What can I do to increase my creativity?

The first task in becoming more creative is giving yourself permission to do things creatively. The second is overcoming your personal blocks to creativity. For some people, being creative involves trying not to be embarrassed by their own ideas; for others, it is a matter of being aware that things can be done in many different ways. Some people are self-aware or confident enough to have fewer inhibitions and can just let their creative natures work.

Surround yourself with people who love and support you and you will be even more creative. Spend time meditating on your own worthiness, reading about other creative people and creative solutions, concentrating on the positive power of your own creative forces - these activities, combined with a belief in your own intuition and creative abilities, will help improve your confidence.

Action Steps

Here are a few additional things you can do to improve your creativity:

It really helps to think of creativity as a skill or set of skills. By practicing, one can get better at using them. So whenever you have a chance try and do mundane things in novel ways - it will make them more entertaining and you will get more used to expressing your abilities.

Practicing at overcoming irrational inhibitions will also help to improve your creativity.

When you're at a standstill, and you witness somebody with a vital and flowing creative force, it can be intimidating. The thing that's easy to miss when you're caught up in the magic of somebody doing something effortlessly that seems impossible is that it doesn't happen all at once.

Anything can be achieved by breaking it down into its component parts. Creativity requires patience and a willingness to work for a creative outcome rather than simply wait for enlightenment.

Still, it is important to creativity to happen. This can be encouraged by setting up an environment that encourages creative output, a comfortable space within which you feel non-threatened and able to create.

A program to improve your personal creativity might include the following steps.

  1. First set a measurable goal. Some goals might be:
  2. Second, set up criteria to indicate whether or not you have or are reaching your goal. Typical criteria are:
  3. Third, read and learn about creativity techniques which is one of the sections of the Creativity Web. This information can be gathered from books, conferences, other people, software products and the Internet. Spend time with people who you believe are creative and ask them how they did it. There are many paths to creativity.
  4. Fourth, surround yourself with people who love and respect you; people who encourage you to take risks.
  5. Fifth, celebrate your progress in reaching your creativity goals.
  6. Finally, begin thinking of yourself as a creative person. Surround that identity with beliefs about your creative abilities. Learn the skills of creativity, act creatively every opportunity you get and find environments that support creative behavior.

Creativity is increased by acknowledging that it exists and by nurturing it. Create a sensory stimulating environment, increase awareness of that environment and provide sufficient quiet time to allow that sensory stimulation to be translated into external reality ... a poem, a bridge, a meal, a song, a quilt, a business report, a game, a dance, a garden.

Flood yourself with information in your chosen area of creativity then deliberately expose yourself to information outside your area. Respect and care for your creativity as you would a child. Attend to your needs, listen to your creative inner voice, spend time with yourself. Manage stress in your life as much as possible.

Practice meditation or some kind of peaceful, relaxing activity such as handwork or quiet exercise. Avoid becoming too entrenched in your routines.

Don't allow your beliefs to distort your perceptions. A useful technique is to deliberately and consciously attempt to integrate opposites at every opportunity within your own mind. Develop the attitude that your creative work is important even if others do not share your belief; allow such judgmental attitudes to be their problem, not yours. Practice using affirmations and reframing (seeing things from another angle or in another context) to de-program your self critical habits.

Creativity is not a gift of some sort, it is a state of being ("un etat d'ame", as they say in French). Learning a creativity- increasing technique of some sort will give you some tools and help you, but will not automatically change your point of view about yourself and your creativity; your belief and value systems about creativity and creativity myths must change as well.

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Last updated: 2nd August 2002