Did you know that Walt Disney was once told that he wasn’t creative enough? Now, with a legacy that has lasted well beyond his lifetime and will certainly be around for much longer, it’s hard to imagine the type of person who would have dared to tell the creator of Disney that his work “lacked imagination.”
Day-to-day life requires some form of creativity, whether your job involves creating unique ideas, or you find yourself regularly having to problem-solve. However, if you don’t have the space (either physically or metaphysically) to be creative, you may find that you’re not operating at your highest potential.
I want to talk about your creative space today. I’ll give some ideas for how to build your creative space, both internally and externally, so that you can perform your best, whatever that may mean for you in this particular moment.
What is Creativity?
It’s difficult to assign a definition to something that’s completely unique to every person. Merriam-Webster makes an attempt with the word “creative” as, “marked by the ability or power to create.”
It’s interesting to think of creativity as a sort of super power. In some ways, it is. You have the power to make whatever your mind can imagine with the right tools, skillset, and even help from others. This ability may be unique to you, or you might find others with similar ideas and aspirations.
The big takeaway is that everyone has the power to be creative. There’s no secret to unlocking your potential as a creative individual. There are, however, a few ways that you can access this creative power to be most effective to you. The actual process will be entirely unique, but here are just a few of the ways you can go about achieving this:
1. Give Yourself Room To Be Creative
Sometimes, the first step to allowing creativity to flow naturally is simply giving yourself the permission to be creative. This can take a few different forms.
You may find that taking a few moments to practice some mindfulness before beginning your creative exploration can help you get in the right mindset. You might even verbally say to yourself that it’s now your time to be creative.
Whatever your desired end-product might be, it’s important to allow yourself to remain judgment-free. If you’re writing, resist the urge to edit as you write. Finish the first draft before going back and making changes. If you’re doing some creative problem-solving, perhaps take the time to journal and put all of your ideas in one place. Get all of the ideas onto the page before deciding to eliminate any outliers.
2. Allow Yourself Time to Relax
Have you ever known someone to look down on another person because they give themselves time away from work to relax? In American culture today, it’s common to see people working 50, 60, even 70 hours per week. They’re seen as superior beings, ultra-productive and relentless in their ability to check off boxes and get things done.
Besides being the ultimate way to ensure burnout, this type of “always on” mindset leaves very little room for creative thinking. Neuroscientists believe, in fact, that our most creative ideas happen when we’re at rest.
If you’re trying to give yourself room to be creative, you have to take some time and relax. In fact, the best thing you could do for yourself would be to think about nothing for a few minutes.
You can’t force creativity. Trying to do so would simply be unproductive.
3. Connect with Other People to Share Ideas
It can be great to have a community (even if that’s just one other person) within your niche that you can go to as a sounding board. Sometimes, having other people to brainstorm with allows you to build on your creative process and consider things you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
Maybe this means joining a networking group to speak with other professionals. Or, you could take a class through your community in whatever field interests you. Even working one on one with someone who can help support your creative process will be an asset as you move forward through the execution stages.
4. Use Everything as an Opportunity
Did your idea not turn out the way you hoped? Use it as an opportunity to learn how to handle similar situations in the future. Did your first, second, or even third draft not go the way you wanted? This is an opportunity to practice patience and perseverance. Your time is coming, it’s just an opportunity to believe in yourself.
Whatever you may be going through right now, both within and outside of your creative process, you can use it as an opportunity for the future. This flip in mindset will not only help you handle the current situation in stride, but also serve as a reminder for future situations about when you learned how to grow instead of getting down on yourself.
Not everything will turn out the way that you hope. In fact, many things will not. However, recognizing and accepting this, while also learning how to flip a poor experience into a positive one, will help make you happier and healthier in the long run.
Your Creative Space
While we as a society have decided that creativity often has to do with art or poetry, this isn’t entirely the case. Being creative and having your creative space is essential to reaching your goals and being healthy and productive in your day-to-day life. If you’re interested in learning more about the creative process or want one-on-one coaching that will help you develop your creative ideas, get in touch to schedule a meeting with me. Together, we can work on an action plan that will help you develop your creative space.