Almost all of us are born creative. When we're kids, our imaginations are always active as we play, develop our sense of curiosity, bang on pots and pans to make music. But on our journey to adulthood, this sense of imagination and creativity becomes hindered for a multitude of reasons, leading us to self-label as either "Creatives" or "Non-creatives."
This article will explain in brief detail several tools to help you rediscover your creativity, because whether you label yourself as being creatively proficient or not, it's within you somewhere.
Before we begin, it should be stated that the secret sauce to rediscovering your creativity (and building any new habit) lies in the concept of Guided Mastery. In short, Guided Mastery is the concept of breaking down your challenges into small steps and then building confidence by succeeding on one after another. This practice has positive extraneous affects as well. For instance, the more you practice Guided Mastery on one aspect of your life, the more likely you are to adopt it, even subconsciously, to other aspects of your life. Ok, let's get to it.
What's hindering your creativity?
According to the Harvard Business Review, there are 4 main types of fear that are holding you back from achieving peak creativity, we will be examining each of these over the next four weeks. In this article, we will be looking into the Fear of the Messy Unknown.
Fear of the Messy Unknown
An important aspect of creativity is empathy. You can't get this from sitting in your studio or apartment all day where everything is comfortably familiar and inspiration comes from the same sources. Out in the world, things are more chaotic and uncertain. Out there, you need to filter information, rely more heavily on your observations, and deal with the unexpected. So instead of waiting for inspiration to come to you, go out and find it. Here are a three ways you can overcome the Fear of the Messy Unknown:
- Act like a Spy: Go out into the world as an observer and bring your chilhood curiosity with you. If you're writing a song about love, go where love happens: a park in the summer, a romantic restaurant, a café, and simply observe and try to guess what's going on. If you're writing a song about nature or the outdoors, go for a hike or embark on a solo camping trip. It helps if you're alone and to minimize distractions. The point here is that you fully embed your new chaotic environemnt.
- Lurk in Online Forums: We know the internet is a great source of information - but we don't always use it as a source of inspiration. If you're writing about a specific theme, like self-discovery, then do a quick search on Reddit, Quora, or any other online forum, and you're sure to come across plenty of anecdotes on the subject. It may seem obvious, but we do recommend that you use discretion when interpreting other people's personal stories.
The internet is also great for research. If you're writing a song concerning themes related to technology, then a quick Google search could teach you an array of new things, from historical information to how people around the world use the same technology for different purposes. Get creative with your searches, and try to take a hollistic approach, you never know what you'll learn.
- Seek Out an Unlikely Expert: For more introverted creatives this may be more of a challenge, but it can be highly beneficial. Think through your list of friends, family members, and acquaintances, whoever you can think of, and share a conversation. Your job here is to let them talk and learn about their experiences. For instance, if you're writing a song about nostalgia, ask a parent or granparent what they miss most about their childhood, and just listen. I love this option because it has several benefits, first, it allows you to build stronger relationships, and secondly, you're almost certain to learn something new and relate to it. Just be sure to keep an open mind.
In essence, if order to overcome the Fear of the Unknown, you have to find new sources of information. It's possible these solutions may be uncomfortable to put into action, but remember that's the point. To make the best use of your time, keep an open mind and remember you can find inspiration anywhere.
This is part 1 of a 4-part series on how to rediscover your creativity. Subsequent articles on this subject will be published weekly, on Mondays.