4 ways to build creative confidence

Whether you realise or not, you spend a considerable about of time exercising your creative ‘muscle’ regardless of what type of job role you are in, your workplace or your area of focus.  When typical problems cannot be solved using a standard formula or set of actions to determine a way forward, then a different approach involving creative and innovative thought is needed to solve problems and satisfy your clients, especially in the competitive and fast paced world we live in.

In this context, increasingly the work we do is becoming more specialised requiring autonomy, considerable creative thinking and decisions to develop, design and deliver work – and usually it needs to be visually and cognitively engaging and compelling.

But for many people they believe they are simply not creative and that creativity is bestowed on a  lucky artistic few, is inherited or only for ‘right-brained’ thinkers.

Let’s not waste any time here, we’re going to bust these myths quickly, because we have to get moving on some great ways to encourage your creative confidence.

Myth 1 – Creativity is inherited

Ever heard of a ‘creative breed’? I didn’t think so. Do you think that only artists or musicians creative? This is a myth. Perpetuating the stereotype of creative people is not helpful to your own creative development.  You do not need to be a genius to unleash your creative potential. Importantly, you do not need to associate creativity with painting, writing or other arts.Creativity can be found in many other fields such as science, project management, accounting, administration etc. Importantly, creativity is about going through a process and moving forward with ideas, testing, discovering new ways and experimenting.

Myth 2 – Right brain vs left brain myth

Now we need to be careful on this one, because it suggests that if you have the wrong kind of brain you simply cannot be creative. This myth is also perpetuated by old stereotypes and simply not helpful for creative confidence.

Neuroscience is already showing that everybody uses both sides of their brain when performing a task, and creativity is no exception. Yes, it is true that the two brain hemispheres function in particular ways, but crucially, they are joined by bundles of nerve fibers interacting and processing together including when we are being creative.

Simplifying creativity as exclusively ‘right brained’ and those that are good at problem solving or logical as ‘left brained’ is as useful as saying that someone is Sagittarius or Taurus. it is not helpful. So let’s move on.

The good news is creative thinking is something that you can achieve, but it involves deliberate letting go of structure, assumptions and inhibitions and also seeing potential and opportunity.

So now you know that creativity is not exclusive to certain people or brain types, let’s chat about how you can build your creative confidence and capacity.

As Maya Angelou says:

You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have!

 Think about it. The more you use, the more you have. You get stronger.  You know it is possible to build up any skill or capacity in the same way you do any muscle… you routinely push beyond your comfort zone, then rest.

So, here’s 4 ways build your creative confidence:

  1. Recognise your mental preferences – understanding the nature of your natural thinking preferences will help you show the degree of mental processing – your default style and thus highlight the ‘boundaries’ you have set yourself. By exploring your preferences and challenging your normal ‘mode’ of thinking, you are better placed to see alternate points of view and encourage you to see things differently.
  2. Reframe risk as opportunity – creative thinking demands a lot from the individual, but importantly, the benefits and results can be very incredible. Risk taking can involve a degree of vulnerability, self-awareness, and honest with self to engage in a creative process. Taking risks also means that you may fail but also you may succeed in amazing ways. Instead, see risk as opportunity and what you stand to GAIN of you engage in the creative process. Unless you are aiming for comfort being prepared see opportunity over risk is a vital part of the creative process.
  3. Confront your fears – one of the major obstacles to creative thinking is the doubt driven by fear of an uncertain outcome.This doubt and fear is more often than not anchored in questions you may about your abilities, whether you will be successful and what other people think. This type of fear is deep, primal and instinctive. It drives your emotions, behaviour, memory, processing and the ability to focus.While fear is important to protect from actual danger, it is certainly not helpful during the creative process.So, when engaging in creative thinking confront your doubts fears as they arise and challenge them right up front.
  4. Think about it. Do you need to hold on to fears during the creative process? How will holding onto fear benefit you?
  5. Stop telling yourself that you are not creative…especially when you are tired, stressed or run down – This is one of the biggest things that can blast your creative confidence. There are two things you need to do in these instances: 1. Remind yourself you are creative and you’ve got this. 2. Know when you are your creative best and create, this could be early in the morning, late in the evening, and more than likely when you in your most relaxed state.

A way forward

Creative thinking will push your limits and expand the boundaries of your own perceived limitations. Don’t’ sell yourself short and convince yourself that you are less than what you are. No matter who you are, your skills or experience, make a conscious effort to embrace creativity to fulfill your own potential, to learn and to bring about change.

Would you like to better understand your thinking preferences, particularly in regards to creative thinking? Would you like to discover where you naturally sit on spectrum of thinking and how you can use this insight in your daily work to overcome creative roadblocks and build your creative confidence? Contact me for a Creative Confidence Strategy Session!

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