Have your creative ideas been on the back burner for a while? Do you have projects you’d love to work on, but can never seem to find the time? These 4 ways to reclaim your creativity will help you get going. Try one or all, and see how your creativity just starts to flow.
Bonus: If you think you aren’t creative, but wish you were – this is for you, too! Sometimes you just have to go for it, and this list will make it easier to open up to the reality that we are ALL creative people. Yes, even you.
1. Create opportunities.
I’ve spent most of my creative life waiting for inspiration to strike. I used to think that it didn’t matter if I wrote every day, because ideas would “just come” to me. What I’ve realized is that by not opening my notebook every day, I was keeping the door to my creative self closed.
Sometimes I would get lucky and things would slip in under the door like a cold draft, but the best ideas were always left to sleep outside. As soon as I sit down to write, however, the ideas are free to waltz in and stay a while.
You can apply this to any field of creative expression – you just have to create opportunities for your Muse to show up. The moment you create the space for your creativity to be expressed, it will rush out like it’s been waiting for a very, very long time.
Ways To Create Opportunities: Feeling stuck in a rut with your painting? Get your brushes out anyway. Not motivated to work on your new music? Sit down and play the piano anyway. Not sure how to begin your home yoga practice? Roll your mat out anyway.
2. Redefine a successful creative session.
Pardon my language, but there are days when everything I write feels like total bullsh*t. It’s inauthentic, it’s cliché, it’s poorly written… blah, blah, blah. Let’s just say I don’t love everything I write. But I’ve learned to be okay with that.
Sometimes we get down on ourselves and our talents because nothing “good” comes out that day – but truthfully, your success is really that you expressed yourself at all. How many creative-types do you know who don’t actually create anything for long stretches of time? Maybe you are one of those people yourself (I know I am from time to time). You wanna know why? Because it’s terrifying to think that what you create might not be “good enough”.
The good news is, when you’re creating regularly it’s fine – even encouraged – to make some stuff that’s not great. Those “failures” show you what works and what doesn’t. It’s freeing to put away your perfectionism and learn how to express yourself without fear.
A successful day is one where you created, no matter the outcome. Redefine what success means to you and you’ll feel so much better about your work, whatever the end result is.
Ways To Redefine Success: Take a deep breath at the end of your creative session and smile. Use the affirmation “I love creating things” before you start a piece and once you finish it.
3. Take a break.
The point of taking a break is to get out of your head and into the world where the action happens. When you take a break, you get to do something fun that has nothing to do with your art. Yes, it seems counter-intuitive, but when you hammer away at your work for long periods of time, sometimes your great ideas go stale. When you take a break you can come back refreshed, motivated, and inspired.
Ways To Take A Break: Go to the bookstore. Tour a museum. Read at your favorite coffeehouse. See a concert. Go for a drive with no destination.
4. Move your body.
I love to take walks around my neighborhood. It’s so great to be outside, to be moving and breathing and enjoying the change of scenery. I find that my best ideas happen while I’m walking because it doesn’t require much thought. When you move your body, it starts pumping endorphins, you start to breathe more deeply, and before you know it your next creative project pops up out of nowhere.
Ways To Move Your Body: Take a walk. Go for a jog. Run around the playground with your kiddos. Take a yoga class.
The great thing about this list of ways to increase your creativity is that you can apply each step separately and see results pretty quickly. However, creativity is most powerfully fueled when you combine the 4 tools – they will help you stay committed to the process and be content with the results – a recipe for a new kind of success, based on opening the space for your highest expression to come forth.