How many times have I heard someone say that they’re just not creative and never will be? Too many times – and I say that’s rubbish. Sure, some people are more naturally predisposed to creativity than others – some things come more naturally while others struggle to catch on.
However – I’m a firm believer that creativity can be learned, fostered and that creativity breeds more creativity. More importantly, creativity doesn’t have to look a certain way or manifest itself in certain hobbies or interests. Learning to think creatively can help you to get ahead in a totally non creative industry, it can teach you to see solutions where other people see brick walls – cultivating your creativity can change your life. So where and how do you get started?
A creative life is a happy life!
Take up a typically creative hobby
Even if all you’ve ever drawn is stick men, challenge yourself and go to a drawing class. Always wanted to learn an instrument? Now’s your chance. Want to learn how to take beautiful pictures? Go on a course. If you want to learn to think creatively, you have to start by doing creative things. For example, the photography courses I’ve attended have taught me to see beauty in things that other people might walk past without noticing. The musical instruments I play teach me to see unexpected places a melody might go, or how to pick up and jam without having to learn.
If at first you don’t succeed…
Don’t give up on your hobby if you’re not immediately amazing at it. Stick at it and do a little of it every day, even if it’s frustrating at first. You’ll be amazed how quickly your thought process starts to change and develop. Challenging yourself can be really difficult at first, but you won’t regret it. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere.
It takes time to blossom
Compare yourself – to yourself!
Want to feel really great about yourself? Record your progress and make monthly comparisons – you’ll find you’ve come on leaps and bounds month to month – and it’s much better than comparing yourself to others who may have way more experience or time than you. You will progress at your own pace, so keep looking back and realising just how far you’ve come.
Keep a journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to track how you feel day to day. Read back every few months or so and see how your new creative thinking has affected your whole life. Have you started to look at things in a more positive way? Have you started to think of outside-the-box solutions to your everyday problems? You’ll be amazed how much being creative can change your life.
Find other beginners
Get to know people on your course. Or if you’re teaching yourself or having private lessons, find a club or forum that you can participate in. Sharing your new passion is a great way to keep up the excitement and momentum around it, and you may learn things from other beginners that a more experienced teacher might have overlooked. If nothing else, you’ll make some fabulous new friends.
Share the results
If you’ve taken up baking, start taking your sweet treats into work. If it’s photography, start showcasing your work or taking lovely pictures for people and giving them as gifts. Started something musical? Push the boat out and try out at an open mic night. Forcing yourself to put yourself out there gives you a goal to work towards and encourages you to take your hobby up a level, plus results = rewards!
A new, creative mindset awaits you – you just have to be brave enough to take the first step and stick with it. I promise you won’t regret it.