Whether you’re trying to fix a certain issue, start a business, market that business, or write an interesting article, creative thinking is crucial. The process boils down to changing your perspective and seeing things differently than you currently do.
People like to call this “thinking outside of the box,” which is the wrong way to look at it.
You create your own imaginary boxes just by living life and accepting certain things as “real” when they are just as illusory as the beliefs of a paranoid delusional. The only difference is that there are enough other people who believe in the same concepts, so you’re viewed as “normal.” This is good for society overall, but it’s that sort of unquestioning consensus that inhibits your natural creative abilities.
So, rather than looking for ways to inspire creativity, you should just realize the truth: you’ve always been creative, but certain imaginary mental blocks (or boxes) that you’ve picked up along the way are inhibiting you.
There are about 10 common ways we suppress our natural creative abilities.
Read on to find out more…
1. Struggling to find the “right” answer
One of the worst aspects of our education system is its focus on the correct answer to a particular question or problem. While this approach helps us function in society, it hurts creative thinking because real-life issues are ambiguous. There’s often more than one “correct” answer.
As a matter of fact, they are all wrong answers, some are just slightly less wrong. As we better understand a certain issue or question, we come up with better answers, but never the right one.
Many of the following mental blocks can be turned around to reveal ways to find more than one answer to any given problem. Try reframing the issue in different ways in order to prompt different answers, and embrace answering ambiguous questions in different ways.
Real life is not just ambiguous, it’s often illogical to the point of madness. While critical thinking skills based on logic are one of our main strengths in evaluating a creative idea, it’s often the enemy of truly innovative thoughts in the first place.
One of the best ways to escape the constraints of your own logical mind is to think metaphorically. One of the reasons why metaphors work so well in communication is that we accept them as true without thinking about it. When you realize that “truth” is often symbolic, you’ll often find that you are actually free to come up with alternatives.
3. Rules, rules, rules
Creative thinking can be interpreted as a destructive force. You’re tearing away the often arbitrary rules that others have set for you, and asking either “why” or “why not” whenever confronted with the way “everyone” does things.
Creativity means to confront the status quo.
If you want to take your creativity to the next level, start breaking some rules.
4. Being practical
Like logic, practicality is hugely important when it comes to execution, but often stifles innovative ideas before they can blossom. Don’t allow the editor into the same room with your inner artist.