Creativity is something that I have had an on and off relationship with for as long as I can remember. It´s not until recent years that I have come to the conclusion that stressing and focusing on the absent of it wont make it grow, it will only make the gap wider. When you work in a creative field the pressure of having it is real. People also like to label others into a creative and uncreative box. If you are labeled creative, you are special, if you have shown tendency of creativity since you were a child you are even better. Some also believe that you are born either way. I believe we can all be creative to some degree, some of us just have a stronger need to express ourselves in a creative manner than others. All children are creative, at least I find it so. They have a wild imagination, and anything is possible. Somewhere along the way most of us lose that ability, due to the belief that “you must grow up” at a certain age, which means that a certain behaviour is not appropriate anymore. We become boring adults. We become aware of opinions of others and we compare our lives to others. You should have an education by a certain age, be married and settle down at a certain age, have kids, have a mortgage and a dog. Being an adult is what kills it. Forgetting how to be playful and curious kills it. Caring what others think about us kills it. The most creative people I´ve met are the ones who have kept their inner child alive, who aren´t afraid to play and who really don´t care what anyone thinks about them. They focus on them selves and what they do, and care about how they feel.
I have certainly not taken the normal path to adulthood. I remember thinking as a teen that I will never do what is expected of me, I will go my own way, I never cared what my parents thought about my choices. Poor parents, it must not have been easy. My mom always said she knew I would “make it” because I was so determined. I did a few mistakes on the road, but so what, that´s how we learn. What kept me out of the creative zone for many years even though I lived by my own rules, was lack of self belief. I have always been drawn to creativity in some form, music, drawing doing hobby crafts, anything where I can put my hands to work and create something. I didn´t have that many friends so I spent hours by myself drawing or learning how to play the guitar. Sad to say I have lost those skills now. When I picked up a camera at the age of 19 I knew that was my thing. I spent hours in the darkroom at school. That was all I did. I loved everything about it, but still I didn´t believe I could do it for real. I needed to be validated by someone else, by who I don´t know. That feeling of being an imposter was strong, like soon everyone will realize that I´m not actually creative or know anything about photography. I´m not a real artist. That held me in it´s firm hug for many years. Deep inside I knew I could do it, but I would not trust it. Nowadays I have finally let go of that, and am connected to my creative side most of the times, when it is necessary. I´ve learnt some ways to guide myself towards that zone if it feels far away. Here are some tips, bare in mind that these are based on my experience and may not resonate or work for you.
Be open and curious to new ideas. Maybe your old thoughts and believes are not accurate? See beauty in mundane things. Focus on finding something new in all that is familiar.
Have a positive mindset
A positive attitude is truly important. Even if you consider yourself of being a pessimist or realist, try and see positive aspects in all you do. Negativity is a big block that hinders natural flow of creativity. By being negative, you close yourself to the intuitive side of yourself. Don´t focus on what is, focus on all that is possible even if it realistically it feels impossible.
Trust your vision
If you have a strong vision about what you are going to create. Trust it, follow it, your intuition will you guide you if you let it. Be careful who you ask opinions of, in the end all that matters is how you feel about it.
Believe in you
If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else do that?
Clear your mind
Especially important if you feel like life is just a big hassle and you don´t have time to think. Go out for a walk. Have a break from social media. Meditate. Focus on something easy. With a clear mind, ideas will start flowing. When we are bored, ideas start flowing. When we focus on something unimportant ideas start flowing.
Do fun things
When we take time to truly have fun, we set our minds to be more allowing for new and positive things to enter our lives. Again negativity don’t feed creativity, being happy and letting go opens the channels to creativity. What do you feel like doing right now?
Accept where you are
Be willing to expand and get better. By settling for the current, you stop progression. Create at the level you are at the moment, be happy and move on. We all go through growing pains.
Dare to dream
Daydream as much as you can. Imagine the impossible, reach for the good feeling things. Without fear, doubt or facing reality. DREAM!
Create for you
When you create with a mindset that it is just for you, you´ll find it´s much easier to try new things. You don´t have to show the whole world everything you create. Just do it for you. You will love the freedom of it and that will make the desire to create grow.
These are just a few tips I have found helpful. Still there are days I don´t feel creative at all, and that is ok too. Just relax and don´t take it so seriously.
How do you get into the creative zone?