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Unlock Your Creativity – Step 5

We’ve reached the final step in Vivian Banta‘s process for Unlocking Your Creativity. (Posted on Creativity For Life!) This step is one we often neglect.

Recognize our achievement.

So often we tend to downplay what we’ve accomplished. We think it’s prideful to toot our own horn. To our own detriment, we dismiss sincere compliments, refusing to believe what we’ve done or are in the process of doing is a big deal.

To let a moment of recognition, either from ourselves or from others, slip past unacknowledged robs us of an opportunity to boost our confidence as we work toward our ultimate goal.

Recognition generates inspiration and motivation and brings us full circle to:
Step 1: Continually choosing to be creative.
Step 2: Looking for ways to expand our horizons.
Step 3: Being brave and taking a leap.
Step 4: Expecting some failures…and growth.
Step 5: Recognize your achievement. Celebrate!

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blue prints of your ultimate accomplishments. Napolean Hill

Links to previous steps:
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4 

Unlock Your Creativity – Step 4

As we continue to explore the series of steps suggested by Vivian Banta in her article Unlocking Your Creativity, (posted at Creativity For Life!) have you followed through on Step 3 —

Be brave and take the leap.

If you have, then you may already have first hand experience with Step 4:

Expect some failures… and growth.

Zane Grey
Walt Disney
Jerry Seinfeld
Henry Ford
Lucille Ball

Each struggled and experienced their share of failures before succeeding.

Failure is embarrassing. A blow to our pride. The trauma of failure can stop us in our tracks. However, if we are going to trying something new, failure will be an unavoidable part of our life.

So how can we manage failure, so it doesn’t take away our motivation to try again? So we don’t give up on our dreams?

Stop expecting perfection. Very few things turn out flawless the first time. We learn by failing. Failure is a part of being successful. Success is about dealing with failure.

Through failure we learn and improve. By considering the failure as feedback, we can change strategies and take a different approach. We may have to do this many, many times. Each time will bring us closer to success. Closer to living our dream.

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. -Marilyn Vos Savant

The links for the first three steps in this series:
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3

Unlock Your Creativity – Step 3

We’ve explored the first two steps for Unlocking Your Creativity (First Step, Second Step) Let’s move on to the third step Vivian Banta suggests in her article posted at Creativity For Life!

Be brave and take a leap

Why do you need courage?

  • You may find yourself outside your comfort zone as you face the great ‘Unknown’.
  • If you’re learning a new skill, you may not be very good at what you’re attempting. At least not at first. Give yourself time to learn.
  • Depending on what you are trying to achieve, you may not have everyone’s support. If your new pursuit cuts into time you would normally spend with them, expect resistance. Chasing your dream can bring others face-to-face with their own unfulfilled dreams.
Jump in! Clear a spot on your calendar so you can sign up for a class. Prepare that proposal then schedule a meeting to present your idea. Get a library card so you can experiment reading a different genre without spending any money.
The October 2011 Prevention magazine reports that researchers at Johns Hopkins conducted a study and found that spontaneity activated the section of the brain associated with the creative “flow” state. The researchers believe that spontaneity can help us discover creative solutions and new ideas in all areas of our lives. So plan a free afternoon. Be open to the possibilities. Be brave and take the plunge.

Unlock Your Creativity – Step 2

Last week we explored the first step in Vivian Banta’s article titled: Unlocking Your Creativity. The article, posted on the Creativity For Life! website. Have you taken that first step and decided what creativity will look for you? Good. The second step is an action step.

Expand Your Horizons    

What do you envision when you read this phrase? Traveling to a faraway place? Daring to ditch the day job and follow your dream? Facing a fear? These certainly qualify as a way to expand your horizon. If you have the wherewithal and the desire, go for it and God bless! But if you’re like me – comfortable in your routine – there are smaller changes that can expose us to new environments and change the way we see the familiar.

The simplest way to begin is do the opposite of what you normally do. If the drive-through window is the first stop of your day, tomorrow pull into a parking spot, go inside the shop and stand face to face with the person waiting on you. See the person behind the voice-in-the-box. Look around at the people sitting at the tables. If you have time, be one of them and sit down. What do you see, smell, hear?

Do you live in the city? Plan a day at an agricultural fair. Instead of pizza on Friday night, go with Chinese cuisine. Drive a different way to work. If you’re an artist, switch to a different medium. Give yourself permission to play and create something that is less than perfect.

If  going away for vacation doesn’t fit into your budget, become a tourist in your own town. We get so wrapped up in our busy lives, we often miss what brings the out-of-towners to our neck of the woods. Take a hike in a nearby state park. Visit a small museum or historic house where docents and volunteers are happy to share their knowledge. Attend a concert given by the town band. You may discover that your mailman plays the trombone.

Stagnation can be the enemy of imagination. Exposing ourselves to experiences outside our regular routine will spark a fresh perspective and new ideas. What one thing will you do differently today?

Unlock Your Creativity

Creativity For Life had a great post last week on unlocking the creativity that is inherent in all of us. In the article, Vivian Banta defines creativity as a way of thinking or perceiving the world and its possibilities.We need to set aside our narrow view of what we believe creativity is and open our minds to the possibility that lies within every one of us. To do this, Ms. Banta has given us five steps. Let’s explore the first step together.

Make a choice to be creative.

The idea that you are not creative may have been planted by a well meaning art teacher who considered drawing the human form to be a science. (Her name was Miss Warner. She was at least 100 years old and had blue rinse in her hair.) Don’t get stuck trying to fit into the traditional avenues (art, music, writing, etc.) if they don’t interest you. Perhaps you want to start a business or find a way to take the fight out of your child’s bedtime. Maybe you’re all thumbs and can’t sew a button on a shirt but you have innovative organizational and time management skills. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is about you and what makes you feel alive. What gives you a sense of accomplishment? What makes your spirit soar? Decide what creativity will look like in your life.
Next week we’ll look at Step 2: Expand your horizons.

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