How to Unlock Your Creativity I Oxford Open Learning

How to Unlock Your Creativity

When someone mentions creativity, your mind probably leaps to painting, drawing, sculpting or something of the like. Our list of creative outlets is probably defined by what we learned in school. Unfortunately, school can also destroy our creative confidence. Look at Ken Robinson’s talk How Schools Kill Creativity, it is the most popular TED talk of all time. Doesn’t that say it all?

So what’s the problem with creativity, and how can we solve it?

Beliefs: “I’m just not the creative type”

The brother’s Tom and David Kelly talk about this in their book Creative Confidence. For years creatives have been put at the bottom of the pile in business, and those higher up often shy away from creative activities. But the fact is, everyone is born with the need to create. Creation is, after all, just the belief that we can make a change in the world.

Unlock your thinking – give yourself permission

In order to unlock your creativity there are a few exercises you can try right now. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and try and draw something you can see in 30 seconds. Then another thing, but take a minute this time, and so on. Give yourself permission to have a go. This is where most people fall down. If they aren’t perfect the first time they just give up. I have discussed limiting beliefs at greater length here.

Let yourself do things badly

On that note, you need to allow yourself to suck at something and still enjoy it. It is an essential life skill. You are constantly evaluating yourself through other people’s eyes. You need to set your own benchmark for success and try to exceed your own expectations. Kids don’t hide their drawings in shame, do they? We learn that later. They do, however, have a lot of cathartic fun doodling, and so can you!

Borrow other’s ideas and then work out what they missed

“Nothing is original” in the words of spoken-word artist Scroobius Pip. So don’t even try for it. You can even enhance your creativity by taking something that already exists and improving it, tweaking it and generally expressing your own ideas through it. It’s exactly what Shakespeare did, and if it was good enough for the Bard…

Creativity is a lot of things

Finally, creativity isn’t just painting or writing. The world is awash with creative possibilities. Try programming, knitting, woodwork, home decoration, cake decoration, funky tea infusions, whatever floats your boat. Just do something. It’s what life’s all about!

For more information about all things motivational, check out my own blog and podcast by following the link below.


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Hi, my name's Phil. I am a Content Writer and Producer. My background is a mixture of education, social media and management. I've spent a lot of my career working in Latin America and Spain, and I have a love for languages and education. I also have my own blogsite:

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