Self Discovery

How to increase your creativity with this 1 simple trick

How to increase your creativity with this 1 simple trick - Vale Design

I am going to tell you how to massively increase your creativity in one simple super easy trick. You will find your own creative wellspring is full and the ideas are overflowing! You will find that you have to keep a notebook close by to catch all of the ideas that are jumping around in your head!

But first let's explore what "creativity" is.

Creativity is...

I think most people think creativity is a trait that only "right-brained artistic people" possess. They think creative people are only artists.

Yes, artist do possess creativity, but so do people who love to do woodworking, writing, styling makeup, hair or clothes, cooking, playing music, gardening, reading, metalworking, crafting, DIY, interior decorating, telling jokes, entertaining, acting, solving a problem, thinking of better ways to serve the community, tinker, etc. The list of what could be deemed "creative" is infinitely endless. If you create something, you are using creativity.

It is basic human nature to be curious and creative. Humans create, both functional objects such as computers, robots, calculators and also things that purely make our souls soar like poetry, song lyrics, your favorite dessert while you sip your favorite wine.

Creativity can come in the form of an accountant by day, but a lover of cooking for family and friends at night. A graphic designer by day and a fashion stylist during the weekends. A father who works a major left brain job during the day, but then comes home and engineers My Little Pony stages and pulley systems across the playroom. A mother crafting with her kiddos passing on her love of gluesticks, sequins and felt. To create is a blessing to all of us and a talent I believe we all possess.

Here is the 1 trick it takes to find more of your own creativity immediately:

Turn off other people's creativity

What?! 

I read Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way not too long ago. Do not let the title of the book fool you. This book benefits both creative people who feel blocked and people who would even deem themselves "not creative."

In one of her chapters, Julia suggests trying a week of "reading deprivation." What the hell? I almost shut the book and never picked it back up! First of all, I am an introvert and books and I are besties. I always have a book with me. Second of all, I am in the middle of reading Julia's book! Now I am supposed to stop?! Then it hit me. I realized what she was asking.

She is asking for us to turn off other people's creativity for a small section of time. That simple act will force you to sit in silence. Listen to the white noise. Feel your mind start to freak out and squirm around. After some time, your own mind will start to think of thoughts and ideas to pursue and contemplate. You will start to feel the floodgates opening and your own creativity will start flowing.

What I had to turn off

Once I started paying attention, I realized I had a HUGE list of other people's creativity that I had to turn off:

  • social media - duh. looking at other people's creativity will shut yours down super quick!
  • music
  • searching for pinterest recipes
  • movies - especially Hallmark movies.  (my guilty pleasure and major time sucker!)
  • mindless tv watching
  • gardening
  • books
  • podcasts - try talking a walk in silence. I dare you not to think of something creative!
  • blogs / blog worksheets
  • webinars
  • moving cell phone & iPad out of whatever room I was in - talk about a distraction
  • going out to eat - food is someone's creative gift to others

Once I was able to see where I was being distracted by other people's creativity, I was able to consciously shut those off for a time. I was able to sit with my own thoughts, which at first were none, then they were all over the place and then slowly, my own words and divine inspirations started to peak through the silence.

What I was able to create

I was able to:

  • design my new website in 1 week!  (portfolio & blog included!)
  • brainstorm 100 blog post ideas in 1 hour
  • brainstorm and create a social media content calendar
  • re-ignite my love of healthy cooking & baking for my family and friends which has been non-existant since my grandmother passed away in April
  • start my yoga practice back up which was also cast aside as I grieved for my grandmother
  • hosting mentor group dinners again
  • re-brand my own design business
  • discover an interest in public speaking
  • discover a love of journaling and problem solving
  • discover a love of serving other women through encouraging words and self discovery tips
  • brainstormed a mastermind business group for women at my church 

Once you turn off other people's gifts and talents, you will find your own in the silence.

If you are stuck, don't feel creative or are unsure of your natural creativity

If you do not feel anything, ask yourself some journal prompt questions, such as:

  • what did you love to do as a kid?
  • what comes naturally to you that people comment to you about all the time?
  • list 5 things you would love to do if time and money were no object?
  • what lights you up?
  • list 5 silly things you would try once?
  • do you have any hobbies? what hobbies sound interesting?
  • meditate
  • take a quiet walk early in the morning or late in the evening and listen to your heart
 

Turn off other people's creativity. Sit in the silence. Listen for your own inner ideas and inspirations. When given the time and space, your own creativity will come bubbling forth. It might start as a trickle, but if given the chance, it might turn into a mighty river!

