I hear this everywhere I look. Nobody thinks they’re creative. You say you simply couldn’t do it. I think, your idea of creativity is just wrong.
What is creativity to you? Do you believe that only painters, musicians, and other artists are creative? If that is the case, I think your definition of the term is way too tight. Creativity is solving old problems with new thoughts. Or solving them in general. To lower the threshold even more. Looking at it that way, every human is creative.
The only thing hampering your creativity is your conviction that you were not creative. You gave yourself a self-fulfilling prophecy that now claims its right. Changing that requires you to change your attitude.
Maybe, you’ve been creative before, and you feel as if your creativity had left you. I know that feeling. But don’t turn to the productivity gurus now. Instead, read my “No Bullshit” Guide For Creative Workers. That’ll get you further.
If you want to try a couple of techniques to help you get out of the creativity hole, try this one. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthily …
No, just kidding. Of course, all of this is important but doesn’t get you any immediate use. On top of that, you can also fall into the creativity hole when you’re full and well rested.
Going back to the realization that creativity is solving old problems with new approaches, it could help use adjusting the basic parameters of problem-solving.
Before, you may have let your mind drift freely, in order to get creative ideas. I’m sure you’ve done that. After all, relaxed thinking is one of the basic requirements to get your creative juices going.
Don’t do it. Do the opposite, and limit yourself. Restrict your options for the solution of a problem. Limit them to the point that there are only a few ways to solve it. In 2008, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said that, according to his experience, the foundation for innovation is always a restriction. He always had the most creative ideas for Amazon when the money was the tightest. Bezos said that if you’re locked into a tight box, you are the only one that can find the way out. Whether it be about money, time, or other conditions. Limits drive innovation. Try it for yourself.
Another method is doing something that you can’t do. This paradoxical behavior stimulates problem solution areas within you, that you might not have known of before. Another paradoxical behavior would be taking a break in the fast office routine, or accelerating in calm minutes. Surprise your brain. It will definitely react.
However, the most important thing is giving up your conviction that you are not creative before it burns itself into your synapses forever. This conviction is always wrong. You ARE creative.