Tag Archives: inner critic

5 Rules that Build Creativity

 

Yeah, yeah, I know. You’re one of those people who think creativity exists “outside” the rules. “So”, you ask,” how can there be ‘rules’ that build creativity?”

Since I could probably write a couple weeks worth of responses to that one silly question I’ll settle instead for just giving you the rules and let you sort it out for yourself.

Rule 1: Stop Forgetting
You were “created in the image” of God. You remember God? The CREATOR? That means you ARE creative BY NATURE. It’s funny how creative a room full of four and five year olds can be. Creativity doesn’t start being forgotten until later in grade school when the strong desire to “fit in” takes over.

So Rule 1 is: stop forgetting that you ARE creative and always have been.

Rule 2: Stop Criticizing
Once the desire to fit in kicks in the inner critic shows up. The inner critc shuts down ideas before they get anywhere. The inner critic tells you you’re not (full in the blank) enough.  Shoot that dude. The inner critic kills ideas at the idea stage. Learn to muzzle him.

So Rule 2 is: stop the inner critic. Sometimes the best ideas grow out of a chain of bad ones that you just run with.

Rule 3: Stop Comparing
I find it interesting that we label a whole group of people as “creatives”. What does that mean? Bill Gates is creative but would he be labeled A creative? Does the title refer solely to people who make a living at pursuing artistic endeavors?

I’ve known some people who have creative positions who aren’t.

The trouble with the label is that it segments people. Now the whole “fit in” thing is applied to a non-creative category of people who aren’t “creatives”

So Rule 3 is: Stop comparing and labeling yourself.

Rule 4: Stop Hesitating
Your brain is insanely fast. Generate enough ideas and you’re bound to find a good one. Too often the inner critic stops the flow. Fast and furious free association is a great way to generate ideas. Don’t try to get the final thing all at once, lets the bits flow, sort through them and pick the ripest ones.

So Rule 4 is: Let the ideas roll, even the bad ones.

Rule 5: START
Being creative doesn’t mean learning to paint, or write music, or sculpt. It really just means doing something in a new enough way that it catches someones attention. THAT CAN BE ANYTHING! It can be the way you hang tools in the garage. It can be the way you dress. It can be the way you schedule. Find something you have a passion for and start there.

So Rule 5 is: Pick someplace you’re comfortable, think creative expression, and start there.

As someone who is often labeled as creative but who doesn’t make a living as a creative I really enjoy helping people who are either labeled as non-creatives or who make a living as something others than a creative re-discover that they are in fact creative.  🙂

Exercise:
1. Picture your inner critic as a person. They do NOT look like you because you ARE creative. So what do they look like? In detail.
2. Your inner critic needs to be subdued. Based on the detailed description you created of this villain what creative method will you use to dispose of them?
3. What are some of your favorite activities? Incorporate one of them into your method for stifling the critic.