The Answer Might Surprise You

According to Adobe’s State of Create study, only 1 in 4 Americans feel they are living up to their creative potential. Only 39% of people around the globe considered themselves to be creative. And 4 out of 10 people feel they don’t have access to the tools they need to be creative.

Why does creativity feel so elusive? For many people, creativity feels like something that’s out of our control. You either have it or you don’t. You may or may not ever find the inspiration you’re looking for. Maybe, every once in a while, creativity visits you in short bursts—but the second you sit down at your computer screen to write, or in front of your easel to paint, it’s gone. The well is dry.

The myth that gets in the way of us unleashing our potential is the idea that creativity is something that exists outside of us. Something fleeting that we have to catch and hold on to if we want to be successful. But in fact, the opposite is true. Creativity is innate, and every person has an endless amount of it. The trick is training your brain to operate in creative ways.

“Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions,” explains Creativity at Work. These are all things we do naturally. It’s usually your first impulse. The idea that pops into your brain for a split second before common sense kicks in with the logical answer. The way to be creative is to train yourself to listen to those impulses. When an idea pops into your head, learn to give it an extra second or two before replacing it with the more obvious answer.

A good way to practice this skill is brainstorming—or making a list of ideas without stopping to judge them along the way. Throwing out any crazy idea that comes to mind without pausing to doubt whether or not it’s a good one. “Brainstorming combines a relaxed, informal approach to problem solving with lateral thinking. It encourages people to come up with thoughts and ideas that can, at first, seem a bit crazy,” describes Mind Tools. “This helps to get people unstuck by ‘jolting’ them out of their normal ways of thinking.”

Similarly, free-writes are a great way to generate ideas. Choosing a writing prompt and freely writing stream-of-consciousness style allows you to get out of your own way and get some ideas down on paper. You’ll be surprised by the gems of ideas that can be revealed through a simple free-write exercise.

The more you practice trusting your impulses, the more you’ll begin to trust your creativity. So then what? The next step is putting this creativity into action.

Let’s go back to that first set of statistics. 4 out of 10 people feel that they don’t have the tools they need to be creative. It makes sense. Art supplies are expensive, cameras and sound equipment are hard to come by, and instruments are a luxury to own.

But in the age of technology, there are endless tools for creating. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

uSync—a newly launched social media platform—has the potential to be one of these unconventional tools for creativity. The platform, which emphasizes meaningful engagement, is loaded with features designed to boost user creativity.

Like brainstorming, curating a collection of online content is a worthwhile exercise for tapping into your own creativity. Following your impulses to piece together articles, content, and ideas that strike you as interesting is a great way to “make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena” (one of the components of Creativity at Works definition). You may not know where you’re headed when you begin a collection, but as the collection continues to grow, you might discover a pattern or even a narrative around the content you’ve compiled.

Sometimes the capability to share your creation can aid with the creative process. Having an audience, and giving yourself a deadline, can be a powerful motivator. If you’ve found inspiration from an exercise like free-writing, challenge yourself to polish the idea into a story.

uSync allows you to share stories in the form of blog posts, videos, and photo galleries. Using these multi-media sharing tools to express your thoughts will contribute to your creative process and help you tap into new ideas.

Practicing creativity isn’t just fun—it’s healthy. According to Medical News Daily, being creative has brain boosting effects, improves mental health, helps your immune system, and can even reduce dementia.

Using new tools—like uSync—and following your impulses can help you achieve your full creative potential.  With a little inspiration, and an innovative way to share your ideas, you might discover the creativity you never knew you had.