Creativity is described as “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.” – Oxford dictionary.
Creativity can be broadly defined as “the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile.” Creativity is all about finding new ways of solving problems and approaching situations. This isn’t a skill restricted to artists, musicians or writers; it is a useful skill for people from all walks of life.
Creative people have developed ability to use and observe all their resources, senses, and knowledge to help them succeed. So, take the time to “sharpen your blade,” because there is a long road ahead. To be creative you must fully devote and commit yourself to developing your creative abilities.
Steps to increase your creativity:
1. Believe in your ability: Start learning to use your own resources. Look around for what you do have and how you can make the best use of those resources. This will be a little tough in the beginning, but with time, you will adjust. This doesn’t mean you will be alone and that you may not need help. This just means you can build a learning capacity i.e learning from others. It means making proper interactions and creating your own resources.
2. Dream, think, and create: You should believe you have an amazing mind full of thoughts and ideas. You need to express them. Tell them to others and see what they say. Some of your ideas may seem funny to you, or inappropriate, but that doesn’t matter. It’s been said a man is as big as his/her dreams. So, don’t stop dreaming and when it is time to give shape to your dreams, express your best approach. You won’t be able to develop your creative talents if you don’t make time for them. Schedule some time each week to concentrate on some type of creative project.
3. Build your Confidence while you take Risk: Insecurity in your abilities can suppress creativity, which is why it is important to build confidence. Make note of the progress you have made, commend your efforts, and always be on the lookout for ways to reward your creativity. When it comes to building your creative skills, you need to be willing to take risks in order to advance your abilities. While your efforts may not lead to success every time, you will still be boosting your creative talents and building skills that will serve you well in the future
4. Fear of Failure: You must be determined to fight the fear of failing. The fear that you might make a huge mistake or fail in your efforts to do something new, can paralyze your creativity. You need to remember mistakes will always be there, they are simply part of the creativity process. Many great minds struggle with fear of failure, but they never gave up and they kept trying until they succeeded. However, to overcome your fear of failure; analyse every potential outcome, make a contingency plan and think about the worst possible scenario. This will help you to regain confidence and start over with full confidence.
5. Get acquainted with excellence: Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” That means, good people learn from better people, and better people learn from the best. You can’t develop your creativity when you’re surrounded by those who keep on discouraging and distracting you. So have some real talented people around you and learn from them. This is not only about surrounding yourself with talented people, it’s about knowledge. Don’t limit yourself. Always study and experience a variety of new things. This can propel your creativity forward.
6. Do other Non-related Things: Include in your daily schedule, hour or more for your hobbies. We need to change things and allow different adventures to boost our creativity. You don’t need to climb the highest mountain, but you can do some simple things like going to visit a nearby city, talk to a stranger, visit a museum, listen to your favourite music, read a book from genre that you never read or engage in a lively debate with a friend. . Maybe these things aren’t going to benefit you financially, but it will definitely help wake up your creativity. Utilize whatever strategy or technique works best for you.
7. Expand your comfort zone: People are often stuck in their comfort zone and afraid to try new things in life. That can be a huge problem because when we have the same routine all day and our creativity will just die. Never expect creativity to just happen. Look for new sources of inspiration that will give you fresh ideas and motivate you to generate unique answers to questions. A mind map is a great way to connect ideas and look for innovative answers to questions. Create a mind map by writing down a central topic or word. Next, link related terms or ideas around the central word. While similar to brainstorming, this technique allows for branching ideas and offers a very visual way of seeing how these ideas are linked.
8. Become an expert: One of the best ways to develop creativity is to become an expert in that area. By having a rich understanding of the topic, you will be better able to think of innovative solutions to problems. Once you have developed some basic creative skills, it is important to continually challenge yourself in order to further advance your abilities. Look for more difficult approaches, try out new things and avoid always using the same solutions you have used in the past.
9. Develop creative routines and habits: Successful creatives know that developing routines can strengthen their creative skills. They use these habits to gain fresh perspectives, expand their knowledge, and generate insights. Essentially, these relevant habits expand your potential “scope of ideas” from the illustration of the creative process above. Relevant activities can differ depending on the type of creativity you seek to develop.
10. Keep stress away: Don’t let yourself to be down about your failures or stressed out about your curiosity. One common roadblock to developing creativity is the sense that curiosity is an indulgence. Rather than reprimanding yourself, reward yourself when you are curious about something. Give yourself the opportunity to explore new things. Take a long drive by yourself, hang out with your friends and family or just go to the movies! All these things will help you get back on track. When we are feeling down, our creativity is stuck inside us and it’s hard to think of any new idea in that state of mind. That is why it is important to fight it and just enjoy life.
By Atinuke Adeboye