We tend to associate creativity with painting, crafting, or music, but it goes far beyond that. I know that I never thought of myself as creative until my husband pointed out how I can create meals out of anything we have on hand. Still, you don’t need to make something to express yourself creatively; creative expression is all about how you share your unique identity with the world.
With my coaching clients, we spend an entire session on creative expression because it’s so important to living an Extraordinary Life. It’s about sensing and exhibiting the true you. It’s about voicing your ideas and leaving your authentic mark on the world. Being the REAL YOU is at the core of your Extraordinary Life.
Comparison can get in the way of your creativity, but so can consuming the creativity of others. With so many movies, tv shows, Tik Toks, Instagram reels, social media, etc., we’re surrounded by things other people have created. Instead of creating ourselves, we’re being stifled by over-consumption. The same is true for why you won’t flourish in a work environment that doesn’t give you room for your own ideas, or in relationships that don’t allow you to be yourself.
Everyone has creativity inside them, and it can be used for things other than making art. You can be creative at solving problems, coming up with new ideas, or moving forward in part of your life. It just might take some practice to connect to your creative side.
To help you extract your own creativity when you’re feeling stuck or need inspiration, try one of these strategies.
1. Change your perspective. If you are feeling stuck, it’s probably time to look at things from a different point of view. To do this, try and consider all the factors, break things down into smaller elements, and/or shuffle things around. Seeing things from a different perspective enhances creativity because it helps to remove fixations that may be holding you back.
Another strategy here is to be wary of anything you consider a fact. In The Extraordinary Life Podcast Episode 50, you’ll see that we often think something is a fact when it’s really an opinion or belief.
2. Mentally (or physically) move. Akin to changing your perspective, can you imagine how someone else would react in the situation you are in? While the first tip fits the saying “think outside the box”, this tip asks you to put on someone else’s shoes. If moving your mind elsewhere isn’t working, try taking it somewhere by changing your location. Go to a different room or even better, go for a walk. Charles Darwin, Tchaikovsky, and Einstein all walked to boost their creativity.
3. Exercise your imagination. We censor ourselves a lot. Challenge your creativity by letting your imagination run wild! Imagine exaggerations and extremes; magnify or minimize parts of the situation. When you think about all the possibilities, the pieces may come together in a new way, so don’t rule anything out.
4. Get comfortable. Some people’s creativity is inspired by newness, but others need everything to be “just so” to be focused. When you aren’t distracted, you can give things your full attention. If you don’t have a separate place to get creative in, try diffusing an inspiring scent or playing the same type of music when you need to get to work. Soon, your mind will associate that smell or sound with “creative time”.
Finding your comfortable spot also extends to the people you surround yourself with. You tend to do better at something when you’re with like-minded people. If you want to push your creative expression, try hanging out with other creative people.
5. Give yourself time. You can’t rush creativity. Studies show that when you try to hurry through and force things, the results are lacking. When you don’t have time, though, try some of the other ideas on this list to get your creativity flowing.
6. Brainstorm. Do you remember those mind maps from when you were in school? They still work! The spontaneous generation of new ideas helps to formulate more ideas; just remember these four rules: 1) No criticism 2) Combining and modifying is encouraged 3) Quantity over quality 4) Weird or strange ideas are allowed.
7. Get help. It’s important to have people around you that you can trust and who want the greater good for you. It’s like having a team on your side! This is where the magic of a group mastermind or coaching program can be so valuable. Just trying to communicate your ideas to others can create clarity, as can many different views; both can help inspire your own creativity, too!
Not all of these ideas may suit your personal style, but in the name of creativity, I want you to try them all. Be open, remove your mental boundaries, and try something new. And with practice, you’ll find your creativity and problem solving will get better.
If you think being part of group coaching/mastermind experience with other women creating their Extraordinary Lives, I have introductory workshops coming up in October. Register here, or contact me with your questions.
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