All humans have natural creative thinking skills. As therapists and business owners, we likely use them every day to develop ideas and problem solve. Creative thinking skills help us achieve ‘aha!’ moments, spark innovation and put plans into motion. But like many skills, creative thinking skills can become dulled with time.
Have You Noticed Any Of These Common Threats To Creative Thinking?
When our creative thinking skills start flowing, so do our worries about how those ideas might play out or be received.
We all have our own stories about what is possible, ‘too hard’ or ‘not me’. These inner narratives can come from past experiences with failure or shame.
Lack of follow through
Many dreamers and planners have piles of started, but never finished projects. That’s not necessarily a bad thing! The important part is getting back on the road again, having persistence and finishing the good stuff!
Good ideas can fall by the wayside without the right support and resources.
We lose touch with our dreams and best mindset when we get caught up in rushing and multi-tasking.
Ever have a bad chair, gloomy room, or distracting desk? Then you know that the right environment can make the difference between a stuck mind and a mind that is ready for creative magic.
How Do We Move Past These Barriers And Stuck Points In Our Everyday Work?
Einstein used thought experiments and used his imagination for problem solving. His ‘day-dreaming’ was the key to playing out the theory of relativity and seeing the connection between his ideas. Joe Sanok’s awesome TedX Talk on slowing down to foster aha! Moments mentions how meditation and mindfulness connect us to thinking at our best. Try some of the following ideas to help you slow down, experiment and connect to your own creative abilities:
Get lost in play
Take a few moments to mindfully engage in play. Use silly putty on your desk to make shapes, spend time doodling, or write a poem. Get your creative mind working for a while, then switch back to a more challenging project.
Drop it for a while and come back
When working on a plan, business idea or mentally challenging task, take a break. When you come back, you may be able to look at it with a different perspective.
Use a minute of mindfulness
Before starting a project, take a moment to connect with your intention. Spend a minute breathing and connecting to your mission. Slow down and be in the present with your work.
Take time to review the work of your mentors, respected and trusted colleagues. Find what you have in common, what threads you want to continue. Use the inspiration to guide you, just like many great artists, thinkers and leaders have done before.
Practice taking a risk
Use the creative circles exercise to practice your creativity without too much thinking. On a blank page, fill in 30 circles with as many drawings as you can in 3 minutes. You’ll stretch your creative skill and notice what gets in the way if you process the experience of the activity.
Amy Rosechandler is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Group Psychotherapist and owner of Clarity Mental Health, a counseling practice in Rochester, New York. She is honored to work with teens and adults looking to strengthen their relationships, feel more empowered and find clarity. Amy adores collaborating with colleagues to make their career dreams come true and helps new counselors build confidence.