked with potholes and detours. Twists and tough breaks lay in wait to prey on your mind and motivation at each turn.

Ignore the gurus and experts peddling quick fixes and instant creative karma. There is no downloadable hack or app or shortcut through the tall grass to become more creative. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

But you can do it. And you can start here.

7 Practical and Proven Mindsets to Find Your Creative You.

1. STOP HOPING AND WISHING: Don’t lament, “I wish I were more creative”, or mourn “if only I had more time to be creative.”

Don’t compare, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”; and despair, “Why am I not more creative like Brandon or Lily?”

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Do you realise that wishful thinking and lamenting, comparing and despairing are the ghouls haunting you into giving up before you even start? They guard the crypt hidden in your mind where your creativity lies buried.

2. SHIFT YOUR MIND: Begin to rewire your thinking by declaring, “I am going to be more creative so I will need to … [fill in the blank with action steps].

Write down what you will need to do. Share your statement of intent with someone who will support you on your quest and hold you to account.

With this declaration you begin the clear the debris and claw away detritus blocking your creative self from reaching the light.

You see it is all in the mindset, attitude and your intent. But that is only the first step. You must act.

3. TIME TRAVEL: Turn back the clock. Think back to the six year old you, happily creating messy art with paints with carefree abandon.

Remember that creative you building wild imaginings out of mud and sand, conjuring up characters from the clouds without a blueprint and rules.

Free from self-consciousness and social judgement, you figured out how to make new things with old card, an empty toilet roll, raw pasta and double-sided sticky tape.

I am sure you occasionally experienced tearful frustration when your ‘masterpiece’ did not work or parts fell off or flopped. But back then, failure wasn’t a bogey-monster with terrifying powers to cause shame and fear to try again.

Go back to that creative YOU, liberated from the pressure of achieving goals and smashing targets; so you can once again experience the simple joy of creating and making.

4. DON’T COMMIT IDEACIDE: It is a crime against your creative well-being. When I read about ‘ideacide’ in a 99u article the penny dropped and I had to confess – “Fair cop guv’nor, guilty as charged”.

“But when we reject, deny, stifle, squelch, strike, silence and otherwise put ideas of our own to death, sometimes even before they’re born, it is the highest crime against creativity. It’s an act of pure tragic mindlessness. I often think of this self-censoring as “ideacide,” because it entails the voluntary shutdown of the imagination, the long-effects of which eventually kill off our natural curiosity and creativity.

Most times, ideacide happens without us even realizing it. A possible off-the-wall idea or solution appears like a blip and disappears without us even realizing. As a result, some of our best stuff is suppressed before even getting out into the world.

Whether it’s because we’re too critical or because we recoil at the impending pain of change, the disruption of normalcy, self-censoring arises out of fear.”

The Perils of Self-Censoring (And How You Can Stop It). Read more about how to identify this deadly peril and stop it before you snuff out your creative lights.

5. DON’T WAIT TO CREATE. Waiting for some external divine inspiration or destiny to strike is a common mistake.

Why are you wasting your time calling upon ‘the Muse’? She is a fickle mythical spirit who doesn’t favour the wishful thinker or the idle.

Hobnobbing with creative types in the hopes that their artistic swagger will rub off on you, will not cut the mustard.

Praying for the perfect time, a healthier state of your finances are excuses and empty pipe dreams.

Activate your creativity. Every day do something for the hell of it and see where it leads. Click To Tweet

Your creativity is already inside you, waiting to be activated. Our capacity to create is already hardwired into our mind and body.

• Curiosity
• Imagination
• Intuition
• Empathy
• Our ability to see patterns, solve puzzles and make connections.

You see creativity is like a muscle. If don’t use, stretch and practise it; creativity will weaken, then finally fall into hibernation.

Stay awake my friends! Being more creative is a skill developed through daily effort and intention.

Every day do something for the hell of it and see where it leads.

Mess up and make mistakes. If you are not making a mess or causing a stir somewhere, it is unlikely that you are being creative.

Experiment and explore different styles, media, thinking, pathways, environment and cultures.

Make it a daily practise to question what you know. Unlearn-learn and grow to be more creative.

The time to create is now – every day! What are you waiting for? Click To Tweet

6. IGNORE CONVENTIONAL THINKING: You will more than likely have to disregard commonly held wisdom, established rules and pay little or no attention to what you’re ‘supposed to do’.

This is easier said than done. It is hard to block out unimportant yet ‘generous’ feedback from people whose opinion honestly doesn’t count. Seeking their approval and validation is your creativity’s kryptonite.

Harder still, is filtering out self-limiting beliefs.

“A belief is an assumed truth, and our self-limiting beliefs serve to protect us from being judged by others” Steve McKeown, psychoanalyst and cognitive hypnotherapist writing in Psychologies UK magazine November 2017 issue.

Ironically, that ‘protection’ is likely the very thing holding you back from leading a more creative life. Here are a few examples of self-limiting beliefs.

• Fear of failure.
• A horror of ridicule.
• Worries of not being good enough or of offending others.
• Anxiety about the changes or opportunities or success a more creative life can bring.

Ultimately, buying into these beliefs will limit your opportunities to lead a more creative life.

Tackling the ‘expert’ opinion of those who claim to be in the know and silencing your inner critic solo is a tough battle. Have courage and draft in some back up.

You may need help of a mentor, coach or therapist to help you confound conformity, go against conventional wisdom and open the doors to leading the creative life you desire.

Here’s the best bit. You do not need anyone’s permission be (more) creative. The only person’s permission you need is yours. Respectfully, tap into the sweet power of, “La-la-la, I can’t hear you.”

Photo by Nicole of The HR Rabbit Hole blog

 

7. BEWARE A LIFE OF REGRETS: Cultivate a healthy dread of turning into one of the regretful ones.

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” Mary Oliver in her book, Upstream.

You have met them before and you are probably familiar with a few. They are the ones who become misty-eyed at the thought of opportunities missed. They are plagued by “would haves” and talk about “could haves”. Tormented by the knowledge that they let their creative power slip through their fingers, they become a menace and an annoyance to themselves and others too.

The hard truth is that there is no downloadable app, hack or shortcut through the tall grass to become more creative.

Here is some good news. It doesn’t matter if you’re 10, 20, 30, 40 or 80-years-old; it is never too late to start.

The journey back to your creative you, begins in your mind. Click To Tweet

Leading a more creative life is in reality living a life of your own design and on your own terms.

The last word (for now). The only thing you can do if you want to be creative is to actually set your mind to create; and do it.

• What action do you take to be more creative?
• What is your daily creative practise?
• What is your source of creative mojo boost?

I would love to read them and try them out too.

Until we meet again down The HR Rabbit Hole…

 

 

 

 

 

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