7 Ways To Be More Consciously Creative

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I’ve been a commercial artist for more than 20 years now. When I tell people what I do, they often say things like, “I wish I was a creative person.” Many people think they aren’t creative, but being creative is a fundamental characteristic of being human. It is, in fact, our most defining characteristic. 

You don't have to be artistic to be creative. You create every day. Though you may be doing so unconsciously, your creative brain helps you solve everyday problems, plan a vacation, write an email, organize your closet, etc. 

Not only does being creative help us feel more fulfilled as humans, but studies show that being creative can increase positive emotions, lessen depressive symptoms, reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and even improve immune system functioning 

Once you realize how much creative power you have, you can start to deliberately create results in your life. Whether that's something physical, like your dream home, or something more like a loving relationship, you have the power to create marvelous things. 

Consciously creating is a learned skill. Here are a few ways you can learn to be more consciously creative.

1Believe You Can Be Creative

Belief is the first step to accomplishing just about anything. Believing you can’t do something may actually be a more powerful stumbling block. Look for excuses you are making that are holding you back from a desired result. Then you can work on turning your beliefs around. 

2Identify Things You've Already Created in Your Life

One way to have more confidence in yourself and your ability to create something new is to look at all the evidence of things you’ve already created. As mentioned above, these don’t have to be artistic things. Maybe you earned a degree in science, wrote a research paper, love to create nutritious meals for your family, organized a fundraising event, or simply created a fun friendship with the neighbor. Look for those things and write them down.

3Boldly Try New Things Just Because

Creators try new things and aren’t afraid to be bad at them. Nobody was born an Olympic athlete or master painter. Everyone started at the beginning. How do you know you’ll enjoy creating something if you don’t try new things? And maybe you’ll hate it, but at least now you know because you tried it. 

4Have a Hobby, Even if You're Not Good at it

Creating just for the sake of creating has great benefits for your mental and physical health. Painting, writing, gardening, cooking, or whatever else you find enjoyable as a hobby is known to relieve stress, give us a sense of purpose, and satisfaction. 

Creating in a group setting is especially cathartic. My grandma used to meet with her quilting group every week. They helped each other finish their quilts, but I think the social aspect is what kept them coming for years and years. Another friend of mine goes on a knitting retreat every winter. The ladies just sit around at a cozy cabin knitting. It’s a break from life and a chance to create something cool.

5Look for a Problem and Create a Solution

Necessity is the mother of invention. Some of the world’s greatest inventions have come about as the result of solving a problem or improving upon an existing solution. When you see a problem and there’s no solution, you could create one. This is especially relevant for women at this time and place in history. We have more opportunities than ever. 

You know those applesauce packets with a screw-off lid kids can eat by squeezing right out of the tube? A woman I know invented that! She was looking for a healthy lunch option on the go that didn’t require a spoon and wouldn’t make a mess. Bam! Problem solved and an entirely new food packaging option was born. 

But you don’t have to invent a new product to solve problems. I utilize this all the time in my life, home, and business. When something isn’t working, instead of getting annoyed and tolerating it, I find a way to fix it. This is being creative.

6Envision and Create a Model for What You Want To Create

Architects, designers, painters, and builders rarely show up with a stack of supplies to create a finished product. They start with ideas, sketches, more sketches, drafts, mockups, and scaled-down models. 

You can do the same. Vision boards, checklists, mind maps, drawings, or whatever else you may need to do to flesh out your plan beforehand will increase the likelihood of actually creating it. Sharing it for feedback from a trusted friend can also be helpful. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board or make changes. This is how great things are created. It can start ugly and improve with each iteration.

7Take Action

Last but not least, taking action is the most important part of creating. Sitting around dreaming about what you’d like to create just isn’t going to create anything. How many books, screenplays, gardens, or craft projects have you been saying you’d finish “someday”? Today is all there really is, and if you let go of perfectionism or the idea that you don’t have enough time and just do something, you’ll eventually create something wonderful. 

Tags: Creativity, Self Care, Self Confidence, Hobby

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Written By

Tanya Goodall Smith

Tanya Goodall Smith, founder of WorkStory Creative, helps micro businesses expand their influence with strategic visual storytelling. See Full Bio

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