We always want to be increasing our creativity. There are lots of ideas how to do this, and at times I like to list them too. They are great reminders of things to aim for. Mostly they focus on doing something new, and that’s a terrific way to gain new information and skills to put into your creative efforts or any part of your life.
There are other things we can do too to increase our creativity. Certain traits are associated with creativity, and I’m interested in what we can do to develop those too, so we can expand ourselves.
Some of these you likely know, but I hope you can spend a minute and take them at a deeper level. Ask yourself what you can do to develop them even more.
In other words, don’t stop at an ordinary level of these traits. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10. Be honest with yourself where you are. No need to be very harsh either, be realistic. Then ask, how you can bump it up a notch or two.
Do this as often as you can, and your brain will find a ways to help you increase in all these areas.
I’m actively working on most of these myself, so feel free to join in with me!
Being flexible has two parts. The first is ditching the rules.
They are useful when learning, but then it’s time to start breaking them. Allow yourself to take a brand new approach or to vary the old.
The second is related, and it’s being able to see that there are many approaches to the goal. If one method doesn’t work, then try another. No need to give up or quit. Just try again.
Open yourself to new ideas, new influences, new knowledge. This takes practice, and if you already consider yourself open, great! Time to open up further. When we do this we allow in completely new perspectives. You can practice this by looking around you and forgetting the names and uses for things. Open yourself to that things could be something other than what we already know them to be.
The ability to look at the world in a completely new way is very important to increasing creativity. You can do it simply by stepping on a ladder and looking around and noticing the difference in the view. Or you can use your imagination. Walk out into the world as if you are a fantasy creature like an elf or a leprechaun or anything you like! You can just imagine how your interaction and view of the world would shift.
Writing stories, reading and viewing art is another way to practice this. Put yourself in another’s shoes and ask how they see the world. Writing does this actively and absorbing other’s works teaches us in a slightly more indirect way.
Asking many questions
I never learned to ask questions in my education. Or the only one I ever really did was what should I give the teacher for a good grade. There wasn’t a lot of growth in that. I work actively on asking myself all sorts of questions that stretch my mind. I find it a great help to get questions from other people too. They have different thinking than I do, and their questions point me in an entirely different direction where I can find many new options I never thought of.
Focusing on the process
I have been very outcome oriented in the past. This is fine, but being able to focus on the process instead allows you to take creativity to a new level. Focusing on the process doesn’t just mean enjoying, although that is an important element. It also means thinking in that very moment of creation, what I can do to make it better, where I can take unexpected turns, where I can push boundaries.
If you want bold results, you must take bold actions. This comes easier for some than others, but the better you can get at this the more you can really step up and express yourself the way you want to.
We need our passion to drive us. It is pure fuel for creativity. What do you love? What do burn for in your heart? What is this all about for you?
I need energy for creativity, so I must both rest when I am tired and cultivate an energetic mindset when it’s time for work and activity. You can do much more if you have energy. It keeps you inspired and passionate. It’s an individual thing, so ask yourself, what gives you most energy? What habits help your energy? Is there something you can do when your energy flags to get it back?
Determination, grit persistence – expressions of the same trait. We need a drive from deep within us that pushes us forward. That makes us do things without needing to spend a lot of time thinking about it. You don’t need to give yourself a diagnosis, there is no need to be extreme. The main point is to find something within you that needs you to be creative on a regular basis in which ever format that suits you.
This is a central trait of creativity, as you know. We must foster our curiosity daily. Ask questions, explore, read, learn. Let your mind wander and daydream. Find topics and problems that make you want to know more.
Willingness to take risks and/or explore the unknown
This trait is another huge part of creativity. We must be willing to push our boundaries and try things we don’t know how to do. The unknown sometimes inspires fear and uncertainty, both in our own abilities or how the outcome will be. Trust in yourself and the process will overcome worry and doubt.
We need courage to overcome fear that holds us back and keeps us from doing our best or at worst even trying. It’s definitely a trait we need more of in our creative work as it will help us overcome the fear of failing and not being enough.
This trait refers to how much of yourself you put into the creation of your idea. Your expression of yourself. It’s a major part of what creativity is. The more of your unique expression you can put in, the greater your creativity will be. The more original it can be too.
Find your inner joy. Feeling good boosts creativity. It’s best if it comes from within where you are in charge of creating it rather relying on an external source of which you have no control. When you feel joy, your whole mindset shifts. You are in a better state to make decisions and take new action.
This ability is a necessity when doing any kind of creative work. We must be able to control how we feel about our results. What has to happen for you to fail? Or what is necessary for you to succeed?
The harder you make it to feel failure and the easier to feel success, and the less likely you are to become stuck and blocked.
Take a growth mindset. There is no failure. Everything teaches us. Success is doing rather than not doing.
This trait doesn’t get enough airtime, I think. But it is an essential part of creativity. Love what you do, love yourself, love your ideas, love others. View yourself as a vessel that flows with love both in and out, just like your creativity. You both give and receive. There is an abundance of each in yourself and in the world.
If you notice my list are traits that are what I call moving towards or positive traits. None of these are anything to stop doing in other words. It’s important to focus on the positive and build on that.
This is a long list. I am sure there are many more traits that are helpful to develop as well. Creativity is being good at many things and that is where the challenge is. And chances are that if you think of yourself as creative, you truly enjoy the challenge.