Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Creativity Booster: Saying No to the Negative Voice


Have you ever been sitting around, brainstorming ideas with several people, and no matter how long you sit there, there’s that one person that loves to tell you why every idea that you come up with won’t work? Even before you’ve gotten the chance to really explore it fully? Have you also noticed that sometimes it’s not someone else – sometimes there’s a negative voice in your head that kills off your ideas before you’ve given them a chance to grow?

We don’t always realize it, but that negative voice can be a real creativity killer if we don’t keep it in check. Don’t get me wrong, it has it’s place and time. But for the sake of really boosting your creativity and increasing the quality of the creative ideas that you come up with, it’s often very important to just say no to the negative voice.

The main reason for this is that even though at first glance an idea might not seem like it will work, there might be an outside the box solution that you are not thinking of. But by veto-ing the idea before you’ve even fully considered it, you might be missing out on an idea that is absolutely perfect.

Try this: next time you’re having a brainstorming session, write down a great big list of every possible idea that you can think of – even if you already know the idea won’t work. Let your imagination run freely. Even if the negative voice in your head says, “no, that won’t work,” just write it down anyway. Give your brain a chance to be completely creative without stopping it partway through or putting limits on it.

Then go through your ideas, and instead of crossing off the ones that don’t work, ask yourself: is there a solution that I might not be seeing? Is there another way of doing this? What am I assuming about this idea that might not necessarily be true – or is there something that I could change that will make this idea viable?

Doing this on a regular basis will boost your creative thinking and improve the quality of your ideas. You will begin looking at things in a new way. The great thing about this is that it applies to any creative endeavor, and you don’t have to be brainstorming or making lists for it to work. You simply have to be willing to not take the negative voice at face value – be willing to ask yourself questions and find out if there is another way of doing things that you hadn’t thought of before.

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