Are you someone who requires creativity to do your daily job? Do you sometimes wake up and feel like today is not going to be a very creative day, no matter how hard you try? Do you fear that you might actually run out of great ideas?
Fear not creatives! If you are someone who craves, requires or generally needs creativity in their life, there are a few key considerations to ensure that your creative spigot remains fully flowing.
Oftentimes, creative people can also be perfectionists. Nothing ever seems good enough. It may be great in the eyes of the rest of the world, but in the eyes of the person doing the creating, it doesn’t quite measure up.
The key to creating something special is to replace the negative self-talk with a little positive reinforcement. Your first attempt at creating something may not be perfect. Look at it as a rough draft, something to build on. Rather than honing in on what’s not right, focus on what is right. Take the aspects you like and build on those.
In a recent infographic from Hubspot, they call this process “nurturing a productive relationship with your inner critic.” The key is reducing self-doubt which can sabotage energy and positive progress. It’s all about teaching your inner critic to provide constructive feedback at the right time.
From time to time, your mind needs the same reboot that your computer or cell phone requires. When you allow your mind to rest, you begin to open the doors to creativity. Creativity does not turn on like a lightswitch, so don’t expect it to. You need to put yourself in a state of creativity, and that all starts with calming the mind and allowing it the space it needs to do what it does best.
Something I have found that works well is to focus on something that makes you truly happy. In my case, that is usually something music related. If I listen to music I enjoy, it puts me in a more tranquil state of mind. I notice the notes, the melodies, the harmonies. I start to think about how the songwriter wrote the song, and just like that, my mind is in “create” mode. Sometimes it takes a while, other times, just minutes. Give your brain the space it needs and it will surprise you with how creative you can actually be.
Take a walk
When I’m in between creative projects, a simple walk around the block does wonders for me. Not only does it get the blood flowing and keeps me from getting stiff sitting in the same spot for too long, but the simple act of moving kickstarts my brain and gets me to think. Thinking helps start the creative process.
Brainstorm with others
Creativity doesn’t have to be a solitary act. When you’re stuck in a rut, send an email or pick up the phone and connect with someone known for their creativity. The greatest thing about people is the diversity they bring to the table. Something you may be struggling with might be top of mind for someone else. Use the collective mindspace of your friends and colleagues to help you come up with new ideas.
Do something different
If you feel like you’re in a creative vice grip, break the cycle by doing something entirely unrelated to your creative endeavor. Run an errand, do a load of laundry or cook a meal. Taking your mind out of “on” mode and giving it a little rest by doing something that takes little brainpower, you are resetting and recharging your brain. When you revisit your creative endeavor, you will do so with a fresh mind and a new perspective. And when you do, you’ll have clean clothes and a ready made lunch!
No one is creative 24/7. We all need to take breaks, recalibrate and harness our creative energies. The good news is that creativity is not a finite thing. The more you create, the more you can create. There is no finish line or tank to go empty. Like a muscle, using your creativity builds the ability to be creative more often. Use it and use it often, just remember to also give it the time and space it needs to rest so it’s fully ready to serve you when needed.