Creativity is for the artists of this world, right?
Or perhaps not.
Learning to unlock and unleash your own authentic creative genius can be fundamentally life-changing; from it we can view, experience and act within our lives in previously inconceivable ways.
Because creativity is just the literal manifestation of your imagination – if you want to get creative, you’ve got to let your imagination roam a little.
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.Edward de Bono
As I promised in my previous blog post, Authentic Creativity or Creatively Authentic?, here’s how I access and channel my most authentic creative self.
Avoid distractions so you can reconnect
Perhaps this seems obvious, but being able to quiet yourself from daily distractions like social media and constant connectivity play a huge role in freeing up your mind to focus on creative tasks.
Think about it as if you were a computer; you’re going to be able to operate so much more efficiently if you don’t have a 10,000 browser windows open at once.
Quiet isn’t easy in the 21st century, but I think that’s why there has been a hugely marked increase in the popularity of meditation practices.
We need quiet, disconnected stillness from the outer world to really listen to our inner selves and tap into the creative genius at our core. A huge part of this is because you can’t just ‘think’ yourself into being creative, sometimes you have to feel into what you want to do, resolve or bring into being.
Reconnecting to your most authentic self is the key to unlocking your creativity. No one that is, has ever been or will be has the exact same story, skills and vision that you have, and the more you can connect within the more you can channel your unique energy signature into all that you do.
TAKE ACTION — Switch off and tune in to yourself. Dedicate time in your day or week — whichever fits — and completely clear your mind of distractions so you can reconnect with your inner self. Meditate or use visualisation, read a book or go for a walk in nature — whatever works for you to find your still and recharge your own energy.
Relax – don’t overthink what flows
How often do you start something, only to second-guess it?
When it comes to creative pursuits and ideas, we can be our own worst enemies. Criticising and over-analysing our work before anyone else has even laid eyes upon it, and guess what, by this point, they most likely never will.
Hello, creative frustration…
This tension is the literal killer of our authentic creativity and the open door to self-doubt. Where we allow everything to get on top of us and second guess every word, thought or pen-stroke by thinking waaaay too much and switching off from ourselves.
The trick here is to find what gets you into your magical creative zone and out of your own head; for me, it’s certain music when I’m painting, drawing or cake-decorating. It stops me from over-thinking, helps me relax and let me create in peace, but interestingly I can’t listen to music whilst I write, instead, I opt for something ambient without lyrics.
You can check out one of my all time favourites below…
It took a time of being really conscious about my own productivity and how I was feeling whilst working to realise what works for me and what doesn’t, but the change in results was huge.
When it came to cake decorating I stopped watching the clock with dread and realised I worked more quickly and with better focus, ditching the stress and frustration about working to a completely inflexible deadline. If I let myself slip into that fear mindset, my work suffered, and I felt like shit in the process.
Both ways the job gone done, but not equally by any means.
TAKE ACTION : Observe how you feel when you are working, and note what makes you feel more stressed (exterior distractions such as noise, temperature etc) and experiment with what helps you to feel more relaxed (music, audiobooks, silence etc.). If the fear and stress take over, walk away for five minutes and reset. Implement these strategies into your working time and measure the difference in your results. It can take time to work out your balance, and even then it can change.
Stop comparing yourself
This one act will literally destroy not only your creative drive but your self worth with it.
Allow me to repeat myself…
No one that is, has ever been or will be has the exact same story, skills and vision that you have…
Which means you are completely unique, just like everyone else, and comparing your creative genius to what everyone else is creating will only lead you down a dark path.
It leads to insecurity, self-doubt and feelings of inferiority which are probably the main reasons that we never put ourselves out there in the first place. These emotions all stem from the fear of being judged – criticised.
But here’s the truth, when we share our creative passion we make ourselves both visible and vulnerable because works of true passion come from — your guessed it — our most authentic self. That core part of us we like to keep safe and very hidden.
And yes, it can be truly fucking scary, but you know what?
It can also be thoroughly liberating.
Like a weight has been taken off your spirit and you can stretch your wings to fly a little farther next time.
When we share our work with others we DO open the doors to criticism and leave ourselves vulnerable, but we also do two very powerful things.
- We can reach the people who appreciate our work, truly enriching and positively impacting their lives.
- We inspire and catalyse others to channel their own creativity and put themselves out there or try new things.
TAKE ACTION: Get off of IG and stop pinning work which you think people will like as inspo. Instead, really tap into what inspires you, and when the moment takes you, run with it. Write it down, sketch it, do what you need to do but DON’T let that idea escape you – because it will even when you think you’ll remember it. If it isn’t lighting you up, then maybe it’s not your style, even if it is the latest trend. Experiment, try new skills and techniques, but don’t allow vanity metrics to dictate whether they are successful or not.
When it comes to authentic creativity – it really is all about you…
Sometimes the most incredible things are created from unsuccessfully attempting to do something else. But failure is only ever an ending if we stop trying.
Whether we feel our fears and act or retract is a matter of mindset.
The fear never really goes away, but neither does the calling which we try for years to silence. That creativity unanswered can become a toxic weight; we can hide behind our excuses because it’s easier than getting things wrong or being made to look foolish, but tripping up makes you far more resilient than an easy ride ever will.
Don’t let doubt and fear stop you, keep it real and make the time to reconnect, that’s the opening to your greatest work ❤