6 Ways I Continue to Unlock My Full Creative Potential
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
- Maya Angelou
What we learn, what we do, what we say is not always by choice or chance. Often times I see it as fate. being in alignment with our truest selves. In many ways, it is destiny. It is creativity, the lifeline and the advancement of so many of the things we know and love today. I had a friend ask me, “how do you go to work, be creative every day, and still find the time to come home and do the same?” I pondered on the question for a while, and then it came to me, I don’t find the time, the time finds me. My creative inspiration lives within me daily. I may not always be inspired to create. Sometimes I create crappy shit, but it has always been there and always will be.
My friend’s question also made me think about how so many people view creativity as a skill set that has to be taught, rather than a gift you’re born with. Find something you love, hone in on it and develop as you grow. There are no limits to your inner creative. There is not one person on earth who doesn’t have some form of creativity within them. It’s not something you were born without; it is something within that you have yet to discover. Currently, only 25% of the world’s population are living up to their creative potential. So, I put together a list of the things that have helped me continue to unlock my full creative potential throughout my life.
“Within Flow” is currently one of my favorite sayings these days and is often said to me by one of my favorite creatives. Your creativity is less about what you do and more about what you allow. The desire to control or force anything often leads to destruction or producing nothing at all. When I want to write, sketch, design, or whatever, I seldom produce anything when I am forcefully trying to create something new. You all often get newsletters from me 3 days to 3 weeks late or you don’t get them at all. Not because I am lazy but because it’s just not in flow with who I am at that moment. And if the work never comes, it just never comes. I would rather put art out into the world that is in full alignment with my truth rather than forcefully delivering things I don’t wholeheartedly believe in. Being in flow with life and allowing yourself to be intuitively led is the most natural approach to letting your inner creative to emerge.
Ignore Being Committed to One Thing
Embrace change. Life is everflowing, and your creativity will be too. I started a blog. I wrote three books. I committed to rewriting and re-releasing those books one day soon. I rebranded and relaunched my blog. I started a podcast; I stopped recording the podcast. I took a break from blogging. I started a magazine. I launched my own consulting company. I got back into coding. Coding led to web design. I stopped publishing the magazine. I started studying interior design and started a business that focused on it. You get my point by now, right? I never let life, people’s opinions, or my lack of knowledge on how to bring something to life limit me.
I went all in. I did whatever it was I felt called to do. I have never been afraid to dive headfirst into what I love. The last 15 years of my life have been the most fulfilling creatively. I’ve learned. I’ve grown. I’ve perfected my skills, and most importantly, I never stopped challenging myself creatively. I never stopped doing whatever it was that I felt called to do. Your creativity is and will always be limitless. Do not ever feel you have to remain confined to one space. In my experience, I’ve evolved and learned more than I ever thought I could simply by choosing not to confine myself to one single thing creativity. I am certain that me pursuing all these things will benefit me in the long run for that one BIG thing. Trust the timing.
Be Okay with Creating Shit That Sucks
Not every creative idea will be A1. In fact, the more you grow creatively, the more your consistency and flow changes. You get better. You do better. You evolve, and at some point, in life, you look back over a lot of the things you’ve created, and you’ll cringe. A lot of my earlier work, I believed to be my best work. At the time, I was in such a rush for the world to see what I was capable of, I never once thought I’d look back on any of my creative projects and hate I put it out. A moment of truth, you need to be more than comfortable with creating shit that sucks.
“That’s why people don’t like to rehearse. You gotta be humble. You gotta be willing to look awkward, and you gotta study, be a student.” – Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
Learn Everything You Can About the Path You Wish to Pursue
The wisest person in the room knows that the more they learn, they know absolutely nothing at all. I consider myself to be self-taught in a lot of the things that I am currently paid to do professionally. When something looked cool to me, I picked it up, learned what I could while studying it along the way. I never waited for someone to teach me; I never looked around for a handout. I was more than willing to take a deep dive into whatever it was I needed to further my knowledge in a particular interest. Technology is a goldmine these days. Your iPhone, tablets, laptops, etc. are a lifeline to research, resources, and all the knowledge that you need to learn the things you’re passionate about. Gaining insight and expertise on the creative industry you’re interested in pursuing will only further your knowledge and further add to your individual perspective to said industry.
Know Why You’re Pursuing It
It’s easy to invest in something. It’s even harder to stay committed to said investment when the process of the building gets tough. You will want to quit. You will cry. You will spend 5-10 years building and investing while seeing little to no financial gain. You will put it down, give up and days or weeks later will think, “wtf, am I doing?” And you’ll begin again. If you truly know in your heart, why you set out to pursue the path you’re on none of this will ever matter. You’ll just keep going. You won’t hold on for the sake of having your name attached to something. If it doesn’t feel good, you’ll let it go. By doing so, it’s you trusting that everything in life has its time, serves its purpose and you will always be led to something greater, something more aligned with who you’ve evolved into.
“Through my eyes, I learned lessons like, time is of the essence, and my grind got obsessive. Then my mind got restless. Put myself in the game, but batteries sold separate.” – Nipsey Hussle
Give Yourself Time to Be Obsessive with Your Grind
Probably one of the biggest causes of failure is one’s desire for instant gratification. You have to be willing to allow yourself time to be obsessive about the path you chose. Your obsession fuels the battery in your back to keep going until you reach the finish line. I have been working on the same project since 2015. I just named it this summer. For almost FOUR years this creative project didn’t even have a name, it just lived in my mind and heart. Still, I am gradually working on building it and don’t give a damn about the time it’s taking. It’ll come when the timing is right.
Don’t expect things to launch in less than a year. Don’t expect to be rich overnight. Don’t expect to be an expert in a day, a month, or even a year, but embrace the journey and the change. Be patient with your process. Never feel like you have to rush what doesn’t need to be rushed. Take breaks when you need to. Never stop learning. Life provides a wealth of knowledge when you need it. Books, school, online courses, you name it, it’s out there. Don’t be afraid to take the route of being a learner; this is how you build a long-standing foundation. Give yourself time to grow with your new skills. Be patient! It will all manifest as it should when it should. Your path is just that, your own!