Since we've all been put into a lockdown situation, these unprecedented times have created the opportunity to delve a little bit deeper into different sides of unexplored imagination. But all too often we might be cruising along effortlessly before an overbearing wall looms over us and brings us to a crashing halt. The creative block. Now although widely disputed, creative blocks can be mental shackles that we put on ourselves or the comfortable ways of working which have become obsolete. Whether the adapting of our approach in creative fields or even other aspects of life, here are five ways that I find useful in overcoming limits.
1. Using a different lens.
Have you ever been sitting in your chair, staring at the same problem and coming to the same solution time and time again. Clouded with our own preconceived ideas or methods of dealing, it becomes incredibly valuable to step into the shoes of a different person. Be it a fellow creative who you've known for a while to the masters of the old such as Leonardo Da Vinci or Albert Einstein. Really diving into their perspective and how they might conquer the task can be highly useful, and even heighten a sense of emotional intelligence. The perspective of a completely different angle can be insightful and bring about solutions from places you had never even dreamed about. Taking on a different view can often create the missing parts of the equation and directly bring a new line of thinking that can be implemented immediately and further on down the line.
2. Width and breadth of multiple places
When we solely focus our utmost attention onto one thing or one place in time, it seems that our vision can get narrowed- often missing the signals that pass us by or important parts that could be key to success. This can be taken on in a habitual form where we dismiss anything which does not coincide or support our current frame of reference and can actually harm the way we take on or use information. We have to realise that diversity can have a significant impact on the way that we live our life. With the ever increasing push into specialisation, diversifying can often reveal overlaps in fields which might never have been previously linked and in fact create the synergy for a solution to be found. One example of this is is Fiona Fairhurst who designed the first Fastskin swimsuit for Speedo. While everybody had been searching for a way to make the material smoother to move through the water, she actually became inspired by the shark skin which was textured with bumps and ridges. And this was almost banned in future Olympics due to the advantage it gave swimmers.
3. Journeying to a goal
The most instinctual way of going about things would be to create a goal and zeroing in on the focus at hand. An alternative could be proposed, which would be to take a starting point and seeing where it might end up. Almost like drawing scribbles on a page without truly knowing what the result might be. Now setting goals and targets cannot be undermined, within the whole area of creativity, it completes a need to shift from contemplation to action. However instead of steadfastly fixating on a desired outcome, rearranging and adapting can often create pieces far beyond initial expectations.
4. Habits and natural sugars
We have all heard that a lifestyle is formed from habits and our outlook can be characterised by our accumulated information. However nothing is fixed and within an ever changing world, it becomes important to bring out the best in yourself. Rather than using what others have deemed as 'fix-alls' it becomes important to get in touch with your own biology and truly understanding the needs of yourself to function at the highest level. Nutrition, sleep, and mindset all contribute to the physical state that we will be taking on and how it will transfer onto the things that we do. Gratitude can be considered key aspect in changing the entire direction of our thinking. In an internet age, it becomes increasingly easy to be trapped in the comparison bubble, with access to nearly everybody's lives it becomes easy to focus on a lack in our own. However setting intentions and gratitude lists can definitely change the approach and create a love for one's own state and journey which in turn brings out the change within our work.
5. Across the web
Perhaps one of the easiest is to create dialogue with like-minded people. Whether to get another opinion on a topic or creating long-lasting partnerships and collaborations it becomes clear that interdependence has become essential to the creation of change and the survival of thought. Increasingly out of touch yet increasingly in reach we forget that we can often find discussion and understanding from a tribe in the most unexpected places. With access to instant messaging, collaborative culture has never become more apparent and its importance cannot be emphasised enough. Especially now we must listen to hear rather than listen to speak and thus access the abundance of creativity which comes with sharing and exploring ideas.
So the next time you face some difficulties that require creative thinking, remember that it is all within you and and just a switch can necessitate the changes to bring about fresh new ideas and create things beyond your wildest expectations.