Do you think outside the box?
What does “thinking outside the box” even mean and why is it important? I believe the following definition I found on Answers.com explains it very well.
Breaking away from traditional or conventional thought to develop a unique, superior solution to a difficult problem.
~ Dictionary of Business Terms
Wouldn’t you agree that we need people in this country to think outside the box to solve the issues we are facing? But who are we going to find to do it?
I have an idea! How about you! All you need to do is spend a little time expanding your creativity and comfort zone and you could be the one.
You are just as smart as the next person, but you’ve likely become stuck thinking just like everyone else. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
I’ve gathered up several great ideas that will help you expand your creativity and comfort zone so you can begin dreaming up superior solutions to our difficult problems!
Time is wasting, so let’s get to it!
1. Exercise the opposite half of your brain
In Three Easy Ways to Expand Your Creativity, we are encouraged to push ourselves to expand our comfort zone by switching modalities. In particular, if you are a writer and habitually deal with words, then try drawing a picture instead. If your work is logical and left-brain oriented, then try painting or daydreaming to get your creative juices flowing. The key is to try something different than your normal way of doing things!
2. Give yourself permission to experiment
We often kill creative ideas before we give them a chance. We fail to have the faith of a child. Children let their imaginations run wild and often believe anything is possible. As adults we usually lose this freedom in our thinking. What would the world be like today if people like Thomas Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell followed this pattern? Give yourself permission to experiment!
3. Challenge widely held assumptions
Many people get trapped in the herd mentality. Expanding your creativity and comfort zone requires us to identify the assumptions about a problem and throw them out the window! For instance, in business, we usually assume that getting more customers is better, but what if instead we doubled our prices and made equal money with only half the customers? Never discount an idea until you fully explore it even if at first it seems absurd.
4. Refuse to label yourself
We often divide people into two categories, the creative and logical. I’ve heard tons of people say, “I’m just not that creative.” Obviously, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we refuse to label ourselves in this way, then we open the door of possibility. You may not be a talented artist, but everyone has creative skills. If you can think and dream, then you are creative. Refuse to label yourself!
5. Try a new technique for opening up your creativity
Look for new ways to uncover your creative talent. One technique that I use all the time is called mind mapping. I find mind mapping to be an excellent technique for helping me to overcome writer’s block. It is a free flow thinking tool that allows you to capture ideas without any real structure. Often, we get bogged down trying to organize and wordsmith our thoughts. This creates a bottleneck which interrupts creative ideas. Mind mapping helps me to get around this obstacle. Give it a try!
6. Discuss it with someone that sees the world differently than you
We all know someone that sees the world through an entirely different lens than we do. They are so different that sometimes you have to wonder if they are from outer space! I suggest that you leverage the difference! When you are up against a problem that seems especially stubborn, go discuss it with this friend. Their different view might expose your assumptions or give you the creative jumpstart you need to see a new solution.
7. Use a scientific approach
This may sound completely the opposite from thinking creatively, but actually good scientists are very free thinkers. They have to be to make new discoveries. In Expanding your Comfort Zone like a Champion, you will find the scientific approach to problem solving outlined very effectively. Use this method to create hypotheses, test them and draw conclusions.
Expanding your creativity and comfort zone is easy!
We all need a little help from time-to-time getting out of our box. It is easy to get stuck in a rut, but it is also easy to get ourselves out. We just need to make a tiny bit of effort.
Hopefully, the ideas above are just what you needed to break free! I’ve used these many times over the course of my life, so I know they work.
Now go out and solve all the world’s problems! We need you!
How do you expand your creativity and comfort zone?
Photo by SOCIALisBETTER