Creativity – Fake it ‘til you make it!
Creativity may have been given the stink eye in the past, dismissed as the ugly sibling of the favoured child that is an impressive resume boasting solid qualifications and credentials. This is especially true when it comes to evaluating an individual’s suitability for a particular job role or position. However, as we move forward with much vigour into the ever competitive work market, more attention and credit are given to creativity and deservingly so! And here’s why!
The world is becoming flat
With international boundaries getting blurred, thanks to globalization, we are all on an equal playing field. While this has proven beneficial in some aspects, it also makes it harder for people to carve a distinct identity for themselves.
Rising of the mass/mess
Opportunities for self improvement and education are becoming more attainable. We now have to rely on more than just book smarts and formal qualifications to ensure we stand out among equally smart, bright and talented individuals.
This is where creativity comes in. Though the definition of creativity can be debated, with different perspectives stemming from varying philosophies, it is most commonly associated with innovativeness, fresh ideas and the ability to think laterally. Some even accredit creativity to be the highest level of mental development!
As such, even industries that do not typically value creativity are now realising how lucrative it can be. Naturally, in traditionally more creative industries, such as communications or advertising or public relations, even more is expected now.
So how do we cultivate creativity, especially if we don’t necessarily see ourselves that way? You can start by seeing your tasks as diamonds in the rough. Learn to be mentally flexible and engage yourself more fully. And then…
Give yourself some credit!
You have to realise that, more often than not, you engage in creative thinking – stuck in a jam and trying to figure a way out of it and how to recoup the time you’ve lost? That can be considered thinking creatively because you are actively engaging your mind to get around the problem at hand.
Once you get over the hurdle of acknowledging that you are actually more creative than you realise, you’d be more liable to trust your instincts. Internalize your accomplishments, no matter how tiny they may be.
Be curious & don’t be afraid to look stupid!
Tap on your inner child and be curious – forget your inhibitions, learn to let go! Ask questions, diversify your experiences and explore things that have piqued your interest even if they fall outside your job scope, even if you never thought it would be something you are capable of.
Many of us forget our child-like curiosity. Having gotten so comfortable, or preoccupied, with our jobs, we don’t make it a point to learn new things. Succumbing to this allows our minds to slacken which is a way of hampering the development of creativity. It is important to remember to balance things out.
Set aside time each week to allow yourself to broaden your wealth of knowledge and experiences. It could be a one off activity, like building a model airplane, or something that you would want to pursue for a longer period of time, like learning a new language or sport.
Or you could even do both! Since these activities are meant to be purely recreational in nature, it is more than okay to dabble in a variety of activities as opposed to focus on a particular field of interest.
Use your eyes … and your nose, mouth, ears, hands!
While on the job, most of us are not fully able to engage all our senses because focus tends to be placed on getting the task at hand done in the most efficient way possible. Hobbies allow us to engage the senses that may be dormant while we are at work.
By having activities outside of work, you are building up your repertoire of experiences and sensations. From this, you can draw on more sensorial triggers, and in turn emotional triggers. This facilitates your creative thinking process by giving you more to build your ideas around.
Thankfully, as you can see, inculcating creativity is easier than most people realise. Hone your creative vision and do not get intimidated by learning to see what you cannot see – great opportunities sometimes come disguised.
By Yasmin Md Basir, PR Associate @ Corporate Media Services