4 Ways to Unlock Your Inner Creativity
With some practice and nurturing, you can train yourself to become a more creative person.
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Creativity isn't only important for "creative" jobs. In a study by IBM, about 60 percent of CEOs polled cited creativity as the most important leadership quality, compared with 52 percent for integrity and 35 percent for global thinking. Why? Because creativity enables people to solve problems, respond to challenges and come up with innovative ideas.
If you want to boost your creativity, there's good news. Creativity isn't something you're just born with; with some practice and nurturing, you can train yourself to become a more creative person.
Learn to think outside of the box and unlock your inner creativity.
Try new things
Oftentimes, you lack a sense of creativity because you're stuck in a rut of doing the same things over and over again. If you want to boost your creativity, it's important to mix things up. Trying something new keeps you from being bored and it forces you to grow. So, expand your horizons; read a non-fiction book about the intelligence of birds or take an online course on organic farming. The further you go outside of your comfort zone, the more you'll learn. While the topics you learn about may seemingly have nothing to do with your career, the insights you gain from them can rub off in other areas.
Related: 5 Ways to Inspire Creativity in Your Employees
This is exactly what Dr. Robert Epstein, one of the world's leading experts on creativity, demonstrates with his creativity game called "The Experts." This game teaches the value of broadening your knowledge. In the game, a few people in a group who are experts on something very obscure are asked to give five-minute lectures about their unique knowledge. Then, the other members of the group are asked to come up with new product ideas based on the new, obscure knowledge they just learned. Learning about a wide variety of topics, trying new activities or even simply switching up your schedule or workspace will get your creative juices flowing.
Spend more time daydreaming
Have you ever heard the phrase, "Get your head out of the clouds?" Many people are discouraged from daydreaming because it's seen as an activity that makes you less productive and less focused. But, daydreaming is important if you want to unlock your inner creativity. When you're free to daydream, you can come up with all sorts of new ideas. In fact, according to a mind-wandering study in the Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, when people had a task and were given a break to daydream, their responses were more creative.
Related: 9 Ways to Rewire Your Brain for Creativity
So, spend more time daydreaming. When you're bored and find yourself reaching for your phone for entertainment, stop yourself and let your mind wander without distractions instead. When you focus on daydreaming, you can discover a whole new world of creative ideas and solutions.
Write down your ideas
To bring out your creative side, you need to bring the thoughts from inside of your mind, out onto paper. Start writing down all of your ideas onto paper, no matter how silly or impossible they may seem. While you might have hundreds of bad ideas on the page, there's probably a few good ones in there too.
Plus, just the exercise of writing down your ideas will help you boost your creative thinking skills. The process of writing down your ideas trains your brain to keep coming up with new ideas. Todd Henry agrees that writing boosts creativity. In his contribution to the book, Manage Your Day-to-Day, he said, "When you give yourself frequent permission to explore the "adjacent possible' with no restrictions on where it leads, you increase the likelihood of a creative breakthrough in all areas of your life and work." So, what are you waiting for? Get out that notepad and start training your brain to be more creative.
Surround yourself with creative people
It's been said that creativity is contagious. In fact, according to ScienceDaily, "leaders can imbue their subordinates with confidence and creativity just by setting an example themselves." So, if you want to unlock your inner creativity, you need to surround yourself with creative people. By hanging out with creative people on a regular basis, their thoughts and behaviors can rub off on you, which can inspire you and boost your own creativity.
Related: Science Shows How Creativity Can Reduce Stress
While you likely have a number of creative coworkers that can inspire you, it's not always easy to find time to collaborate with them during office hours or meet after work. So, be on the lookout for creative communities you can participate in during your free time. You can use a website like Meetup.com to easily find creative groups in your area. You can find groups for creative writing, photography, arts and crafts, tech and much more.
You're in control of your creativity
With these tips and a little practice, your creativity can begin to flourish. And when you finally unlock your inner creativity, you can uncover skills and talents you didn't even know you possessed.