While many adults, especially business professionals, believe themselves to be less-than-creative types, the reality is that almost anyone who has a remotely intelligent human brain has the capacity to exercise creativity. Hopefully this is good news to you! If you struggle to be creative, the problem may simply be that accessing the creative parts of the brain takes a bit more intentionality. A shift of mindset and an amount of nurturing through practice can help marketers and other professionals learn to be creative, overcome creative blocks, and unlock their true creative potential.
#1 Creativity Is Not Scary
One of the main reasons that business professionals often do not practice creativity is that they are afraid of what the results might be. Fear has the power to stop creativity in its tracks. Whether tracing back to childhood when your art teacher told you to stop drawing because you weren’t good at it, or if you are just out of practice because you’ve never really tried at it, adults who seek to be more creative should remember that there truly is nothing to be afraid of.
#2 Creativity Is Messy
Have you ever known an artistic person who was deeply creative but also seemed just a bit chaotic as well? That chaos may be the very aspect that drives the creative process. Although there’s no need to allow messiness to overtake your entire life, it is important to give yourself “permission” to be a bit messy and scattered during the process of brainstorming, thinking, dreaming, and creating. Usually when we see the beautiful creation someone else has made, we don’t realize what a mess their art studio (or brain!) contains in the background. Giving yourself space to be messy and a bit untidy offers the best opportunity to develop the creative flow.
#3 Creativity Is An Action
Sometimes we look at people who we consider to be “naturally” creative and think that the genius simply flows out of them. And for a few lucky people it may. But the reality is that most people who create do so by choice. Creativity is an action that is performed intentionally by setting aside the time and availing yourself of the resources you need in order to do so. You have to start somewhere, and one of course the first step toward doing something is deciding that it must be done!
#4 Creativity “Failure” Is Relative
Just as with any action, part of the learning process of creating includes making mistakes. The entire act of being creative includes trial and error--bouncing around ideas to see if they work and then developing them into a finished product. If the ideas or processes don’t “work” for your particular project, that’s okay. You have still learned something critical, even if you have simply learns what doesn’t work. Move on to the next thing and keep practicing. If you keep trying you are likely to strike on something you love, but you’ll never find your creativity if you are afraid to fail.
#5 Creativity Requires Inspiration
Simply lecturing to yourself that you need to be more creative is not likely to produce much. Instead, spend your time developing an environment (physical space as well as time) in which you have room to feel inspired. Think about what makes you feel and channel that. Music, colors, scents, photography, and inspirational quotes can all offer a setting in which your mind is more likely to feel free to dig deeper. Collect ideas on a tool like Pinterest and reach out there when you need to feel motivated.
Related: 5 Design Tips for Your New Website
#6 Creativity Enjoys Company
When you know it’s time to be creative, try to spend a bit of time with someone whose creativity you respect and enjoy and, if possible, avoid those people who seem to be creativity kill-joys. Joining forces with others in brainstorming sessions invites other creative minds into the process, primes the pump, and allows good ideas to be built into brilliant ones as great minds work more effectively together.
Whether you are newly learning to be creative or are just getting past a creative roadblock, remember to not be fearful of active creativity, allow yourself to be messy, find inspiration, invite others into the process, and allows yourself permission to “fail”. And practice, practice, practice in order to release all of your potential and find freedom in your creative process.