How to Cultivate a Creative Mindset
Happy Saturday! Today I want to touch on creativity and why I believe it is a mindset and NOT a talent.
The truth is everyone is creative. Every.single.one.of.us. People often confuse creativity as fitting into a very narrow box or definition, but honestly there are so many ways to be creative. It doesn't have to be art or music related.
Do you ever get new ideas? You're creative.
Do you solve problems in your life? You're creative.
Do you take pictures or get inspired by something beautiful? Guess what?! That's your creative muscle flexing.
Did you create some fan fiction theory about your favorite TV or movie series that you just HAVE to talk about with all of your friends? You're creative! (While I didn't create this one, I don't care what ANYONE says--Jar Jar Binks was 100% a sith lord. PERIODT.)
You see, I think people get really narrow in their definition of creativity, attributing it to the more obvious places that creativity shines. They also don't think they're creative when they don't get the results they wanted. But the truth is, that's not about creativity. That's about practice and experience.
What I'm trying to get at it is creativity is a mindset that you have to cultivate like anything else. We hear it all the time when it comes to gratitude.
Create a gratitude journal. Write down three things you are thankful for. Etc.
Creativity is the same way. You have to show and practice. Otherwise, that muscle doesn't get the work out it deserves.
So how do you cultivate creativity? I'll be honest--it's not always easy, but here are some tips to get you started:
1) Meditate-- If you don't have a meditation practice or have been adverse to it, I will tell you that certain meditation practices have been scientifically proven to help make us more creative. Anecdotally, I can say that it helps reduce my anxiety, which helps me to be freer and more open to new ideas and creating new things.
2) Take pictures or capture images that inspire you--This is something I personally do ALL of the time. Whenever I feel even a slight twinge of inspiration or joy from something I'm looking at, I'll take a picture of it. I don't have to rationalize it. I may not even look at it again. As an artist though, I love referring back to it later if I need some inspiration for what I'm painting. These moments are little clues to what sparks your creativity.
3) Start a sketchbook or journal--Ironically, writing helps me to get the creative gears. I think it's because it helps me to better ease my brain from left brain to right brain thinking. Regardless, it's such great practice. If you choose a sketchbook, I encourage you to keep up after it if it fulfills you. It doesn't matter if your drawings start out bad. You'll get better over time. Just keep going. And if you choose to journal, add some poetry or fictional element to it. I find that to be fun to loosen up.
4) Visualize what life would look like if you had the opportunity to start completely over. Get crazy with it. Would you pick all of the same things again? What would you do differently? Allowing yourself to think in this way helps you to see where you are thinking small and limiting yourself.
5) Do something fun. Sometimes when I have a creative block, I'm resisting what I would consider fun in the moment. Maybe it's because it's something I "shouldn't" do or I'm too busy rationalizing the logistics. "Start ANOTHER painting, Nicole?! You have 4 you still need to finish." When I let go and just follow the fun instead, magical things start to happen. It's like my world opens up again and all things are possible. Allow yourself to play a little. This is another clue into what sparks your creativity.
6) Try something new. Maybe it's creating something you wouldn't normally create (like baking instead of painting or painting animals instead of flowers). Maybe it's a whole new experience (sky diving, anyone?!??!). Trying something we've never experience before gives our creativity muscle "more data" to feed off of. Once we've processed the experience, we relate it back to what we are used to and we grow from it. It's new inspiration to draw from.
Like I said, these are just some suggestions to get start on flexing that creative muscle. You can show up every day no matter how big or small and do something that enhances your creativity. You got this!