Push Your Creative Boundaries
Posted on November 29, 2014 in Advice
Sometimes it feels like you are caught in the snare of a critic dissecting your every step when you are working under pressure. You cannot see this critic, and he knows every button to push and every chink in your armor. This critic is hiding in plain sight, and yet it seems impossible to silence him. This critic is the one inside of your own head. When it comes to the creative process, we are our own worst enemies. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. With time those self-criticisms morph into self-doubt and it starts to put limitations on your creative thought. That’s right, you are limiting yourself.
Some criticism is healthy, but when you criticize yourself too much, you start to hate doing creative work. The following are some ideas to help push your thoughts in the creative direction. You can learn to be fearless when it comes to pushing your creative boundaries. Finding confidence in you will allow you to explore new avenues of creativity and finally break out of your comfort zone.
People often fail to see the value in brainstorming because it doesn’t feel productive to sit quietly with a blank piece of paper and just think. Sometimes it feels intimidating to stare at that blank sheet. The reality is that brainstorming is a powerful tool and you can surprise yourself with the creativity you manufacture when you do it.
If the blank page intimidates you, then write anything across the top. It really doesn’t matter what it is. Look to your left. What is sitting there? Write that across the top, and describe it as thoroughly as possible. Now you’re brainstorming. You are loosening up your thought patterns and allowing in connections that don’t normally happen. You never know where the next great idea will come from, so don’t try to police or organize these ideas.
Stay current in your area of expertise by reading daily. You can read books, blogs, forums, or social media accounts. Don’t let it suck your whole day away because you do have to get your own work done, but reading can inspire you and it keeps your skills fresh.
Failure gives you the opportunity to learn. Failure also means you are doing something. The only way to avoid failure completely is to do nothing. Seeing failure as an opportunity to grow can turn it into an asset. If you want to grow, you have to do things you have never done before. When you do that, failures are inevitable. Embrace it, have fun with it, and never let it stop you.
Being creative is messy. There isn’t any way around that. If you want to grow and push your creative boundaries, you have to learn to be your own biggest fan. You have to learn how to pick yourself up and keep going even when you fail. Once you learn to embrace the process and really dive in head first, you’ll finally find out what you’re truly made of.