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According to a survey by IBM, tapping into your innate creativity is the No. 1 essential for future success in your career. But you don’t have to be an artist to utilize this soft skill that consistently ranks as a business must-have. We are all born with an intrinsic ability to be creative; it is what allows us to focus our energy and perceive the world. Creativity helps us imagine and make decisions regarding the trajectory of our careers, and accessing it can give meaning to work by helping us discover our purpose.
As a job creator for more than 25 years, I learn every day and push myself outside of my comfort zone by accessing my creativity. Many people struggle to connect with their inherent creative abilities. According to Harvard Business Review, you need to be in the right emotional state to tune into your innate creative genius.
There are several ways you can access an emotional state that will allow you to tap into your creativity. For example, the coronavirus pandemic presents an opportunity for creativity. Through it, we are finding new ways to solve problems and coming up with creative solutions in the way we work. These unprecedented times provide an opportunity for all individuals to unleash their creativity. I recommend the following practices to access yours:
1. Practice mindfulness. Do you often not notice what’s happening around you? Deadlines, distractions and obligations inundate us and block our creativity. The key is to minimize distractions and unnecessary busyness. Find ways to cut TV usage and smartphone scrolling and make space in your life for new ideas—you can’t do that if you’re cluttering your mind with information that won’t help you create. Mindfulness is a practice that takes time. You can be mindful through meditation. Sit in nature or go for a walk during lunch. While doing so, focus on the present moment and all of the things you see and feel. Make time to practice mindfulness and you will be able to tap into your creativity more easily.
2. Begin rewriting. I can’t emphasize enough how important freewriting is to creativity. If you make it a daily practice, you’ll learn to use it as a space to write without inhibitions, doubts or pressures. You’ll create a practice that allows you to open yourself to original ideas that may not come to you through the conscious mind. This is called being in a state of flow, and it can help you access original ideas.
3. Support your own brainstorming. Whenever you think of a brilliant idea, write it down. Permit yourself to come up with new concepts. Often, our negative internal voice can get in the way of us feeling confident about the ideas we generate. If you give yourself this permission and make enough space and time for deep thinking, you will begin synthesizing thoughts and come up with original solutions to problems you’re working on.4. Love what you do.
When it comes to your work, find what makes you tick and focus on it. Doing so will allow you to counter cynicism and negativity, which we all are capable of indulging in. By focusing on what you enjoy, you’re more likely to come up with new ideas, step outside your comfort zone and push yourself to make your job even better.
Fun is the operative word when it comes to being creative. You cannot put pressure on yourself to access the insightful imagination you possess. To reach your potential, you need to step outside of your safe zone and tap into your authentic creative self. If you do, the world will be a much better place because of your creativity, and you will be joyous in the journey.