Thinking Outside the Box: Awaken your Creativity
I remember them all looking at me. My temperature started to rise, turning my cheeks red. At first, I was clueless on what to do. I kept looking up at the blank screen and the broken projector in distraught. My PowerPoint was my only way of communicating my 60 second proposal and the clock was ticking. I was presenting in front of the University of Tampa’s marketing club and was caught like a deer in the headlights when PowerPoint left me hanging. That’s when I understood the importance of being able to quickly think outside the box to remedy a situation
We have all been told to think outside the box, but in the heat of the moment, sometimes that can seem impossible. Being creative can be a challenge, as we are often caught up in the routine of how we complete tasks. Before discussing a few creative exercises that can help us break out of our shells that we often trap ourselves into, lets go over the three main issues we have to first get past.
Build Your Confidence
- Get out of the habit of saying “this is the only way.”
If there were only one way of communicating or getting to work, then we would have never advanced to the high technology world we live in today. If everyone thought narrow-mindedly and only saw one solution, cell phones, TVs and cars would have never been invented. Get out of habit of thinking there is only one solution because it is essential to exploring your creativity.
- Do not say “I am not a creative person.”
A lot of us believe that we lack creativity, which can be damaging to our self-esteem. If you believe you can not do something, most likely, you will be right. Setting your mind to the idea that you are creative is key to embracing your inner creative muse.
- Block your mind from thinking that you have to be an artist to be creative.
Many people believe that only true artists can be creative, which is very untrue. We would not consider Martin Luther King, Jr. to be an artist, would we? But would you agree that it took a lot of thinking outside the box for him to be able to strongly communicate his position in a world that seemed stacked against him?
Now that we have opened our minds and cleared our brain of any thoughts that might anchor us down, we are ready to learn the how to expand our creativity.
Expand your Creativity
Carry a note pad with you
A burst of creativity may occur at any time. In order to best prepare for this moment, carrying a note pad with you to jot down your thoughts will help you save your ideas. Now, people often prefer to just use the notepad in their phone, which will work just as well. The goal is that you are not losing your ideas. Later, refer back to your notes to see if you can take any next steps to turn your idea into action.
Give yourself a break
Often people feel rushed, even when they are not in a hurry. We tend to stress ourselves out more than we really need to. Regardless, everyone deserves, and needs to take a step back and relax. When we are too stressed out, our fuel of creativity runs out, causing our creative juices to run slowly. To combat this, take a few moments out your day to take a breather. You’ll be amazed at how a clear mind can create a path for creative thoughts.
Exercise your brain
When you are at the gym working on your biceps, your muscles become stronger. If you choose to relax on the couch instead they will get weaker. Similarly, your brain loses power if it is not being challenged. Exercising your brain also increases your creativity levels, strengthening your problem solving abilities. A few good ways to exercise your mind include playing mind teaser games or completing puzzles.
Ask a lot of questions
Sometimes we find ourselves unsure of something we are told, but we still nod our heads anyway. Get out of the habit of just agreeing out of habit and harness the desire to want to understand. When you ask questions, you open your mind to new information, sorting through endless ideas with each question you raise. Creating this figment of mind mapping can lead to new creative ideas. So next time you don’t understand, don’t just nod your head yes, but stand up and ask questions.
Don’t settle for one idea
Whenever you need to come up with a new idea, do not settle on the first one that pops into your head. Explore your mind and write down as many ideas that you can think of, then try to pull a solid idea out of the combination of them all. Start by asking yourself questions and expand your ideas by brainstorming with yourself. You’ll be surprised by what you come up with!
So I stood there in front of the group, glanced down at my watch, reminding me of my countdown. And that’s when it hit me. I looked up, took a step back with a deep inhale and exhale to relax my mind. I asked myself several questions on what to do. I then quickly ran through a bunch of different solutions as I faced my own strenuous discussion. Finally I settled on one solution in that moment, I took another deep breath and smiled to the crowd. I stood up tall and looked down at my notepad. Although I did not have my PowerPoint, I still had my notes. With creative thinking, although I didn’t have my preferred presentation method, I reworked my presentation last minute and, believe it or not, the group loved it! And all it took was confidence and practicing theses creative exercises.
At Regenerative Medicine Solutions, we empower our employees to discover new ideas and speak their thoughts. If you are interested with working with a company that promotes employee growth and development, then check out our employment page for opportunities.