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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Why Your Creative Thinking Might Not Be Working

Creative thinking is simply a way of looking at problems, challenges or situations from a fresh perspective. This different approach may actually lead to unorthodox solutions which might rock the boat or be a little unsettling to others, who have never taken the time to step back and think this way.

You may be challenged with a tough problem, want to start your own business, help your organization in some way or perhaps, help a friend or loved one, whatever the mission, creative thinking is essential.

In short, creative thinking requires you to change your perspective and see things in a different way than you currently do. I have often heard a story from NASA about scientists who moved closer to solving the problem of getting a man to the moon by simply reversing the situation. They imagined the man was on the moon and they needed to get him to Earth. A perspective change can really open up creative thinking.

That being said, perhaps it is your perspective which may need to change in order to help you develop your creative thinking skills.

Here are three perspective changing ideas and some best practices to get you started:

1. You think being wrong is bad

Many times we despise being wrong. We want to be right! At the same time, mistakes teach us so much. One of Thomas Edison’s greatest strengths was he was not afraid to be wrong. On one hand, one of our greatest teachers is our mistakes, but we also have to be free of the guilt of making them and consider them one stop closer to our ultimate answer. Best practice: Keep track of your mistakes and learn from them Shed yourself of the guilt of making a mistake and tell yourself you have learned from it and improvement has occured.

2. You don’t think you are creative

Believing you are not creative is almost the same as saying you are not human. As if you are not a living, breathing miracle walking around. We are all creative, but some of us put limitations on ourselves or box ourselves in with too narrow a definition. I’m sure there are some things you can do and come up with in which others can only marvel. The very limits you set by saying you are not creative limit your creative thinking.  Best Practice: Change your thinking and self-talk. Begin to tell yourself you are creative and change the self-narrative and your self-definition.

3. You keep your brain full of your old ideas

One of the biggest limits we all place on ourselves is not allowing our brain to fulfill it’s function of being creative and having ideas. We are keeping it shackled and chained to trying to remember all our previously inspired notion. Telling yourself you have to remember this and you have to remember that, pulls the power of your idea generator way down. Best practice: Use as many capture devices as you need such as note pads, email, lists, journals and reminders in order to free up you mind to think creatively.

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