From the time you wake up until you close your eyes at the end of the day, life demands that you use your brain to solve problems and take care of your responsibilities. If you want to develop your creativity, you need to make time to suspend your analytical brain and allow your creative brain to step into the spotlight.
The good news is that you can absolutely do it. Here are the top ten ways to toss your mind outside the box and develop your creativity.
1 – Get in Touch with Your Inner Child
Remember when you were a kid, how your mind used to run wild with new thoughts and ideas. Everything in the world was new to you. Unencumbered by knowledge, education, expectations, and responsibilities, you were free! Your imagination was like a vivid playground bursting with ideas, images, and dreams. Take the time to forget everything you’ve been taught since then and let your mind run away again. That child is still there inside of you, just waiting for you to say hello, so open a dialogue, and you may just be surprised by what you uncover.
2 – Start a Creativity Journal
Creativity is not something you can force. The harder you try to be creative, the more it seems like your mind comes up blank. That’s because creativity isn’t something you do; it’s something that happens to you. Sometimes out of the blue, or it could be when you first wake up in the morning. Whenever and wherever you happen to be when a spark of creativity comes to you, write it down in a journal. You may just be pleasantly surprised by how many original, creative ideas you actually have over the course of a week or a month.
3 – Brainstorm New Ideas
Brainstorming is one of the best ways to get your creative juices flowing. You can’t force creativity, but you can certainly help it along by allowing yourself to open up to new ways of thinking about things. Think outside the box, and don’t let your adult brain get in the way with any criticism. If a thought comes up saying, “That’s not possible,” or “That could never work,” then take that not as a negative, but as a positive sign that you’re on the right track; that’s the idea you want to run with.
4 – Create a Vision Board
Your thoughts, ideas, dreams, all of these things come with a visual in your mind’s eye. Allow yourself to see those images clearly. Take a minute to really look at the pictures you’re seeing, pay attention to the small details. If you want to focus on a certain project, then look online for images that you like relating to that project and put all of those images in one place so that you can look at them all together, but leave a blank space for your own image. Now let your mind go back to that image and add the missing piece to the board.
5 – Seek Out Inspiration
Sometimes creativity appears as if out of nowhere, but other times you need to look around for it. Look at the people who are producing the kinds of things that you aspire to yourself. Listen to them. What is their creative process? What sorts of things have helped them achieve what they have? By making a list of role models to emulate, you’ll be able to draw on their successes, learn from their mistakes, and hopefully claim your place among their ranks with your own unique, creative contributions.
6 – Meditate!
Since time immemorial, people seeking to be more creative have been given the same piece of advice; meditate! But what does that even mean? In simple terms, meditation just means quieting your mind. When you try to come up with new creative ideas, you can fall into the trap of accidentally putting your mind in overdrive. Remember, your conscious mind is far less creative than your subconscious mind, and it’s only when your conscious mind is quiet that you can hear your unconscious calling out to you with a thousand and one creative new idea.
This simple meditation exercise will help you tap into your creative reservoir:
Find a comfortable place to relax and sit down. Make sure that you won’t be disturbed for a least a few minutes. Then, close your eyes, and allow your mind to go blank. Focus on your breath. Breathe in for 6 seconds, hold your breath for 6 seconds, and then breathe out for 6 seconds. Allow any thoughts that arise to simply pass you by, always keeping your attention on the sensations of your breath flowing throughout your being. If you catch yourself thinking about something that’s okay, just let it go and return to your breath. After about 10-15 minutes, feel free to go about your day and just pay attention to see if you notice any changes in the way you think and feel. Chances are that you will feel happier and much more creative in general.
With regular practice, you will be able to stay in the zone for much longer and will reap the rewards for allowing your mind to slow down, be calm and relax. Love yourself. You deserve this.
7 – Allow Your Mind Wander
By meditating, you can quiet your mind and access your subconscious, but once your mind is still, what can you actually do to access the wealth of creativity that’s hiding just beneath the surface? Let your mind wander. Don’t claim any thoughts as your own, don’t place any judgments on the thoughts that come up; just notice them and let them pass you by, a quiet observer in the stream of life. After some time, write down what you saw; chances are you’ll be surprised by how many new thoughts and ideas went floating by.
8 – Set an Intention
Your mind is a computer, and it can only do what you tell it to. Now, sometimes you might not be aware of the commands that you’ve given to it, but nonetheless, you have. By taking control of your intentions, you can reclaim your power as the owner of the machine. Tell your mind what you want it to do, and then forget about it. Don’t try to force it or worry about how it will happen; just trust that your brain has the tools it needs to execute your command. Set an intention to come up with more creative ideas, and sooner rather than later, you will.
9 – Trust Your Intuition
It often happens that you have a great idea, an idea that you think is really neat and original, but then that pesky voice comes up saying, “that’s stupid” or “nobody will like that,” and so you dismiss your idea as being worthless when the exact opposite is true. Your feelings speak the truth, but your mind can only rearrange information. Trust your intuition, let your feelings guide you, and when an idea feels right, allow yourself to run with it.
10 – Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
Every new innovation, thought, idea, concept, and design was at one time in the making. Somebody was wrestling with whether or not people would like it, how it would be perceived, how they would look to their peers, colleagues, and society at large. There was a risk of failure, a risk of looking silly, a risk of ridicule, but they went ahead anyway and dared to share their vision, and the world changed for the better because of it; This is the way that the world improves; it’s the only way it can improve. Don’t be afraid to take risks, be brave! Chances are that if you like your idea, then many other people will as well. Who was the second person to invent the light bulb? Fortune favors the bold.
Always remember that regardless of who you are or what’s going on in your life at this very moment, you already have a million great original ideas that are just waiting to be discovered within you. So, get in touch with your inner child, brainstorm, create a vision board, seek inspiration from others, meditate, let your mind wander, set an intention to be more creative, trust your intuition and dare to take risks.
In all of the millions of years before you were born and in all of the countless centuries yet to come, there has never been another person just like you, and there never will be again.
You are a totally unique, magnificent person; and the world will forever be a better place for knowing you.