How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
How to Build Your Creativity: 4 Steps to Develop Your Creativity and Gain Confidence in Your Ideas
Guest articles > How to Build Your Creativity: 4 Steps to Develop Your Creativity and Gain Confidence in Your Ideas
by: Scott Lamps
Everyone is capable of creativity. Everyone. The real question is not whether you can be creative, but whether you want to be creative. If you want to be creative, you can and will be. I will show you how to develop your natural creativity and build a lifestyle that nurtures individuality and imagination.
There are 4 simple steps to building your creativity.
1) The Process - Understanding What Is Creativity
2) Who Are You? - Embracing Your Individuality
3) Find the Time - Making Time to Develop Your Ideas
4) Write it Down - Documenting Your Ideas as They Come
Step 1: The Process
Understanding What Is Creativity
The most common roadblock that I see is a misunderstanding of what creativity is. Many people see creativity as a mysterious, magical process where one moment there is nothing and the next moment - brilliance! That is simply not the case. Creativity is not magic, it is a skill that can be learned with a little effort and a little patience.
It is important to realize that creative people do not dream up massive ideas or schemes out of thin air. Creativity is a process of baby steps that tip-toes from small idea to small idea. Over time, the build up of these numerous small ideas creates a large and powerful idea. This is the essence of creativity - the consistent development and accumulation of small ideas.
Don't be fooled by the seeming ease of the creative people you know. Be assured that they expend significant effort under the surface, when no-one else is watching. They work and work when they are alone. All you see is the end product; the grand conclusion that is the result of hours and days and weeks of development. They are like the graceful swans that seem to float on the water, while underneath, out of sight, their feet are pedaling like mad.
If you understand the process and are willing to travel the road of creativity, then you have taken the critical first step.
Step 2: Who Are You?
Embracing Your Individuality
If you look in the dictionary, creativity is defined as `the use of imagination or original ideas.` Creativity is you, and developing your creativity starts with understanding your own individuality. Individuality is the mother of creativity.
If we were all alike, no one would think or do anything worthy of distinction; we would all be the same, think the same, act the same. It is our differences that give us our value. There is no one like you, plain and simple. Individuality is something that we were all born with whether we like it or not. You have unique experiences and unique perspectives. If you can acknowledge this - that you have singular traits and singular ideas, your creative output will explode in both volume and distinction as you embrace who you are.
Remember that every great idea in history was thought of by a person. Did your mother used to tell you that everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time? Mine did, and she was right. What that means is that you are as capable of having great ideas as anyone else.
So repeat these words: `I am capable of having great ideas.` Again: `I am capable of having great ideas.` So what if you're an accountant? Einstein was a patent clerk, yet he was capable of great ideas. So are you. Say it again: `I am capable of having great ideas.` Make this your mantra. Say it ten times per day. One hundred times per day. Say it like you believe it. Say it until you believe it, because it is true.
If we learn to embrace our individuality and nurture the `quirks` that come naturally to us, we begin to develop ideas that are unlike any others. But it's more than that. If we develop our individuality, we will have ideas that are so unique and quintessentially `us` that there is no possible way they came from someone else.
Step 3: Find the Time
Making Time to Develop Your Ideas
This step is the core of your creativity; it is where the creativity happens. All the other steps are facilitators of this step.
If you respect and embrace your own unique perspective, you need to make time in your schedule for nurturing it. Like a plant, your individuality will grow if you water it and wither if you neglect it. You are surely very busy as you juggle responsibilities between work and family. And as a creative person, you likely struggle with your obligations to other people as you try to find time for yourself. I surely do.
Try to schedule a regular time when you can be alone with your thoughts. Half an hour after dinner or during the lunch hour or a walk in the afternoon. I, personally, prefer the peace and quiet of the early morning before anyone else is awake. I find that the sun, the mist and the emptiness really encourage my mental wanderings.
Make time so that your mind can wander and ramble. No idea is too small or too big. Write them down (see Step 4) and follow where they lead you. Don't let reason or insecurity squash any flights of fancy. These flights are the raw materials for big ideas.
If you feel stuck, read the thoughts that you wrote down yesterday or last month or last year. They will inevitably surprise you and stir new ideas.
You can start with as little as ten minutes at a time. Once you get the hang of it, increase your time allotments. Try twenty minutes a day, or ten minutes twice a day. The more time you are able to devote to your thoughts and ideas, the quicker they will develop, accumulate and bear fruit.
Remember, making the time for your thoughts is the most important step in the creative process. It is where we grow into who we are as creative individuals.
Step 4: Write it Down
Documenting Your Ideas as They Come
Documentation is the final step in harnessing your creative powers. Now that you are able to recognize the value of your small, unique thoughts, it is equally as important to recognize that these thoughts and ideas often go as quickly as they come. Sure, you will remember some of your ideas, but the process of creativity relies on being the sum of small thoughts, and these thoughts are often small enough to forget in the tumult of everyday life.
Do not be fooled into thinking that you will remember your ideas later. They will seem too significant and wonderful to possibly forget, but who knows when you will have the opportunity to write them down or revisit them. It could be days or weeks. Your best bet is to write down the ideas when they are fresh in your mind. Write them down with as much depth, clarity and context as you can. It will help you pick up the thread at a later time so you can build on the idea.
Many a great idea has been lost by neglecting to write it down. I, myself, am guilty of it on a regular basis. I will be going about my business, checking my email or reading, and I'll get an idea. I think the idea is great and significant, so significant that I couldn't possibly forget it. But, come the next morning, after I've answered a handful of emails, balanced my checkbook, talked with a friend, watched a gripping movie about Chinese history, and dreamt about losing my legs in a battle with a horse who recited Shakespeare, I have somehow forgotten my train of thought from the day before.
I tell you this not to bore you but to illustrate the complexity of our lives and how they demand our mental concentration. It becomes very easy to forget things, especially when they are as transient as our own thoughts and ideas. But if we write these ideas down as they come, we can revisit them and build upon them. They become the building blocks of larger ideas.
Creativity is a process, one that makes use of the accumulation of small ideas to create bigger ones. These small ideas come from our unique experiences and perspectives. They grow and develop when we make the time to follow where they lead. We write our ideas down so that we may revisit and develop them at a later date. We are all capable of having great ideas.
Scott Lamps is a music composer. Email email@example.com with questions and comments. If you would like to be notified about future articles and work by Mr. Lamps, send an email with the subject Add Me to firstname.lastname@example.org. www.scottlamps.com.
Contributor: Scott Lamps
Published here on: 19-Apr-09
And the big