Stop reading this post. Turn off everything else. Be still. Breathe. Listen...I can not wait to see what you bring forth!

Do you have any creative distractions not listed above? What did you create or dream up when you shut down all the outside creativity? I would love to know!

 

How to overcome the fear of success and live your best life

How to overcome the fear of success and live your best life - Vale Design

Everyone is familiar with "fear of failure." But did you know that "fear of failure" has a little sister? She seems wonderful, but she can be equally terrifying. Her name is "fear of success." Imagine Charlie Brown and his little sister Sally. Sally is cute and pretty and everyone loves her, but she could really give someone the business if she felt like it. (Remember how she yells at Linus in It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown?! Did I just date myself?)

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson

I am 40 years old now. I have had many brushes with fear of failure and I have always come out the other side better. I have learned a lot from mistakes in my past both personally and professionally. Fear of failure does not affect me quite as much as it used to.

But lately, I have been dealing a lot with "fear of success." Fear of my own light. I have been pondering this on walks. I have been journaling about it and through it for a couple of months now. Why the heck am I afraid to succeed? This question had really been bothering me, so I did some heavy journaling on the issue and really digging deep through the WHY.

I realized 2 things scare me about the "fear of success." 

  • I might be asked do something I am not ready to do
  • I might be asked to do something that I don't know how to do

Thinking about those 2 things totally scares the hell out of me! I like to be prepared for whatever life throws at me...which is completely absurd and impossible. You can not ALWAYS be prepared in life.

So I forced myself to take a different approach to this fear. I am so much better at giving advice to others than I am to giving advice to myself. So I journaled what I would tell a dear friend if she approached me about her "fear of success."

This is how I would advise her to move through her fear:

1. Pray

Take to prayer. Vocalize your words to God. He already knows what is in your heart, but when you acknowledge a feeling and put words to it, it starts to minimize that feeling. Let God know that you are afraid. Remind yourself that you are not in this alone and that He has your back and has already equipped you for this task. He may be asking you to stretch and grow. He may be ready to push you to a better place.

2. Take small steps

Why is it that we immediately envision the whole picture and the final outcome instead of just thinking about the next small step to get there? Write down your big goal. Then break it down into small steps. Then just take the next small step.

If you have been asked to give a presentation to a large group of people, don't focus on the day of the presentation, focus on designing just one slide or write one paragraph that you feel good about and excited to share.

Take the next small step.

3. Ask for help / research

I am so guilty of this! I always think I have to have all the answers. ITS CALLED GOOGLE ERIN! Hit up the library, meet up with a mentor or email an expert in the field. If you do not know something yet, research it. Ask for help. Find your way to the answer. Nowadays, it is easier and quicker than ever to find the answer. Get out there, research, ask for help, and find your answer.

4. Listen to your heart

What is really scaring you? Are you scared or excited about the possible outcome? Fear and excitement can feel very similar in the body.

When I went to buy my first "real car," my Dad came along with me for moral and "don't mess with my daughter" support. Right as I was about to sign on the dotted line, I looked at my Dad and I freaked out. I was so terrified! I told him how afraid I was about buying this car and that I didn't want to buy it. I just wanted to go home. He reminded me that our bodies feel fear and excitement the same way. I was just feeling excited. He was right I bought the car and I was so damn excited!

Just breathe and listen to your heart. What is your heart telling you about the situation? Are you afraid or are you actually a little bit excited?

5. Talk it out with your champions

Find your champions. Everyone has a group of friends, mentors, family etc that champion them. Heck, even if you have a Gayle to your Oprah that is enough!

Ask for a quick meet up. Let them know how you are feeling. Ask for suggestions, thoughts, tips, tricks and ways other people you respect move through their fears. You may not even need to solve the problem. Sometimes it is nice just to hear your loved ones remind us how strong, brave and courageous we are! You've got this! 

 

"Fear of success" is a real thing. It can stop you from doing your next big thing. It can stop you from opening that business that you have dreamed of since you were little. It can scare you aware from speaking up in a meeting. It can scare you out of making a presentation that could change the trajectory of your career. It can stop you from living big, from living your best life. That is not what God wants. That is not what we want. That is not what the world needs right now.

Everyone is equipped with special gifts and talents. Please do not shrink away from using yours because you are afraid of what will happen if you do. Do not fear your own light!

I am using these 5 tips to help me move through my own "fear of success" and help women entrepreneurs brand their dream businesses and achieve their own professional goals. I am moving through my fears to help encourage and champion other women to do the same.

Are you afraid of "fear of success?" How do you move through your fear?