Creativity fuels self-confidence, enhances problem solving, and improves divergent thinking
Let’s start at the beginning. Before you square yourself into the “I’m not creative” category, let’s hit pause for a wee bit. The thing is, creativity isn’t just about writing a show-stopping narrative punctuated by an appropriately timed (and unforeseen) plot twist. It’s not about painting a masterpiece. It’s not about colour-coordinating competing patterns that don’t hurt your eyes. Think of creativity like a muscle. To really be able to flex your creativity, it can’t be asleep. It’s got to be warmed up ready to go. Primed to perform at any given moment. And, with regularly practice, I reckon everyone’s capable of it.
Why be creative?
Creativity is “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships,” and “create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations,” (Dictionary.com). Or, as it was explained to me by my copywriting lecturer way back: it’s the unique ability to bring together two previously unconnected ideas. And the pot of gold the end of the rainbow? Regardless of your occupation, being creative is a skill that rewards your everyday life.
How can creativity help?
Research shows that being creative can enhance your capabilities in the following ways:
- Assist you to problem solve
When you’re faced with a problem to solve, having a warmed-up creative muscle gives you the head start to think outside the box (that’s ‘divergent thinking’) to create a kick-ass solution. Call it innovation.
- Enable you to build confidence in your own instincts
Creativity is the chance to explore without a destination in mind. Whether you’re creating a meal from scratch without a recipe, or handpicking a sequence of new plants to create a garden at home, follow your gut instinct. Trusting your abilities without following someone else’s plan helps you build confidence in all the capabilities you have that you’re yet to uncover.
- Release stress
Simply creating in-the-moment can help free you from stress. Without the pressure of an outcome, your mind is free to explore its interests.
- Give you freedom to take risks
The more self-aware you are of your possible capabilities, you’re more likely to feel free to take risks which can reward you with future innovations.
- Encourage you to think differently
Having the ability to problem-solve effectively and feel confident to try new things also encourages you to think differently. When you can flip your perspective, you might also see a creative solution that’s refreshing too.
How to be more creative everyday
As a Creative for my day job, it’s essential that I keep my creativity fired up at all times. Here’s three things that help me:
1. Take a break.
Creative breakthroughs always shine when my mind gets a rest from the go, go, go. See, your brain needs to breathe to bloom. Even when our schedule is jam-packed, it’s essential that you take a break to allow your brain to function optimally. The best ideas always hit when they’re not forced.
2. Make something.
Anything. Cook a meal, trim a plant to please the eye, grab your phone and take a photograph to challenge aesthetics. The more often you make, the more often your mind has the chance to see things differently or try new things.
3. Make it a habit.
Being creative is fun, helps reduce stress and shines your own light on things. You’ll appreciate your own instincts and challenge your self-limitations. Enjoy it!