Creativity is a big buzz word these days, particularly in the business world. I’ve come across a lot of articles that talk about the benefits of cultivating creativity in your personal and professional life. And for the most part, I tend to agree with them.
But what these articles tend to miss is that creativity is a collective process. They tend to perpetuate the myth that creativity is a mysterious, solo act. And this simply isn’t true.
Creativity has as much to do with how you respond to yourself as it does with how you respond to your environment. It requires that you say “yes” to yourself more. “Yes” to daydreaming a new solution to a vexing problem. “Yes” to the fact your “out-of-the-box” idea might actually be the right idea.
But creativity also requires that we say “yes” to others more, especially when it pertains to our passions and life purpose. It requires that we say “yes” more to inviting the input, feedback and support of those we trust most.
All too often, we safeguard against failure and risk as we contemplate acting on our “crazy” dream or goal. This limits our capacity for creativity and innovation and keeps us further from our dreams.
This is where creative thinking is essential. It connects us to a greater sense of possibility. It also connects us to our authentic self. When we tap into our creative self, we quickly realize that the “only one right way” myth really isn’t true. What is true is that there are always limitless options. Yet, we’re conditioned to ignore this limitlessness.
Here are several ways that you can boost your creative energy in your life.
- 1. Support All Answers: There is a basic tenet behind becoming a more creative thinker: say yes before you say no. Many people think the first step is engaging their logical mind to determine if an idea is good or not. However, bad ideas are often the fodder for really great ideas. When we get all ideas out on the table, the options – and especially the good options – multiply exponentially.
- 2. Encourage Involvement: Regardless of where you’re at with an idea, this point always applies. When you encourage involvement, you’re open to each and every person who is willing to put in their two cents. Why do you want to do this? Because this helps your idea become as powerful and innovative as possible. This doesn’t mean you take every opinion at equal value. It means you engage as many people as possible so that you can learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your idea while it’s in development.
- 3. Think Outside the Box: When you do these first two things, you set the stage for the third. The primary ingredient for creativity is a willingness to look where no one has looked before. This is why it’s so important to listen to all ideas. Wacky ideas exist outside of the box and they help us find the good ideas that are also out there. If you feel stuck, you might benefit from seeing what ideas or people you have not been willing to enlist to get you to think more creatively.
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