Creativity and Personal Development
It is well recognised that being creative is a valued resource and it is one we all have. Here’s some interesting facts on how being creative can help you and ways to boost your creative muscle.
The Benefits of Creativity:
You might be surprised at the wide range of benefits introducing creativity to your daily life can bring. It’s important to note that the benefits of creativity come from the process of creating, not from the end result. So, it really doesn’t matter if you can’t paint, write or dance well, just that you take part in the process (and those aren’t the only possibilities for being creative).
You can categorize creativity into to two formats: The big C and the little c. The big C being the sort of creativity that produces great pieces of art, genius inventions etc. The little c being an everyday, everyone type of creativity. We all need to start with the little c and who knows where it might lead.
Your overall well-being and mood.
People who spend time carrying out creative pursuits on a regular basis tend to experience a more positive outlook on life. Are more optimistic, less stressed and generally healthier. The act of creating often brings people into the present moment, creating a sense of freedom from past or future worries, as we connect with the here and now. It often creates a sense of time slowing down and we can all use that at times.
Improve your relationship to yourself and others.
Creativity encourages self-expression and awareness and in doing so allows your thoughts and feelings to be clearer. It keeps you connected with your own sense of integrity and encourages personal growth. Creativity helps you look at life with different perspectives, including those of other people. It can help develop your empathy and understanding of others, helping you to form greater connections and better relationships.
Through creativity we can look at a situation in many different ways and from different perspectives. We can take two or more seemingly unrelated things and create something new or use it to resolve a problem. Seeing different perspectives can help us resolve any type of conflict and even avoid difficulties through our ability to see things from more than one point of view.
Increase your confidence.
Creativity asks us to explore our world, question it and play with our experiences in new ways. To make new connections where there may seem to be none. It helps us find different ways to deal with challenges and requires a level of risk taking. When we begin to do this our confidence grows because we are developing skills that can help us in any given situation. Confidence is about feeling safe in your environment, comfortable with who you are and in connecting with others – all things that come as benefits gained from being more creative.
How to boost your creative muscle.
Being creative is not a talent some people are born with and others not. Creativity is a skill we can learn. Yes of course some people are more drawn to being creative and others more analytical. Both, however are skills we can learn and develop, just by working that metaphorical muscle on a regular basis. If you lean heavily towards being creative or analytical then it is even more important to balance these skills. We pretty much know from experience that a balanced approach to life tends to lend the best results.
Daydreaming is a great way to be creative without any tools. You can design your perfect house, world, job, love of your life, it just a bit of fun go mad. Perhaps even use it for your personal develop and daydream about your job interview going well, or having the perfect figure, use whatever goals you currently have in mind.
Then there is the obvious idea of taking up a creative hobby, not only to build your creative muscle but to help increase your overall health and wellbeing.
Here are two questions you can ask yourself on a regular basis:
How can I do this differently?
How could I do this better?
You can answer these questions for just about anything, probably anything actually. It could be something you are currently involved in or applying it to something you’ve observed, read, heard etc.
Think of one thing you do every day and ask yourself how can I do this differently?
Create additional objectives such as make it more fun, increase my level of fitness, look at objectives that you wouldn’t imagine fitting with what it is you do each day.
For example, going to the toilet and increasing my fitness – two things seemingly unconnected but all you need is a couple small dumbbells in your bathroom to work out your arms. You can probably come up with more ideas.
If you are into reading and writing – how might I create a different ending to one of my favourite books?
Do your habits differently. Change the route you take to work or school. If you are wanting to stop a habit, then first changing it can be a helpful way to stop. Smoke in a different hand, uses matches instead of a lighter. Eat a different brand of chocolate or store it in a different place.
Asking the question – how can I do this differently? on a regular basis will increase your ability to resolve problems, make you more observant, increase your intrinsic motivation and independent thinking. So, ask it often.
This question is a great personal and professional tool for developing yourself, rather than staying in a rut or safe place, which often means stagnating in some way. But you can also use it for the simplicity of increasing your creative muscle. Looking at everyday things and asking that question.
How could I make this app better? How could I make my desk tidy more useful? How can I lay out my kitchen gadgets in a better way? How can I make my commute to work better?
If you have a hobby or skill that you are currently doing – how can I do that better?
Considering this question in different ways perhaps – how can I do my relationship with my partner or boss better?
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong” Joseph Chilton Pearce
This is one of the primary reasons people hold back from creative pursuits. A fear that their creative projects just won’t be very good or will be judged badly. As I said at the beginning creativity is not about the result, it’s about the process, the journey. It’s a great reminder that life is about enjoying the journey. So, if someone you know, especially children, are being creative – explore their process rather than judging their results this will be much more valuable to them in the long term.
If you speak to any person you know or know of who you consider to be highly creative, you will discover that there is a greater stream of creative work and ideas going in the bin than being seen by the world. These discards are not failures they are a part of the process, the journey. We have a great saying in NLP – There is no such thing as failure only feedback. So, whether you end up creating masterpieces of the Big C variety or you just increase your little c activity on a regular basis really doesn’t matter. It is the process that will reap the greatest rewards.