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Stop Killing Your Creativity

Megan Suitts on Dec 5, 2014 8:10:00 AM

improve your creativity

Whether you are an artist, a high level executive or anything in between, creativity is the catalyst for getting things done the best possible way. As such, you need to find ways to keep those creative juices flowing so that you can come up with your next bright idea.

Even if you feel as though you are not a very creative person, this is still possible. You just have to stop killing it. In order to make this happen, you need to take actions that can improve your creativity.

That being said, here are a few steps that you should be taking for more creative power:

Don't give up on yourself

One of the biggest killers of creativity is self disillusionment. If you give up, then your brain will be thinking about failure, rather than awesome ideas. As such, this tip should be on the top of your list when thinking about how to improve creativity.

Be innovative by breaking the rules

Before 2006, social networking was thought to only be workable if you can communicate with friends, family and followers by using whatever amount of content that you wanted.creative process

The founders of Twitter knew this rule well, and they broke it by creating a social network that significantly limits the amount of prose content that you can post at one time.

This concept not only led to a wildly successful business venture, but it also indirectly inspired a slew of other social networks to take similar actions (Vine, for instance, became an instant hit by only allowing its users to post videos that are six seconds or less).

When figuring out how to improve creativity, this is an absolute must. The key to Twitter's success here was not just that they created something entirely knew.

It was that they knew what the rules were (social networks should allow users to post as much content as they want at one time) and they shattered them.

Metaphorical rule breaking is a great way to inspire yourself and stand out from your peers -- just remember that you have to learn those rules first. As such, it pays to learn about what has already been done (and why it succeeded or failed) before you begin.

Develop your ideas

Even the person who feels as though he or she is utterly un-creative has ideas. The key to making at least a few of those ideas become something workable is to develop them. You can do this by not immediately letting them go, no matter how ridiculous or impossible it may sound at first.

As you develop an idea, you will naturally make it transform to better suit your needs. Nothing has to be perfect. The key here is to develop your idea into something potentially useful.

Don't worry if you can't find a place for an idea. Even if an idea ends up not getting used, doing this regularly will create a snowball effect, and you will soon find yourself loaded with fully developed ideas -- instead of half-baked ones that never had a chance.

Draw

When thinking about how to improve creativity, this exercise should be one of the first that comes to mind. Even if you are a totally unskilled sketch artist, this is something that you should regularly do.

creative processThere is nothing complicated about doing this -- just take a pen and piece of paper and start doodling to your heart's content.

Do not even bother thinking about what you are doing The physical results of your drawing efforts are not what make this exercise so important.

As visual creatures, human beings can use activities like drawing to enhance your ability to develop ideas subconsciously.

Write in a daily journal

Regularly writing can help you not only enhance your creativity, but also improve your ability to communicate. This exercise will not only help strengthen your ability to develop creative ideas subconsciously, but you could also end up coming up with something brilliant accidentally as you write. 

As with drawing, it is not important that you be skilled at doing this (your journal can be filled with as many grammatical and spelling errors as you want). 

This journal does not have to contain your deepest thoughts either. You can talk about anything, including how your day is going, you can create a fictional character, or you can even discuss a topic relating to your company's industry.

Hang out with creative people

Something else to keep in mind when thinking about how to improve creativity is the fact that you do not have to go it alone. There are plenty of creative people out there who will help you expand your horizons and learn new ways to develop your own creative process.

This does not mean that you have to start spending time at events or gatherings that aren't appeasing to you. There are creatives everywhere you look -- you just have to know where to find them.

Here are a few examples of places that you can find creative people to surround yourself with, both in and outside of your own comfort zone:killing your creativity

  • Coffee shops
  • Business conferences
  • Social media
  • Art galleries
  • Music artist listening parties
  • The gym
  • Local interest groups
  • Charity events

Write down quotes that you love

You have probably read or heard more than a few quotes that absolutely inspired you. As such, when thinking about how to improve creativity, listening to the words of a great speaker or writer often comes to mind.

You can transform this fleeting instance of inspiration into something more permanent by making these quotes a part of your daily life. All you need to do is write down the quote verbatim.

As you continually do this, you will start to become more consistently driven and inspired to create by those words, just as you were when you first heard them.

It is not necessary to copy down entire pieces of text either (unless all of the words therein are what inspire you). Instead, you can simply choose excerpts that stand out to you the most.

For example, if you are looking for inspiration to remain focused on working to develop your creativity, instead of copying the words from an entire interview with Alexander Graham Bell, you could simply write down the following quote: “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The Sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

Stop being a 'no' personcreativity

Reflexively saying no to something that seems like it might not interest you is a great way to kill your creativity.When thinking about how to improve creativity, broadening your horizons with fresh perspectives is a great place to start. 

As such, the next time somebody recommends a book, movie, event or class that you would not regularly indulge in, try it out if you are able to. We aren't suggesting that you start pulling insanely dangerous stunts like Jim Carey's character in the Movie Yes Man, but reading a book in a genre that you normally stay away from won't hurt.

Anybody can be a creative person

The key for this is to keep your creativity flowing, be willing to try new things and never give up on yourself. Creative thinking is a learned habit, and using these tips will help you expand your creativity instead of killing your creativity.

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