Sometimes, our mind is brimming with ideas and we simply don’t know how to express them. This is when the “creative” people seem to have an advantage over us in life. Why can’t I paint? I wish I could dance like her, her body looks fantastic. Why can’t I move in such a mesmerizing way like her? How come she can compose music whereas my musical talent doesn’t extend beyond singing in the shower? Creative people scare us, because they have tapped into some sort of inner source that we can’t seem to find. Whilst we envy their talent and skill, what we truly desire in the ability to create something new, to come up with new ideas and procure them out of seemingly nowhere.
The truth is, every human being is creative, it is something innate in us that we posses as children. As we grow up, we do not lose it, but merely lose touch with our “Inner Creative”.
However, there are a few things you do that help you get back in touch with your creative roots:
Stop trying to be Perfect
Now you may have heard this a million times, but I honestly cannot stress the importance of this enough. We’ve all heard the famous quote by Homer Simpson: ” To try is to fail”. Wrong. As much as we all appreciate Matt Groening’s work, Homer Simpson has got it all wrong. To try is not to fail. To try to be perfect is to fail. Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, and your middle to someone else’s end. The key to creativity is the process. We always envision writers sitting in a coffee shop, typing away on their laptop, pulling their hair out over the column they’re writing. We picture artists cooped up in their studio for days, mastering their artwork on canvas. Sometimes, it is more productive to let go and just start– and eventually also finish something, even if it’s not perfect. We are our worst critics, and perhaps judging our own artwork is not the best way to go about it.
Read a Book
That’s right, I said it. I’m looking at you. How long has it been since you’ve read a book, from start to finish? And no, the book you allegedly read for your book club (and by that you mean you skimmed the first and last two chapters) does not count. Inspiration may not automatically come to you by searching for it, but sitting around and waiting for it to pop into your head isn’t helping either. Stimulate your mind by reading, writing, experimenting, listening to music, attending a play or opera, visiting an art gallery, or taking a fun tap class you never thought you’d take. This brings me to my next point:
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Like I mentioned earlier, we always envision artists and creatives as these geniuses who coop themselves up at home. If it’s inspiration you’re seeking, your best bet is to take a walk outside or have a coffee with friends. Talking to them about various different subjects may lead to an idea suddenly popping into your head!
Step Outside of your Comfort Zone
No artists was born by staying in his comfort zone. It’s about putting yourself out there and trying new things. Don’t worry about being perfect on the first try, no one is! Instead, focus on the learning process, and what trying new things may teach you. It’s not about the accomplishment, but about the learning outcome of what you’re trying. Being creative is about manipulating something you already have and observing the outcome. If you are a writer, write in a style that terrifies you most. If you’re a dancer, dance in the style that makes you cringe. If you’re a musician, try a new instrument. You like classical music? Go to a Jazz bar. That’s how it works, the things you are scared of have so much to teach you, and you are limiting yourself if you don’t broaden your horizon just because you’re afraid. And lastly:
Realize that Creativity lies in Every Day Life
You don’t need to be a musical genius, a painter or a writer to be creative. Creativity can be anything! The mom who just whipped up a three meal course out of the five ingredients she had left in her fridge, the fashion student who just used her bedspread and curtains to make a dress, the teacher who found new ways to teach her children in the form of a fun game. Don’t be fooled into thinking that creativity only lies in one of “the arts”, creativity can be found everywhere!