Creative thinking is often linked to effective problem-solving and even strategic visioning. And while it’s true that some people are born with a creative mind, it doesn’t mean that creative thinking can’t be learned and developed over time.
Even people who may believe they don’t have a creative bone in their body, can increase and nurture their creative skills.
The first step toward creative thinking is the belief that you can acquire and develop the skill. The truth is, if you continue to set up a mental roadblock and tell yourself that you can’t think creatively, you’ll never get past this first step. Believing you are a creative person, or that you can become a creative person is the first step to owning the creative thinking capability. Once you embrace the mindset, the possibilities become endless.
In order to foster creativity in your life, start thinking about where you want to apply your creativity. It will help, at least at first, to have a specific goal instead of the broad goal of just “thinking” creatively overall. You might start with discovering better solutions to common problems at work, or you might want to broaden your horizons with an artistic goal in your free time. I used to believe that creative thinking wasn’t a strength of mine until I realized that while I may not be great at coming up with an original idea, I am really good at making an idea much better as well as making things happen in a creative manner.
No matter what your goal is, try applying some of these creativity boosting tips:
1. Spend time brainstorming. When looking for ideas for a project – or solutions to a challenge – write down everything that comes to mind without holding back. Don’t worry about logistics or staying organized; just let your mind go free. Another form of brainstorming that might be worth a try is free writing: just pick up a pen and let your mind go wild on the topic of your choice. Tell yourself that you can’t pause or put the pen down; you must keep writing. You’ll be surprised at what you can unload from your brain during a free writing session!
2. Try mind mapping. Mind mapping is visually organizing your thoughts and concepts into a diagram using words, drawings, and even symbols. Each of the thoughts/concepts may have related thoughts/themes which branch out. The final diagram looks like a massive tree.
3. Change your surroundings. You may have noticed that your patterns of thinking change when you’re in different places. If you find that your mind is stuck, try changing your environment. Go out for some fresh air or hang out in a coffee shop. A change in surroundings may be just what you need in order to discover a new and exciting idea.
4. Take notes. Always carry some kind of note taking device with you, whether it’s a Journal, note pad or a mobile device. Record your ideas as they come to you, no matter where you are at the time. Creative thoughts can come and go, but if you write them down you won’t forget them.
5. Research your topics. Even though it may seem boring, you can do some research online. When you do, you’ll learn that knowledge is power and it’ll enable your brain to get to a place it wouldn’t normally have gone. Enjoy the journey and always follow your love of learning. Research will provide you with new angles of thought.
Consider Other Perspectives
While everyone comes with their own unique set of abilities and opinions, when you develop your creativity, you learn how to come up with new ideas and solve problems from different points of view.
No matter what challenge you’re faced with, spend time considering the perspective of others. While you might not share the opinion of another, get curious and see if you can figure out how or why they have that view. Keep your mind open, which will always foster creativity.
When you get into the habit of using these tips often, you’ll be pleased to see outbursts of creativity!
If you would like some coaching to develop your creative thinking skills as well as many other key competencies, I’m here to help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 416-617-0734.
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