Whether you’re a seasoned creative or wanting to explore creativity for the first time we all struggle with finding the creative mindset. Creativity exists innately within all of us, but to consciously practise creativity and give it the level of attention and focus it needs to begin to grow is an entirely learned skill, one that begins with changing the way we think about our daily structure and the role of creativity in it.
Last week we discussed the idea of holding space for your creativity in three aspects of your life; physically, mentally and emotionally (Click HERE to look at our Mini Series: Holding Space). Consider this a deeper dive into how we can hold space mentally for our creativity and prepare ourselves for the transformative journey through creative expression, trust and exploration.
Components of the Creative Mindset
A creative mindset requires one to be actively thinking about and experiencing the world, while reflecting on those experiences and looking inward to acknowledge and then express those sensations back into the world.
A creative mind...
Searches for Beauty - Each and everyday we are surrounded by the beauty of living and the tiny miracles of wonder that saturate our senses. A creative mindset strives to search for the beauty we know resides in the world today. Even when bleak prospects and dark clouds block out the sun, creatives know that the warmth of its rays will return and gaze with wonder at the shapes of those clouds, until the sunlight finds its way through again.
Loves Observing the world - Watching is not enough. To observe is to enter details into your mental catalogue during even the most innocuous of circumstances. Perhaps it’s the way a woman brushes the hair from her face while sitting on a park bench, or the cadence of step of two best friends walking side by side, or how a child chases after a butterfly, their parent hot on their heels to keep them from danger. While the participants may be oblivious to the subtleties of their actions, a creative is a keen observer of the world and those who reside in it.
Set on Problem Solving - As stated in the film Robots, “See a need, fill a need”. The creative mindset is one that is always active. From solving the problem of a blank canvas or page to inventing new tech or reorganizing the office filing system, problem solving is our most agile, practical and regular touchstone moment of creativity every single day. We may be raising awareness of a social justice cause or simply solving an everyday frustration, but no matter how we look at it a creative is always solving a problem through communication and expression with their chosen creative medium.
Delights in Curiosity - Creatives have an innate desire to know more about their world, both internal and external. That curiosity children have when they begin to grapes and grab as babies, through to learning about how things work in school and beyond is a delight that creatives keep their whole lives. To cultivate a creative mindset, one needs to be in tune with their curiosity and delight in learning more about the world and themselves through the creative journey.
Tips to Help you Develop a Creative Mindset
Cultivating a creative mindset can take time. It can mean unlearning harmful patterns that stifle us and our creativity, unravelling societal pressures and expectations, and re-learning to get in touch with our innate impulses from childhood like choosing to delight in play, learning and exploration.
Find Moments of Magic - Taking a few minutes each day to stop and really appreciate the magic of the moment passing by can help you become a better observer and forces you to search for moments of beauty wherever you happen to find yourself. Jotting them down or taking a picture can help you capture those moments of magic.
Ask the Why Questions - It becomes very easy to take the world at face value; the way things work, the societal structures, the ins and outs of daily life. When we stop ourselves and take the time to ask why things are a certain way, why we do things or perceive things a certain way, why a song makes us want to cry or laugh or sing or dance, those moments of gentle interrogation into the whys of life make us conscious about our placement and view of the world we live in and who we are within it. Asking the shy questions keeps us living with curiosity and learning at the forefront. Allowing ourselves the space to grow and evolve through questions gives us the freedom to explore our world in new and exciting ways.
Reflect on your Feelings - When you have a visceral reaction to something, or feel an emotional response bubbling up to the surface, instead of giving it free reign or burying it deep down let it sit in your body for a moment or two and reflect on the events, the emotion, the sensations of the moment. Doing so allows us to better understand how we work. Expression is a prerequisite for creativity, and reflection is a necessary component in the journey of self expression and creative realization.
Embrace Failure - Becoming more open to failure just means getting excited about taking chances and learning from the results. Creativity doesn’t have a set path you must follow or a rulebook to guide you along the way. Being open to experiences and trying new things is the best way to stretch yourself in new ways. Facing that fear of failure, embracing the possibility of failure in exchange for learning and growth and the potential for success is a huge turning step on the creative journey.
All things considered the creative mindset is one of openness and exploration, coupled with compassion and delight. There are steps we can take to cultivate that mindset and when we do it together in an environment of support, encouragement and creativity we build a thriving life of creative joy.