How to Become a Creative Thinker
While it’s true that some people are born with a creative mind, it doesn’t mean that creative thinking can’t be learned and developed. If you want to become a creative thinker, the secret is simple, practice. Yep, practice.
You may believe that you don’t have a creative bone in your body, but this simply isn’t true. If you weren’t capable of some type of creative thinking, you’d be a robot! In a recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs, creativity was identified as the number 1 “leadership compentency” of the future.
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As an entrepreneur, how are you cultivating creativity?
And I am not talking about making art, coloring or painting. I am talking about creative problem solving as an approach to growing your business. I could ramble on about this topic and I may over the next few posts but for today, here are a few simple strategies for cultivating creative thinking.
I define creative thinking as brainstorming, innovating and questioning your own ideas and strategies for growth.
Believing In Yourself
The first step to becoming a creative thinker is believing in yourself. You can acquire and develop this new skill with focus and intention combined with belief. I know this sounds obvious but I see my clients get stuck here so frequently. The truth is that, if you continue to set up a mental roadblock and tell yourself that you can’t think creatively, you’ll never get past this first step.
When you truly believe in yourself, you also open up doors. The possibilities are endless just because you decided to give creative thinking a shot.
In order to foster creativity in your life, start thinking about where you want to apply your newfound creativity. Creative thinkers practice thinking as an art. It’ll help, at least at first, to have a specific goal instead of the broad goal of just “thinking” creatively overall.
Creative thinking can help you discover better solutions to common problems in your business, or you might want to broaden your horizons with an artistic goal in your free time.
You can see my explorations in creative thinking in this Facebook Live video where I am painting and talking about falling in love with your business. I see painting as a way to create mental space for new ideas and solutions.
No matter what your goal is, try applying some of these creativity boosting tips:
1. Spend time brainstorming. When looking for ideas for a project – or solutions to a challenge – write down everything that comes to mind without holding back. Don’t worry about logistics or staying organized; just let your mind go free.
Another form of brainstorming that might be worth a try is free writing: just pick up a pen and let your mind go wild on the topic of your choice. Tell yourself that you can’t pause or put the pen down; you must keep writing. You’ll be surprised at what you can unload from your brain during a free writing session!
2. Change your surroundings. You may have noticed that your patterns of thinking change when you’re in different places. If you find that your mind is stuck, try changing your environment. Go out for some fresh air or hang out in a coffee shop. It may be just what you need in order to discover a new and exciting idea.
3. Take notes. Always carry some kind of note taking device with you, whether it’s paper or a mobile device. Record your ideas as they come to you, no matter where you are at the time. Creative thoughts can come and go, but if you write them down you won’t forget them.
4. Research your topics. Even though it may seem boring, you can do some research online. When you do, you’ll learn that knowledge is power and it’ll enable your brain to get to a place it wouldn’t normally have gone. I cannot tell you how much doing research, even just simple Google searches for articles, can stimulate new ideas and insights! I love research.
Enjoy the journey and always follow your love of learning. Research will always provide you with new angles of thought.
Consider Other Perspectives
While everyone comes with their own unique set of abilities and opinions, when you develop your creativity, you learn how to come up with new ideas and solve problems from different points of view.
No matter what challenge you’re faced with, spend time considering the perspective of others. While you might not share the opinion of another, see if you can figure out how or why they have that view. Think about how they feel. Developing this empathy will keep your mind open, which will always foster creativity.
Another way to do this is to use a traditional SWOT analysis to look at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Approach this from a colorful, playful and fun perspective to see what you might be missing, on both strengths and weaknesses.
When you get into the habit of using these tips often, you’ll be pleased to see outbursts of creativity! Soon you will be sharing with others that you are a creative thinker!
What are your favorite strategies or inspirations for boosting creativity?
And if you want to discover how can connect creativity to your business success. Join me live in LA for 3 amazing days spent working on your business in our brand new hands-on creative workshop the Creative Business Summit.