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Top 7 Steps To Expanding Your Creative Potential

By Karen Carnabucci

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The appreciation of creativity has been inching itself into popular culture for the past several years. Indeed, it is increasingly accepted that intellect and credentials take a back seat to the ability to respond creatively to challenging situations. Here are seven steps to expanding your creative potential:

  1. Examine how you perceive creativity and creative people. Our results-oriented culture has tended to look at those whose creativity produces a product ó a book, painting or cake ó as officially creative. We have been less able to recognize people who identify new ways of thinking and behaving, especially in everyday and business life, as just as creative.

  2. Spend time with creative people. Observe how they act, think, relax and respond. Ask them to talk about what events in their lives influenced their creativity.

  3. Learn your own warm-up process -- your ability to ready yourself to birth a creative idea and take positive risks in making changes, even small ones. What events and settings seem to encourage your creative actions?

  4. Move, dance, exercise, bicycle, walk and stretch. Try yoga, tai chi or qigong. These physical activities get us out of our thinking brain and allow us to truly inhabit all of our body. As the body moves, the right and left parts of the brain -- the imaginative side and the cognitive side-- are able to work together more efficiently.

  5. Listen to music and experiment with improvisational theater exercises-- even if you can't play or can't act. Notice how different types of music promote various levels of energy within you. Theater and drama exercises will help you practice different ways of responding, a part from your habitual roles.

  6. Keep a notebook of interesting or creative ideas and observations. Paste a few pictures from magazines that interest or intrigue you, even if you donít know why. Scribble and doodle, if you wish. Whatever you do, donít censor yourself. See what happens.

  7. Find a mentor, teacher or coach who can help you cultivate your new-found creativity.

Karen Carnabucci is a creativity consultant, psychotherapist, trainer and coach in Racine, Wis., offering professional development programs and one-to-one mentoring and teaches action methods and that promote creativity and spontaneity in daily life. See for more about Karen, her directory of resources for holistic health professionals and her free e-newsletter, Whole Person Practice.


Article Submitted On: November 14, 2004