- Solve a difficult problem
- Set up a business
- Pen an article
You'll hear many people use the analogy of a box and thinking outside of it when it comes to creativity. That speaks volumes. With true creative thinkers there isn't a box to consider. The box is only an imagined boundary and boundaries are restricting. So rather than thinking outside of any containment, think that there's no restriction at all.
There are 10 things that stifle creative thinking, mostly these are attitudes. Have you fallen victim to any of them?
- Looking for the right way: We're trained from an early age to do things right. We're told there are right and wrong ways to go about things. Ok we uphold this teaching when it comes to not living outside the law. But it can be prohibitive to creative thinking.
- Being too logical: Thinking along logical lines can often restrict us. It makes us discount ways of doing things because at first they seem to be irrational. People throw away many a good idea because they're bound to the logical way of doing things.
- Rules! Some say rules are for following. Some say they are for breaking. Others say they are for bending. The creative thinker doesn't mind bending or even breaking rules.
- Practicality: How many times have you rejected an idea because it didn't seem practical. In the ideas phase practicality has no place. Only let it in when things are in development. Practicality clips the wings of creativity.
- Work not Play! Oh dear. Creative thinking often involves doing things you love. It might not feel like work but never discard ideas just because they feel more like play than the serious business of work. Let the two coexist.
- That's not my bag! Are you preventing yourself from branching out creatively simply because it's not your role? Just because you've always worked in accounts doesn't mean you can't patent the world's fist marshmallow driven lawn mower. C'mon. Have faith. You don't need any qualifications to think creatively.
- But seriously: If you have an idea but think it too whacky for public consumption then you're trapping yourself by trying to maintain a serious image. True creatives don't allow conformity to get in the way of inspiration.
- Uncertainty: You've had a great idea and then you suddenly get gripped with uncertainty. Can it work? Will people think you're crazy? Don't let doubt stand in your path.
- Afraid of making mistakes: None of us likes to admit to being wrong. However, when we do make mistakes we can always learn from them. If you won't try something because of fear of failure, you'll never have the chance to succeed.
- You think you're not creative: Let's blame early schooling for this one shall we. "Peter's good at math, that's why he can't paint for toffees." "Liza's a brilliant artist but she can't think practically. We've long been dividing people up into two separate groups, creative and non creative. While people do have a tendency toward one or another type that doesn't mean Peter couldn't think creatively. He's just been conditioned to think that.
What's that? You're throwing away the box? You're going to think outside it?
There was no box.